In 2020, Cambodia experienced its sharpest economic contraction in more than a quarter-century as COVID-19 crippled its tourism industry, hampered foreign investment, and reduced demand for exports from its crucial garment and textile sectors. Wary of simmering popular unrest, the government of long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen sought to support the battered economy with one hand while stifling domestic political dissent with the other. Domestic crackdowns brought further erosion of Cambodia’s ties with the European Union, and relations with the United States and some Southeast Asian neighbors remained tense as Cambodia drifted closer into a dependent relationship with China.

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