U.S. orders Cambodia to embargo arms, citing concerns about China’s military presence

The United States has ordered an arms embargo on Cambodia because of concerns about the military presence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and other activities in the country.

Additional restrictions on the import and export of defense-related goods and services issued by the State Department will be published and take effect on Thursday.

“On June 1, 2021, the ministry expressed serious concern about the military presence and other activities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Cambodia, and the Chinese military base in Cambodia undermined Cambodia’s sovereignty. He emphasized that it threatens the security of the region and adversely affects the United States. – Cambodia Relations ”, an unpublished rule states:pdf).

“Although senior State and Defense officials continue to express these concerns, Cambodia continues to allow China to expand its military presence and build dedicated facilities in the Gulf of Thailand.”

The purpose of the sanctions to amend the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is to prevent defense goods and services set to be imported and exported by Cambodia from being carried out without prior review and approval by the U.S. Government. That is. ..

Officials cited concerns about “corruption, credible evidence of human rights abuses, and the Cambodian government’s exclusive agreement with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on military expansion in Cambodia.”

The new policy does not apply to the destruction of conventional weapons and humanitarian demining activities.

China’s ruling Communist Party’s influence in Southeast Asian countries has raised concerns about President Joe Biden’s administration, and the country’s ruling party Persecute the enemy.

Last month, the Treasury imposed sanctions on two senior members of the Cambodian Ministry of Defense, Chau Phirun and Tea Vinh, for corruption.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance in 2020 and 2021 Chow colluded with Tee and other Cambodian authorities to inflate the cost of the Ream Naval Base construction and renewal project, and to use the money skimmed from the project. Claimed to have planned to use it for their benefit

US officials are concerned that construction at Sihanoukville’s Reem Naval Base will be used to promote Chinese military presence in Cambodia.

“The United States will not wait while corrupt officials sacrifice Cambodian people for personal gain,” said Andrea M. Gacki, then director of foreign wealth management. “This administration will continue to prioritize anti-corruption efforts and will continue to work tirelessly to promote accountability.”

In that statement, the Treasury also warned that recent developments in Cambodia, including the spread of organizational corruption, threaten not only Cambodia’s economic growth and prosperity, but also national security.

However, China enjoys an “iron-walled friendship” with Cambodia, claiming that they are “comprehensive strategic partners.”

Earlier this month, China’s State Council member and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Parley With Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Prak Sokong in Anji County, Zhejiang Province.

In these discussions, Wang Yi promoted the two countries as a “community that shares the future.” Wang Yi said, “We will unite more closely than ever to protect the legal and legal rights and interests of both countries, and to ensure peace, stability and development in the region.”

“The two countries will continue to work closely together to jointly protect the basic norms that govern international affairs and to oppose unilateralism and bullying practices,” said Wang Yi.

Catabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She focuses primarily on the United States and covers the news and business of The Epoch Times.