Cambodian Prime Minister expresses concern about AUKUS Alliance’s Impact on ASEAN

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo

5th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen expressed concern on Monday about the AUKUS alliance between the United States, Britain, and Australia, citing the impact it could have on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The AUKUS alliance allows Australia to build nuclear-powered submarines through technology provided by the U.S. and U.K., which is a cause for worry as ASEAN is a nuclear-free zone. Hun Sen stated that the alliance could trigger a dangerous arms race in the region, posing a threat to its security and economic development. Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at BELTEI International University in Phnom Penh, said AUKUS could destabilise the peace and security in the region and undermine ASEAN’s centrality. ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.