EU Confronts Make or Break Decisions for Vietnam and Cambodia

Two upcoming calls will help define the European Union’s ties with the Southeast Asian countries.

“Europe today has unpleasant relations with ASEAN,” Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, no stranger to controversial and at times bizarre comments, observed last week, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc.

It is certainly true that Malaysia and Indonesia are peeved by the European Union’s phasing out of palm oil imports, an environmental policy that will hurt the world’s two largest producers of palm oil. The two have threatened to take Brussels to the World Trade Organization over the ban. The EU is also trying to do something (whatever that may be) about the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar and human rights abuses in the Philippines, both of which wary of any foreign involvement in their affairs.

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