Hun Sen without royal check good news for China
King Norodom Sihanouk, who died last week, was a moderating influence in the 27-year rule of the prime minister, who is now free to tighten his grip and bend national policy even more towards suiting commercial interests, including those of Beijing
The death of Cambodia's Norodom Sihanouk last Monday in Beijing symbolised how China had sheltered him in a mansion with personal medical, diplomatic and financial assistance throughout much of his often bloody reign.
Beijing benefited, especially during the 1970s and 1980s, from its supportive relationship with Sihanouk. But his death at age 89 will not slow China's current rapidly expanding political and economic influence in Cambodia.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, meanwhile, will no longer have to engage in a convoluted relationship with Sihanouk, and may be able to similarly increase his authoritarian power in Cambodia.
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