As China calls, is writing on wall for US-Cambodia military ties?

Coronavirus aid and trade deals dangled by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi during his visit to Cambodia this week tell only part of the story.

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi concluded his two-day visit to Cambodia this week dangling goodies ranging from a free-trade agreement to further assistance in the fight against Covid-19.

But while all eyes are on the demolition of a US-funded facility at one of Cambodia’s naval bases – reportedly to make way for Chinese military assets and personnel – little appears to have been mentioned on this front, at least openly, between Wang and the Cambodian leaders.

The latest developments surrounding the naval base have once again raised concerns in the United States that Cambodia may have fallen further into China’s ambit, prompting questions both about the balance of power in Southeast Asia and over what some perceive as Cambodia’s over-reliance on Beijing.

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