(Posted from The Publeconomist, published 12/21/09)
Cambodia deports 20 foreign Uighurs, who had been seeking asylum in the country, to China. Uighurs are a Muslim minority group dispersed throughout several Asian countries. They’ve recently been involved in ethnic rioting in western China, which resulted in the deaths of 197 people this past July.
Two days after the deportation, the People’s Republic of China signs deals with Cambodia worth about $850 million. In case you were wondering: yes, China wanted the 20 Uighurs back.
Something fishy going on here?
Each time I become impressed with some sort of progress that China has made, top government leaders continue to screw it up. Whether it’s stricter Internet controls or human rights abuses, Chinese leaders continue to act with greed, hubris, and a total lack of social concern.
And shame on you, Hun Sen (Cambodia’s Prime Minister). Especially after the not-too-distant devastation that Pol Pot’s dictatorship had on your people. How could you displace Uighurs seeking asylum from China, a country that silences all internal political opposition? What do you think will happen to these twenty people?
Utilitarians might be proud. If the end really does justify the means, then maybe the $850 million is worth it to Hun Sen. Maybe it’ll bring wealth to thousands of Cambodians, and the lives of 20 foreigners won’t matter so much to him anymore. But let’s not forget that blood money is blood money.
Anthony DiFiore, Publisher