Wu Huaizhong, a researche

in Was ist neu im Forum? 22.10.2018 10:40
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PHNOM PENH Zach Hyman Black Jersey , July 15 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Surya P. Subedi, welcomed on Monday the granting of a royal pardon to the Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy, just ahead of the elections on July 28.

Sam Rainsy, the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, was tried in absentia in January 2010 on charges of destruction of property and racial incitement and sentenced to two years' imprisonment in one case and 10 years' imprisonment in another, and had remained in exile.

"I was very pleased to learn that the royal pardon was granted by His Majesty Norodom Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia, at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen," Subedi said in a statement released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Office to Cambodia.

"I now hope that with this development, the government will take the necessary action in order to allow Sam Rainsy to play a full part in the national politics of Cambodia," he said.

He underscored that in his last report to the UN Human Rights Council on electoral reform, he had reiterated the importance of a level playing field for all political parties to compete on an equal footing, and had called for political solution to be found to enable Sam Rainsy, as the leader of the opposition, to play a full role in Cambodian politics.

"Today I applaud the royal government of Cambodia for having taken this important step towards reconciliation, which is in the interests of stronger and deeper democratization of Cambodia," he said.

King Norodom Sihamoni on Friday signed a royal decree to grant a royal pardon to Sam Rainsy at the request of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Hun Sen wrote in his request letter that he asked the King to grant the pardon to Sam Rainsy based on the spirit of national unification and reconciliation, and to ensure a free and fair election.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong denied on Saturday that granting a royal pardon to Sam Rainsy was due to pressure from the United States and others.

Sam Rainsy, 62, has lived in exile in France since 2009 to avoid the imprisonment. He announced two days ago that he would return to Cambodia on Friday this week after receiving the pardon.

Eight political parties will compete in the elections with about 9.67 million eligible voters, including the two main parties -- the ruling Cambodian People's Party of incumbent Prime Minister Hun Sen and the opposition party led by Sam Rainsy.

Hun Sen's party is widely expected to win the majority in the forthcoming elections.

One of the world's longest-serving leaders, Hun Sen, 61, has been in power for 28 years and has vowed to stay in the post until he's 74.

The country holds a general election in every five years. During the last election in July 2008, Hun Sen's party won 90 seats out of the 123 seats in the National Assembly, while the opposition group totally gained 29 seats.

Veteran officials and prominent think tank analysts from China and Japan are gathering in Tokyo this weekend for an annual forum, seeking a way to narrow the widening gap between the two countries.

The Beijing-Tokyo Forum is co-hosted by China Daily and the Japanese nonprofit think tank Genron NPO. It is being held for the 10th consecutive year.

It serves as one of the few mechanisms for dialogue between the nations, with bilateral ties nose-diving under the administration of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The forum is being held ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit in Beijing in November.

More than 200 influential participants from both sides will attend the forum on Sunday and Monday.

Observers at the forum say one of the biggest problems to be discussed is the lack of positive momentum for mutual trust, which is badly needed to bridge the widening divide in relations between the countries.

Relations have sunk to a record low since Abe took office in December 2012. He has made a pilgrimage to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which houses the remains of 14 Class-A convicted war criminals, has pushed to expand the role of Japan's defense force, and has several times stated positions that have been interpreted as paying tribute to his country's wartime past.

A public opinion poll conducted in China and Japan and co-sponsored by China Daily and Genron NPO shows that the impact of the Diaoyu Islands dispute on bilateral ties appears to be declining, but pessimism still prevails over the future of relations between the countries.

Yang Bojiang, deputy director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the forum is a "great opportunity that deserves to be cherished".

"The China-Japan relationship is extremely special because both sides have a strong will to improve it. This is rare between any other countries (whose relationship is strained)," Yang added.

Wang Xinsheng, a professor of Japanese studies at Peking University in Beijing, said: "Japan has tended to interpret criticism from others as aimed at apportioning blame, or as a challenge. Japan's repentance for its wartime atrocities is far from sufficient, as are official efforts."

This has diminished Japan's hopes of shaping good relations with its neighbors and led to a series of stumbling blocks for the Abe Cabinet, Wang added.

Wu Huaizhong, a researcher of Japanese political and defense policies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan is trying to shape a regional order in which it aims to "secure its power and say ‘follow Washington's agenda and mainly target China'".

The opinion poll shows that the Chinese public's view of Japan has improved slightly in the past year. However, dislike for China in Japan has risen to a record-high 93 percent, it found.

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