Prime Minister Hun Sen is an innovative and pragmatic realist in Cambodia’s political ruling for 30 years. He attaches great importance to the experience and theory of the founding of China and Singapore, but he is not bound by it. He emphasizes on the actual needs of the country and the willingness of the people with flexibility and consideration. He does not mind the ideological difference between communism and capitalism. He believes that the most important thing is for the country to make progress in development and policy, regardless of preference in beliefs. Therefore, he is very respectful of the chief architect of China’s reform and opening-up, Mr. Deng Xiaoping, and former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. Learning their theories of governing the country, drawing on the successful experience of China’s reform and opening up, cleverly applied to the actual work of democratic reform in Cambodia. Inviting investment, linking the Rectangular Strategy with China’s “Belt and Road” and vigorously carrying out infrastructure construction, so that the poor and backward Cambodian agricultural country can gradually realize the development of the national economy and the living standards of the Cambodian people continued to improve: a steady progress towards a modern society.
Civilian-Born Cambodian Prime Minister
Hun Sen was born on August 5th, 1952 in a peasant family in Kampong Cham, Cambodia. His father was a Teochew Chinese native and his wife, Dee Yon, was a descendant of Hainanese. In the 1970s, the United States initiated the Indochina War and bombarded North Vietnam. Hun Sen joined the Khmer Rouge and actively participated in the anti-American struggle. He became a company commander, battalion commander and head. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh and overthrown the pro-American right-wing Lon Nol regime. The ultra-left Pol Pot mastered the Khmer Rouge power and began mass cleaning, killing nearly one million innocent people, many Khmer Rouge. Leaders had been implicated in persecution. Hun Sen raised the rebellious banner in time and led the team to leave Cambodia to enter Vietnam and continue armed rebellion. Prince Sihanouk also moved to Beijing to avoid the persecution of the Khmer Rouge.
Practicing the People’s Ruling Style
Hun Sen has won many elections in Cambodia. This is closely related to his pragmatic style. Hun Sen was born poor and has a deep connection with the Chinese. He knows the needs of the poor. During his time serving as the Prime Minister, he vigorously carried out rural construction and supported farmers, trying to get rid of poverty. During the campaign, the opposition often misused money to pull votes. Hun Sen was never lured by money. His campaign was to upsurge every campaign. He would then work in the field, rolled up his pants, mingled with the farmers, and propagated in his plain, simple tone, about the importance of agricultural construction. The armers also regard Hun Sen as a good and reliable Prime Minister, so the vast majority of farmers’ votes were naturally casted to Hun Sen. Hun Sen’s kind and pragmatic style is very much like the simple style of President Jokowi of Indonesia, a politician who often appears on the infrastructure construction site. The prestige of Hun Sen in the hearts of the Cambodian people and the trust in Jokowi shown by the polls of more than 70% do not materialize out of thin air, but they are really seeking welfare for their people. For this, the people sincerely support their cause.
Hun Sen’s civilian realism ruling style adopted a rational national reconciliation and intimate measures in dealing with the issue of the Khmer Rouge’s forces. He adopted a rational approach to reconcile the national unity, persuading Khmer Rouge to contribute to national development of Cambodia. The move successfully made Khmer Rouge sincerely surrendered to Hun Sen’s generosity. Under his deployment, the Khmer Rouge served the various sectors of the Cambodian economic construction and national unity.
On the other hand, Hun Sen also strives to create national harmony, implements a loose and sensible national policy, treats many Chinese descendants overseas equally, encourages them to become Cambodian citizens, and regards them as one of the ethnic minorities in Cambodia. In the language of the country, many Chinese schools have beenestablished and Chinese newspapers have been published in various parts of Cambodia. Public signboards and public places are allowed to use of Chinese language. Many talents proficient in Chinese are recruited as tour guides for a large number of Chinese tourists who are most welcomed to visit Cambodia.
In terms of economic construction, he adopted the policy of opening up to the world and actively drawing in foreign capital. The anti-corruption of Cambodia’s macro-rectangular strategy, the maintenance of legal justice, the implementation of administrative and military reforms were carried out in an orderly manner nationwide. It also links the macro-foundation project of the Rectangular strategy with China’s “One Belt, One Road” and closely cooperates with a large number of Chinese-funded enterprises to enable high-speed railways, highways, ports, dams, power plants, airports and other infrastructure projects to be carried out vigorously. These projects have greatly promoted the economic implementation plans of Cambodia. In order to develop the tourism industry, he also draws on the development of Hong Kong and Macao, where dancing and gambling halls are famous. The dancing and gambling halls in Cambodia have greatly promoted the tourism industry of the country.
Political Vision Leads the Rapid Development of the Economy
Hun Sen’s successful ruling experience in the past 30 years. His biggest secret of success is the pragmatic and realist ruling style, as well as the grand political vision. He has seen the great international market space created by China’s reform and opening up and quickly put Cambodia’s Rectangular strategy into effect. Connected with China’s “Belt and Road”, and abandoned the “China threat theory” advocated by the West, regarded China as a true strategic partner, established close ties with China as comrades and brothers, and build a diplomatic cooperation. The exclusion of internal and external interference has attracted many Chinese-funded enterprises to invest and set up factories in Cambodia, which has enabled the construction of the Cambodian large-scale infrastructure to be carried out smoothly within the scope of the whole country, and finally created the continuous development of the Cambodian economy. The special economic zone of Sihanoukville, the introduction of a large amount of foreign capital, has led to the rapid development of Cambodia’s economy, which has enabled Cambodia’s economic growth maintaining a high level of development above 7%, which is rare in Southeast Asian countries.
All of this is happened under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen. His macroeconomic vision and political courage have enabled Cambodia to win huge construction achievements. Originally an agricultural country, Cambodia has begun to emerge from the face of poverty and backwardness. Significant improvements have made the modernization of Cambodia to take a great step forward. Because of this, the Cambodian people have a high degree of trust and love for Prime Minister Hun Sen. In the past elections, Hun Sen has repeatedly won the highest vote of the people, making him an evergreen tree that has been in power for more than 30 years. This is also the case in Southeast Asian countries. The public opinion is inviolable; Hun Sen is a good Prime Minister and won the hearts of his people.
Headquartered in Bali, Denpasar, the One Belt and One Road Entrepreneurs Business Chambers is a well-funded gathering of entrepreneurs from more than 500 industries, investing in clean water, highways, and garbage disposal in Bali. This association also involves infrastructure projects such as sewage treatment and economic and trading companies, special economic zones and free port industrial zones, integrated tourism centers with special folk villages, electronic computer communication systems, advanced medical technologies including stem cells, long-distance medical network, graphene and energy-saving lamps, investment in advanced technology, development of comprehensive leisure tourism center for the elderly, etc. This association also runs a Bodhi Cultures Exchange Center, an Orphanage home and a Trilingual School, subsidized a newspaper group called “One Belt and One Road Trilingual Newspaper” in English, Chinese and Indonesian. This newspaper is published and distributed to the affluent society of the Belt and Road countries, with an important role in communication. Recently, the association sent an open letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, saying that the association intends to set up a branch in Sihanoukville, plans to invest, and to establish a news reporting station for the “Belt and Road Trilingual Newspaper” in Cambodia. It will be widely distributed to all walks of life in Cambodia and hopes to receive active support from the Cambodian authorities and Prime Minister Hun Sen. If this move can obtain the guidance response from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the entrepreneurs of the association will invest in Cambodia to help with the economic and trade development. A Cambodian version of the “Belt and Road Trilingual Newspaper” will be published and distributed, signifying the cause for modernization of Cambodia with the help of the Belt and Road initiative of the Entrepreneur Association.
We are elated to see this happens!