Cambodia quietly trying to distance itself from China

Hun Sen’s meeting with Biden at ASEAN summit may mark new era of improved US ties and reduced future reliance on China.

It’s commonly said that Cambodia is one of China’s most unwavering allies and partners. But that might quietly be changing as the Southeast Asian nation becomes more and more dependent on the superpower.

Cambodia’s government wants to realign back towards the United States and Europe over concerns it has become too reliant on Beijing, according to sources familiar with the situation. The shift comes as Phnom Penh focuses on stabilizing economic growth ahead of a major political succession that is expected to happen next year, the same sources said.

Despite a clear deterioration in diplomatic relations in recent years, the United States is still Cambodia’s largest export market. US-Cambodia bilateral trade rose by 33% last year and 47% in the first seven months of this year, according to Cambodian government data.

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