Cambodia dumps US military aid, echoing trend in Southeast Asia
The move comes as the region continues to drift toward China
Without giving an explanation, the Cambodian government has asked the US to end a military aid program in the country.
The US Navy Mobile Construction Battalion, or Seabees, has provided humanitarian assistance throughout the country for almost a decade. The decision to kick the Seabees out of Cambodia cancels 20 planned projects ranging from building maternity wards to school bathrooms.
“We are sad to see the Seabees go, but proud of their accomplishments over the last nine years,” the US embassy in Phnom Penh said in a statement.
The move is yet another downgrade for US-Cambodian military ties, coming after Phnom Penh postponed an annual joint military exercise in January, following its first ever “Golden Dragon” joint military exercise with China.