Cambodia placed under US arms embargo over China ties — Radio Free Asia

Cambodia placed under US arms embargo over China ties — Radio Free Asia

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For 2 years now, U.S. authorities have been sounding the alarm over the refurbishment of Ream Naval Base outside of Sihanoukville, Cambodias primary port city. Work at the base has actually been supported by the Chinese government and in 2019 the Wall Street Journal reported that a secret treaty had actually been signed granting the Chinese navy usage of the base for 30 years. The claim was denounced by the Cambodian government as “fake news,” but suspicions have continued.
The exchange was followed in November with sanctions versus 2 senior Cambodian military officials. The sanctions were revealed in combination with a Department of Commerce advisory warning U.S. services of the “possible exposure to entities in Cambodia, such as the Cambodian armed force, that engage in human rights abuses, corruption, and other destabilizing conduct.”

The U.S. has prohibited the export of military devices to Cambodia, citing concerns about “deepening Chinese military impact” in the country. The announcement by the Department of Commerce on Wednesday is the current in a series of measures targeting the kingdoms growing ties to Beijing.
” We advise the Cambodian federal government to make significant progress in resolving corruption and human rights abuses, and to work to decrease the influence of the PRC armed force in Cambodia, which threatens regional and worldwide security,” said Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.
For 2 years now, U.S. authorities have actually been sounding the alarm over the refurbishment of Ream Naval Base beyond Sihanoukville, Cambodias primary port city. Work at the base has been supported by the Chinese government and in 2019 the Wall Street Journal reported that a secret treaty had actually been signed giving the Chinese navy usage of the base for 30 years. The claim was knocked by the Cambodian government as “phony news,” but suspicions have continued.
Throughout a June check out to Cambodia, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman raised concerns with her hosts, warning that a Chinese base in Cambodia would “adversely effect” relations in between the 2 nations.
The exchange was followed in November with sanctions versus two senior Cambodian military officials. The Treasury and State Departments declared the set had conspired to illicitly profit from the Ream refurbishment project. The sanctions were revealed in conjunction with a Department of Commerce advisory cautioning U.S. organizations of the “potential exposure to entities in Cambodia, such as the Cambodian armed force, that participate in human rights abuses, corruption, and other destabilizing conduct.”
A State Department filing published with the Federal Register on Wednesday regarding the arms embargo doubled down on the allegation that, “Cambodia continues to enable the PRC to broaden its military existence and construct exclusive-use centers on the Gulf of Thailand.”
The arms embargo covers not simply conventional weapons, however also so-called “dual-use” equipment. That is, products which could have both business and military or national security applications.
U.S. arms producers have actually not traditionally exported to Cambodia. In the last 31 years, not a single piece of significant conventional weaponry has been exported from the U.S. to Cambodia, according to the SIPRI Arms Transfers Database.
Nevertheless, the embargo may still complicate procurement issues for the Cambodian armed forces. The policies under which Wednesdays arms embargo was announced are regularly interpreted by the U.S. federal government as applying to non-U.S. companies and people, supplying the items being exported are either U.S. in origin or include U.S. technology, commodities or elements.
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