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Associated Press

Dec. 8, 2021, 10:48 p.m. EST

U.S. orders arms embargo against Cambodia, citing Chinese influence

By Associated Press

BANGKOK — The U.S. has ordered an arms embargo on Cambodia, citing deepening Chinese military influence, corruption and human rights abuses by the government and armed forces in the Southeast Asian country.

The added restrictions on defense related goods and services, issued by the State and Commerce departments, are due to take effect Thursday.

A pre-publication notice in the Federal Register said developments in Cambodia were “contrary to U.S. national security and foreign policy interests.”

The aim of the embargo is to ensure that defense-related items are not available to Cambodia’s military and military intelligence services without advance review by the U.S. government, it said.

The U.S. halted military assistance to Cambodia following a 1997 coup in which Hun Sen grabbed full power after ousting his co-premier, Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Hun Sen remains prime minister. In August 2005, President George W. Bush waved the ban, citing Phnom Penh’s agreement to exempt Americans in Cambodia from prosecution by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court.

Since direct military ties between the two countries were restored in 2006, the U.S. has pledged millions in military aid to Cambodia.

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