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Techo Funan Project Update Acting Head of State Addresses Fabrication

Phnom Penh, April 10, 2024: The Acting Head of State of Cambodia, Hun Sen, who is also the President of the Supreme Privy Council to His Majesty the King, has publicly refuted allegations concerning the Techo Funan Canal development project. A statement was released on April 9, via Hun Sen's social media platforms, firmly rejecting what he described as a fabricated narrative that has been circulating.

The statement clarified that contrary to reports alleging the canal project would facilitate a Chinese military presence near the Vietnamese border, the Techo Funan Canal's construction aims solely at socio-economic development. Hun Sen highlighted several points in his defense of the project:

Questioning the purported need for Chinese troops in Cambodia and emphasizing the strong neighborly relations between Cambodia, Vietnam, and China.

Affirming that such military cooperation would contravene Cambodia’s constitution, which expressly prohibits foreign military bases within its territory.

Detailing the intended purpose of the Techo Funan Canal, which is to augment waterway access to southwestern Cambodia, support agricultural activities by providing irrigation, enhance water management, and boost freshwater fish production. The canal is slated to connect to the Bassac River, not directly to the Mekong River, with sluice gates to prevent freshwater from flowing into the sea.

Hun Sen’s statement also reassured adherence to the 1995 Mekong Agreement, highlighting that the project's details had been communicated to the Mekong River Commission.

Addressing the geopolitical undertones of the accusations, Hun Sen urged detractors not to use Cambodia's development initiatives as a platform for international rivalry. He emphasized Cambodia's right to pursue its national interests and called for respect towards the country's sovereignty and decision-making capabilities.

By dispelling the rumors surrounding the Techo Funan Canal project, Hun Sen reaffirms Cambodia’s commitment to its constitutional principles, regional cooperation, and socio-economic advancement through essential infrastructure development.

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