How the West could drive Cambodia further into China’s clutches

Hun Sen’s regime to discuss free-trade deal with China amid EU and US threats to end trade privileges over Cambodia’s human rights record. But there has been growing resentment in Cambodia over Chinese investment.

China and Cambodia are to open initial talks about a free-trade deal, with Beijing under pressure from the trade war with the United States and Phnom Penh facing scrutiny over human rights concerns.

A preliminary feasibility consultation for a free-trade agreement (FTA) between the two nations is set to start in Beijing on Tuesday, according to the Chinese embassy in Cambodia.

The negotiations – the first formal talks on such a deal between China, Asia’s biggest economy, and Cambodia, one of its poorest – were part of an “important consensus” reached by the top leaders of the two countries, the embassy said.

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