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  • Timeline:US-Cambodia Relations
  • 1954: The Geneva Conference produced an agreement that granted Cambodia independence from France. The United States, which had supported France in the First Indochina War, acknowledged but did not sign the agreement because of its ramifications to the situation in Vietnam.

  • 1955-63: The United States provided over $400 million in economic aid and over US$83 million in military assistance to Cambodia, although bilateral relations worsened in the early 1960s because of US and South Vietnamese military incursions into Cambodia.

  • 1965: Cambodia broke off diplomatic relations with the United States in May.

  • 1969: US-Cambodia diplomatic relations were re-established in July. The United States conducted a sustained, large-scale bombing campaign against North Vietnamese military positions in Cambodia until 1973.

  • 1970-75: The United States provided $1.18 billion in military assistance and $503 million in economic assistance to the Lon Nol government.

  • 1975: As the Khmer Rouge neared victory, the United States evacuated its diplomatic mission in Cambodia on 12 April. The Khmer Rouge seized power on 17 April 1975. The Khmer Rouge captured the American SS Mayaguez in May, and President Gerald Ford ordered the use of force to free its crew. [End Page 467]

  • 1978-79: Vietnam invaded Cambodia on 25 December and seized Phnom Penh on 7 January 1979. The United States opposed the Vietnamese invasion and subsequent occupation of Cambodia and supported the ASEAN-mediated negotiations that culminated in the 1991 Paris Conference that provided for a comprehensive settlement to transition Cambodia under UN auspices and prepared the country for a general election.

  • 1994: After lifting its embargo against Cambodia in 1993, the United States re-established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Cambodia and appointed an ambassador to the country in May.

  • 1996: In September, the United States granted Cambodia most favoured nation status after the bilateral trade agreement had entered into force.

  • 1997: After clashes between supporters of First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh and Second Prime Minister Hun Sen broke out, which eventually led to Ranariddh's exile, the US suspended bilateral assistance to the Cambodian government, excluding non-governmental aid, and evacuated many US citizens from the country.

  • 1999: The Cambodia Textile Compact was enacted. The compact linked improved labour conditions in Cambodia to increases in US import quotas for Cambodian textiles until the quotas were eliminated in 2005.

  • 2004: Cambodia became a member of the World Trade Organization with US support.

  • 2006: The United States and Cambodia signed the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement. A new US Embassy was opened in Phnom Penh.

  • 2007: The United States lifted a ban on direct bilateral aid to Cambodia. Two US Navy ships called on Cambodian ports for the first time in thirty years. [End Page 468]



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