Cambodia playing US to squeeze more from China

US indicates new willingness to pay for Cambodia's influence but China is already supremely invested.

Cambodia’s government by now recognizes that it is in the middle of a geopolitical tug-of-war between the US and China, a contest for influence some see as an emerging new Cold War in Southeast Asia.

Phnom Penh likely also understands that America is shifting its policy towards direct competition with China by offering more financial offerings, seen in Washington’s US$150 million pledge in new funding for Cambodia last month.

Prime Minister Hun Sen is navigating that intensifying contest in his own inimitable way, receiving US funds on one side and stoking tensions with Washington on the other.

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