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International relations

Cambodia drawn ever closer to China a year after EU sanctions

US keeps up trade as Western counterweight to patron's pull

Cambodian workers eat lunch outside a Chinese-operated factory in the Chinese-managed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the city of Sihanoukville, Cambodia .   © Reuters

HANOI -- In the year since the European Union imposed sanctions on Cambodia, the Southeast Asian country has turned to China to blunt the economic impact, deepening its dependence on its main patron.

Brussels last August partially revoked the largely duty-free market access that Phnom Penh had enjoyed since 2001, citing human rights abuses including a crackdown on political opposition. The move reimposed standard tariffs on products amounting to about 20% of Cambodia's exports to the bloc, including travel goods, some apparel and sugar.

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