Romney Foreign Policy Aid Takes Aim at ‘Hong Sun’

Posted on by Peter Hogan


What have we learnt about Willard Mitt Romney’s potential future foreign policy towards Cambodia? Well up until recently, not a lot. But that all quite possibly changed last week during a televised debate between Obama’s and Romney’s leading foreign policy advisors.

During the debate, Rich Williamson – Senior Adviser for Foreign and Defense Policy for Romney for President, Inc. – had this to say according to the official transcript, ”You talk about it. You know, I’ve, for better or worse, whether it’s Hong Sun or Robert Mugabe or al-Bashir, I’ve dealt with some less-than-pleasant guys, and saying you are not doing good things never surprises them. They know they’re not.

So who is ”Hong Sun”? We’re pretty sure Williamson wasn’t referring to Hong Sun Huot, Chair of Cambodia’s National Aids Authority, but might this be a clumsy heat-of-the-moment mispronunciation of Cambodia’s prime minister’s name? Because, we’re having difficulties in figuring out which other controversial world leader Williamson could possibly have been referring to.

Linking Cambodia’s leader with bloodstained international pariahs such as Mugabe and al-Bashir is strong posturing indeed and could be a clue that Romney may be preparing to ignore all that Chinese largesse and take a far more robust line on alleged human rights abuses in Cambodia than the current administration.

This would undoubtedly have profound ramifications for Cambodia’s relationship with the USA should Romney’s campaign prevail later in the year. As a result, 2013 could be an interesting year for US/Khmer diplomacy.

Watch the video here and click on ‘full event’. Forward to 34.30.

Download the transcript here.

K440 would like to thank Bethany Shondark-Mandel and Seth Mandel of Commentary Magazine for their assistance with this article.

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4 Responses to Romney Foreign Policy Aid Takes Aim at ‘Hong Sun’

  1. Yanki says:

    Another moron takes the reins of power. Anyone care to predict which country they’re going to invade this time?

  2. Casey Nelson says:

    Sounds like he read a Brad Adams article the night before and wanted to squeeze in a little populist nod to HR.

    Regardless of what might be said during the campaign and whoever is elected POTUS come November, US relations with Cambodia will be shaped almost entirely by its positioning vis-à-vis China for the next several years. Trafficking, security and drugs will come next, followed distantly by concerns over HR, democracy and Hun Sen’s rule. The American’s may make some noise now and again, especially in the lead up and immediate aftermath of Cambodia’s 2013 elections, but so long Cambodia plays ball with the US re China, relations with Hun Sen’s Cambodia will remain largely positive.

  3. Jay says:

    The U. S. is in decline. Bill Clinton predicted in the late 90ies that the country will be among the also-rans in 50 years. With a people that elected George W. Bush (even if only barely) and possibly now Mitt Romney that process may be hastened considerably. Cambodia will not play an important role in their foreign policy for years to come despite their attempts to counter-balance China’s preponderance here. The overseas Cambodians will be very sad about that.

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