PHNOM PENH: The United States is committed to helping ordinary Cambodians rather than funding vanity projects, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday, in a subtle dig at China-backed schemes in the country.
“The United States remains strongly committed to working with and supporting Cambodian people,” Clinton told reporters after attending a regional security forum in the capital Phnom Penh.
“Sometimes it is a little frustrating, I will admit, for the United States because we channel our aid in so far as possible to the people themselves,” she said.
“So we cannot point to a big building we have built. But we can point to more children being alive, more people surviving HIV/Aids, more women surviving child birth.”
Clinton was giving the press conference next door to the imposing Council of Ministers building, where the region's media has been stationed for this week's Asian security talks, and which was paid for by China.
China has poured billions of dollars in loans and investment into close ally Cambodia in recent years, and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen regularly praises Beijing's “no-strings-attached” aid. AGENCIES