Joe Biden’s Cambodian Sideshow

On the cusp of the Biden administration, U.S. lawmakers are calling for fresh sanctions on Cambodia’s government.

Once he takes office, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will have his hands full attempting to repair his country’s prestige, left battered by foreign policies which ignored diplomatic norms and were replaced by transactional deals that failed to make America great, again.

Under a recalcitrant Donald Trump, Southeast Asia was viewed almost exclusively through a China prism and in that process smaller, authoritarian states like Cambodia were equally dismissive and did almost as they pleased.

That wasn’t helped by the gutting of the State Department, nor the revolving door of senior civil servants – four secretaries of state, including two acting, and six secretaries of defense, which included three acting – that marked Trump’s term in office.

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