in the Wake of Vietnam's Withdrawal: ASEAN Views on Cambodia bbbbbbbT
The six ASEAN countries are increasingly divided over how to deal with the regime in Phnom Penh since Vietnam's troop withdrawal from Cambodia In late September. They no longer speak with one voice on such Issues as support (or tha non-Communist resistance, discouraging trade with the Vietnam-backed regime, and the formambodian settlement. Instead, each country ia now pursuing its own agenda; forcept Singapore this means closer ties to the State of Cambodia (SOC) regime. The pace at which the Individual countries "'improve Iheir relations with Phnom Penh over the next year will depend on developments on the battlarietd. and on economic competition they feel from each other and from Western countries. Japan and South Korea, all of whom are beginningiore me up.rcoped Cambodian rrurkei ^|
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Restarting Diplomatic Talks
Since (he Pans talks. Thailand and.esser extent. Indonesia are the only members of ASEAN whomade any real attemptestart the stalled diplomatic process byetween the four Cameodtan factions.
ASEAN reaction has been mixed to the US-backed initiative to transfer diplomatic momentumambodian solution to the big-power members of the UN Security the USSR. China, and the United States.
However, we believe a
majority of ASEAN states, sensitive to what they perceive as big-power moves to determine the future ol lesser ones, have serious reservations, ifjflfl
The ASEAN emoargo on trade with Vietnam has been weakening rapidly over th< past year and. in our view, is currently more fiction than fact. Each ASEAN country is vying with the others as well as with Japan and South Korea,lice of the Indochina market ddition, the belief is growing, accordingariety of reports, thai the embargo, by hindering economic improvement in Vietnam, exacerbates the Vietnamese refugee problem, impacting particularly on I
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The Pace of Future Change
In our view, the trend toward warmer ties between ASEAN anrj Phnom Penh is likely to continue over the next veer The pace at which relations improve will depend on:
The non-Communist resistance's performance on the battlefield.
SOC military and political resilience
The lead of Thailand.
Chineso support to the Khmer Rouge
Expansion of Vietnam's relations to the West and Japan. I
ASEAN and Western countries increasingly view the Khmer Rouge and Phnom PcntVs armies as the only viable military forces in Cambodia. I
The ASEAN countries will also carefully watch the viability of the government inn. more precarious nowt any time since its establishmentMe alleges corruption Of high Officials.fafHfffBJJHJfBBBJ Is diminishing the regime's domestic popularity, according to reports of recent travelers.
The reimpositionurfew in Phnom Penh and several provincial capitals has further heightened popular concern about the 'cglme's viability, according to press reports.
Other ASEAN countnvs will be watching closely the ieacailand as event;.
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