China’s Cambodian dream, a debt trap and security concerns

It is not new that China has been trying to establish control and authority over the global politics and has gone to lengths for establishing and fulfilling his hegemonic interests in south east Asia. China’s Cambodian dream is a new link to the chain, a process of setting outposts for controlling the south east Asia. China’s upcoming naval base in Cambodia is one such example of such outposts.

The key factors behind China’s choice of Cambodia are the political background of good relations with non-democratic Hun Sen regime in Cambodia, the economic background of being a country where Chinese investment concentrates and many Chinese businesses/companies have established operations, and the historical background of having unsolved land border demarcation issues with Vietnam, which is a Chinese rival in conflict over the South China Sea.

The stagnation of relations between Cambodia and the United States has also contributed to Chinese concentration to its influence. The Cambodia-the US relations were affected by the unilateral cancellation of the “Angkor Sentinel” joint military exercise in January 2017 by Cambodia, followed by the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in late 2017. The US criticized the limitation of democracy, passed the Cambodia Democracy Act and imposed sanctions on Cambodian officials and businessmen.

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