Regional Realignment to Complicate Cambodia-Vietnam Relations: Analysts

The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has been aggressively celebrating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations with Cambodia. Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy has not allowed the novel coronavirus pandemic to stop the year-long celebrations, which is reflected in his and the embassy’s social media posts.

At the same time, the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi also marked 25 years since the re-establishment of diplomatic ties with Vietnam, after relations ended following the prolonged war between the two nations. The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a video on the occasion were reaffirmed the U.S.’s commitment to a “strong and independent Vietnam.”

The two celebrations, while similar in appearance, come amid shifting geopolitical calculations where Vietnam has grown closer to the United States and the European Union. Despite a problematic rights record, Vietnam has a free trade agreement with E.U., and the U.S. has increased economic ties and defense cooperation while keeping one eye on the South China Sea conflict.

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