Explaining Cambodia’s Foreign Policy: The Importance of Domestic Factors and Sino-Cambodia Relations on ASEAN
This paper studies the Cambodia decision to block the ASEAN Foreign Minister Statement from supporting the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s reward to the Philippines in the Philippines v China 2016 case on their disputed claims in the South China Sea. This paper argues that the Cambodian position on the South China Sea, and subsequently its decision to block confronting language in the ASEAN joint statements, is motivated by its domestic political leadership, namely Prime Minister Hun Sen, and not because of strategic geopolitical consideration. Prime Minister Hun Sen and his political party Cambodian People’s Party prioritize staying in power over any other foreign policy objective. Therefore, he has little interest in balancing the US or Vietnam or ASEAN but rather siding with China because it helps him secure his grip on power domestically. This paper will analyze the Cambodia’s decision in 2016 and the period leading up to it, answering what drives Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and how that decision reflects the ASEAN integration process.
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Beyond Realism: A Psychological Approach to Understanding Cambodia-China Relations and Its Implications for ASEAN Solidarity Somsaman, Aimatcha (Georgetown University, 2019)The rise of China has brought about changes in the balance of power in Southeast Asia, and the realist approach to foreign policy cannot explain why some Southeast Asian countries are balancing the increasing economic and ...