“A long-running border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia has just escalated,” said Jonathan Head in BBC News, with two Cambodian troops killed and 10 Thai soldiers captured in a battle over the disputed Preah Vihear temple, which sits on land both countries claim. Things have “cooled down,” so “perhaps a war over a tiny sliver of scrubby hillside can be avoided.”
That will happen only if they agree on a border, said AsiaOne News in an editorial. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen rattled his saber to force a resolution on the disputed temple, which was listed as a World Heritage Site in July. The listing was supposed to bring Cambodia tourist dollars, like Angkor Wat, but it’s brought only “a bitter row with Thailand.”
Well, Thailand and Cambodia have been fighting over temples since the 12th century, said Thomas Bell in Britain’s Telegraph, and Camodians burned down the Thai embassy as recently as 2003 after a Thai actress said Angkor Wat belonged to Thailand. The two countries have a lot in common, but sometimes their “deep hostility and distrust” is stronger.