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 be published and take effect Thursday.
A 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 latest restrictions follow the Treasury Department’s ordering in November of sanctions against two senior Cambodian military officials for corruption and come amid increasing concern about Beijing’s sway.
At the time, the U.S. government issued an advisory cautioning American businesses about potential exposure to entities Cambodia and its military that “engage in human rights abuses, corruption and other destabilizing conduct.”