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Cambodia’s challenges in dealing with foreign actors

In Cambodia’s nation-building process, it has faced two main challenges when dealing with foreign actors who are keen on molding the country into their own forms of democracy, with domestic actors and policies supportive of their own interests.

The first challenge is the internationalization of Cambodian domestic issues, and another is the “Cambodian puppet theory.” The latter is long-standing, with patrons changing according to time and geopolitical landscape. These two challenges create pressure on and obstructions to domestic political and economic development.

By regional or even global standards, Cambodia’s domestic affairs have attracted inordinate levels of unsolicited foreign attention and intervention, from freelance pundits and politicians alike.

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