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The arrest and house arrest of its former Cambodia leader, Kem Sokha, threatens the country's democratic progress. The international community's visits to Sokha indicate democracy's importance in their relations with Cambodia.
The real winners are far from clear, but Thailand’s populist, party jumping election is Asia’s vote to watch this year.
One of Cambodia’s last independent news outlets, VOD, was forcibly closed. This was allegedly due to VOD naming the prime minister’s son, and not the prime minister himself, as the signatory of an aid to Turkey after its recent earthquakes.
Most ASEAN countries want a united front on a code of conduct for the South China Sea, but critics claim Beijing, which wants to handle negotiations on a country-by-country basis, has used Cambodia to thwart progress on an agreement and to block diplomatic opposition to its maritime claims.