Find Insulting TikTok Poster, Cambodia Urges Vietnam

Sophea met Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Huy Tang on May 20 to discuss the issue. Photo: Foreign Affairs Ministry

PHNOM PENH – Foreign Minister Sok Chenda Sophea has asked Vietnam’s envoy to identify those behind “insulting” comments on former prime minister Hun Sen’s social media account. 

Sophea met Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Huy Tang on May 20 to discuss the issue after ex-PM and Senate President Hun Sen called for an investigation into the comments on videos posted on his TikTok account. 

Hun Sen posted several photos on his social media pages including Facebook showing users commenting in Vietnamese which he said insulted him. 

He said this might be due to his speeches over the Funan Techo Canal project. 

Some comments recalled Vietnamese assistance to liberate Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge or the presence of Chinese troop.

Hun Sen said an investigation was because needed he was not sure who those Vietnamese were.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Sophea, who is also a deputy prime minister, told Tang the Cambodian government was shocked over the Tik Tok message insulting senior Cambodian leaders in connection with the canal project, which had caused great unease among Cambodians. 

“The deputy prime minister raised the Cambodian government’s request to the Vietnamese government in conducting research to determine the identity of those who posted the hostile content in order to prevent any attempt to undermine the traditional friendship and good cooperation between the leaders and the people of the two countries,” the ministry said.

Tang agreed that posting hostile content was a negative action that required close cooperation between the countries’ authorities to find those responsible.

In a televised address on May 16, Hun Sen urged the government to start the work on the Funan Techo Canal to start immediately as the country needs transport independence.

The 180km-canal, estimated to cost $1.7 billion, will be built to cut shipping costs for imports and exports, bypassing the current route via Vietnam. 

The project has irritated Vietnam which sees in it a gateway the Chinese military could use to get closer to the country’s inland border and concern over environmental impact and water flow.

Phnom Penh has also repeatedly reassured that it followed the 1995 Mekong Agreement which govern the use of the river.

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