A diplomatic row has broken out between Thailand and Cambodia over former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s new job as an adviser to the government in Phnom Penh. This dispute is only the latest of a series of spats between the two countries. The BBC looks at the main issues dividing them.
Cambodia has angered the Thai government by refusing to extradite Thaksin Shinawatra, who is in Cambodia after accepting a role as an economic adviser to the government there.
Cambodia said it rejected the extradition request because it viewed the charges against Mr Thaksin as being politically motivated.
Mr Thaksin was Thailand’s prime minister for more than five years, but was ousted in a military coup in September 2006, accused of corruption and abuse of power.
He has been sentenced to two years in jail in absentia by a Thai court over a conflict of interest case.
Mr Thaksin is a close friend of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
Thailand has withdrawn its ambassador from Phnom Penh in protest at Cambodia’s protection of Mr Thaksin.
The timing of the spat is particularly embarrassing for Thailand, as it comes just before Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is to chair a meeting between regional leaders and US President Barack Obama, on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Singapore.
Some analysts say the Cambodian government of Prime Minister Hun Sen – a close friend of Mr Thaksin and his golf partner – would prefer to have Mr Thaksin back in power in Thailand and is trying to undermine the current Thai administration.
CLMV economies Outlook by EIC Q1/2021
Within the region, Vietnam’s economy is projected the fastest growth due to ongoing strong exports performance for electronics products and a resilient domestic economy.
The global recession and COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected CLMV economies in 2020, resulting in major slowdown in Vietnam and Myanmar whereas Laos and Cambodia faced economic contractions from additionally specific negative factors.
CLMV’s economic growth crashes to two-decade low due to COVID-19
The COVID-19 crisis has caused the rate of economic growth in the CLMV bloc to be at its lowest in two decades, the CLMV economies could grow at 3.4 percent this year
Cambodia’s aid and investment affair with China
China is Cambodia’s biggest aid provider and Chinese investors hold almost a quarter of Cambodia’s total FDI stock. Distinguishing Chinese aid from investment is difficult, but there is no doubting China’s huge economic impact in Cambodia.
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