School of Vice: If all aspects of the Vietnam border mapping are proper and correct, then why oppose "verifications" that could only lend it credibility in the eyes of neutrals, critics and public alike?
Meas Sokchea, The Phnom Penh Post
Fri, 4 September 2015
Foreign Affairs Minister Hor Namhong has demanded an end to opposition politicking on the Vietnam border issue, following the second and “final” verification of maps used by the government to demarcate the eastern boundary against French charts.
Namhong, also a deputy prime minister, yesterday presided over the reception of 26 colonial-era “Bonne” 1/100,000-scale maps of the Kingdom, delivered courtesy of French President Francois Hollande from the National Geographic Institute in Paris.
During a three-hour ceremony at the Council of Ministers, the charts were overlaid with government maps.
As with a similar event in August involving maps loaned by the United Nations, the maps appeared to match. No questions were permitted. The efforts are in response to claims made by some opposition lawmakers that the government had used “fake” maps favourable to Vietnam to delineate the border.
Yesterday, Namhong, clearly irritated with the CNRP accusations, declared the matter finished, ruling out further “verifications” and saying he hoped the official French maps had “opened their eyes”.
“The border problem, the maps problem, should end. [We should] not let a political party take this problem and turn it into a campaign to incite Khmer citizens to oppose the government,” he said.
“It is not a different border. Why isn’t it different? Because we have used it for decades since 1985 when we signed a treaty with Vietnam to demarcate; we have used the maps Bonne 1/100,000 that we have had already; that’s why it is not different.”