Cambodia-Vietnam, a true friendship in ASEAN context

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The bilateral relationship between Cambodia and Vietnam can be described as a love-hate relationship. The two nations have a long history of interaction, cooperation, and hostility as close neighbors and have had both friends and adversaries.

After the Khmer Empire was overthrown in the 15th century, relations between Cambodia and Vietnam have gone through many different aspects.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Kingdom of Cambodia established formal diplomatic relations on June 24, 1967. However, the alliance has faced many difficulties, both domestically and globally.

Despite ups and downs in their relations, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, Cambodia and Vietnam have been able to maintain friendly relations over the past 40 years.

In describing their current relationship, both nations often use phrases such as “excellent neighborliness, traditional friendliness, comprehensive cooperation, and long-lasting stability.”

In 1999, when Vietnam held the ASEAN Chair, Cambodia was welcomed as the last member of the organization.

Vietnam is credited with saving Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge regime, which had killed nearly two million Cambodian residents.

Since joining ASEAN, Cambodia has cooperated with Vietnam and the other ASEAN countries to promote peace and stability in the region.

Although Vietnam helped liberate Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge dictatorship, many Western academics refer to this involvement as an “invasion.”

This historical fact should not be discounted, misrepresented, or politicized, and should not be allowed to foster a climate of hostility and prejudice between Vietnamese and Cambodians.

Since Cambodia and Vietnam are neighbors who must always be close to each other, their cooperation offers many advantages for promoting prosperity and peace in both countries.


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