0 $
2,500 $
5,000 $
320 $
DECEMBER 2022

Washington Wants Relations With ASEAN To Reach “Unprecedented Levels” But Sanctions Cambodia

Support SouthFront

Washington Wants Relations With ASEAN To Reach “Unprecedented Levels” But Sanctions Cambodia

Illustrative Image

US arms embargo will only push Cambodia closer to China.

Written by Paul Antonopoulos, independent geopolitical analyst

The US is attempting to force Cambodia to cut its military ties with China. The more Cambodian-Chinese relations strengthen, the stronger US sanctions and pressure is becoming. The newly imposed US arms embargo will prove only to push Cambodia to develop its military and technical cooperation with China more deeply.

On December 8, the US imposed an arms embargo on Cambodia, explaining its decision was because of its concerns over alleged human rights abuses, corruption and China’s growing military influence.

A filing with the Federal Register, using the initials for the People’s Republic of China, said that “Cambodia continues to allow the PRC to expand its military presence and construct exclusive-use facilities on the Gulf of Thailand” despite the appeals of US officials.

For its part, the US Department of Commerce has also imposed restrictions on the export of dual-use goods and defense equipment to Cambodia. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said, “We urge the Cambodian government to make meaningful progress in addressing corruption and human rights abuses, and to work to reduce the influence of the PRC military in Cambodia, which threatens regional and global security […] The United States remains fully committed to Cambodia’s independence and the sovereignty of its people.”

The US has pledged to provide Cambodia with millions of dollars in military assistance to improve border security and peacekeeping operations. Meanwhile, there have been virtually no significant US arms deliveries to Cambodia, as confirmed by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

The arms embargo and other restrictions on Cambodia’s defense potential are unlikely to have any real impact. In fact, the arms embargo effectively removed the US from the list of potential Chinese competitors in the Cambodian arms market. It was already difficult for the US to compete with China in Cambodia as the two Asian countries have a long and deep historical, cultural and economic relationship. For this reason alone, Cambodia will not sacrifice its relationship with Beijing because of the American ultimatum and arms embargo.

Rather than deterring Cambodia from purchasing arms from China, the embargo will have the opposite affect as the country will continue to buy Chinese weapons since they come at a cheaper price and are not subject to political conditions like American-made weapons.

Despite this provocation by the US, Beijing will ignore attempts to upset its relationship with Cambodia and instead will focus on strengthening its military and technical cooperation, as well as expand its influence in the country. The US is trying to punish Cambodia for developing relations with China despite the Southeast Asian country, one of the poorest in the region, majorly benefitting from being a part of the Belt and Road Initiative. For this, it can be expected that the stronger Cambodian-Chinese relations become, the stronger the US sanctions can be.

Cambodia, as the current chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), oversees the implementation of projects by the bloc. This could make it difficult for the US to strengthen relations with ASEAN and make the imposition of new sanctions and/or embargoes undesirable if it is serious about elevating ties.

US President Joe Biden intends to raise the level of US engagement with ASEAN to an “unprecedented level,” according to US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink. Ahead of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand early next week, Kritenbrink’s statement hypocritically coincides with the introduction of an arms embargo on Cambodia.

In this way, it is disingenuous for the US to claim that it wants to take its relationship with ASEAN to an “unprecedented level” whilst at the same time attempting to bully a sovereign ASEAN member and the association’s current leader from pursuing an independent foreign policy. Unfortunately for Washington, they will discover that they will not be able to intimidate and manipulate ASEAN countries, especially those like Cambodia that have strong and historical ties with Beijing. The reality is that China is the region’s biggest and most powerful economy and military, and for this fact alone it cannot be isolated from its neighbours despite continuous attempts by the US.

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Support SouthFront

SouthFront

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
2 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
S Balu

Thicky Minaj Please get in touch with Ahson Indian Dalit boy Who MAKES MORE IN AN HOUR AS RENT A BOY IN AMSTERDAM WEARING HIS BROWN STAINED SMELLY DHOTI THAN YOU MAKE IN WHOLE DAY HE WILL SHOW YOU ALL TRICKS OF TRADE DUTCH QUEENS LOVE HIM A LOT Ahson now has master’s from Israel school of Spanking where he Specialized in S and M

The end

Sanctioning kind people of Cambodia is simply mean. Nothing more to it.

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x