Prime Minister Hun Sen pushed regional unity at the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit yesterday, but criticism directed at Cambodia over the South China Sea ensured the dispute remained front and centre.
As heavily armed guards lined the streets outside the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh, singers, dancers and an orchestra inside heralded the opening of Cambodia’s second summit as chair and the 20th in ASEAN’s 45-year-history.
During an impassioned opening speech, Hun Sen promoted a united ASEAN, focusing on doubling the existing regional currency fund to US$240 billion, as well as responding to the woes of the region’s migrant workers and closing a development gap between member states.
To deal with potential future economic crises, Hun Sen spoke of “strengthening and doubling the size of the current mechanism from US$120 billion to US$240 billion as soon as possible.”
The prime minister said the “free flow of labour” was an important part of an ASEAN Economic Community…
Cheang Sokha and Shane Worrel, P. 1