China-funded naval base in Cambodia nears completion

China-funded naval base in Cambodia nears completion

TENSIONS are rising as Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, funded by China, approaches completion.

The United States fears the facility may serve Chinese military interests, further straining ties between Cambodia and the US.

Cambodian Defense Ministry spokesman, Chhum Socheat, denied claims of foreign military use, insisting that the base aims to modernize Cambodia’s military for protecting territorial integrity.

However, satellite images from Blacksky, a US commercial imagery company, show a 363-meter-long pier at the ream base, raising suspicions among US officials.

Experts, including Craig Singleton from the Foundation for the defense of Democracies, noted striking similarities between the ream base’s pier and a military pier at China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) support base in Djibouti.

These parallels have intensified US concerns that the ream base might be used for accommodating aircraft carriers.

The US has been wary of the Ream base since 2019, following reports of a deal allowing China to dock warships there.

Cambodia’s growing ties with China under long-standing ruler Hun Sen have further fueled apprehensions.

As the Ream naval base nears its inauguration, global attention remains on how it will be utilized.

While Cambodia denies foreign military intentions, US suspicions persist, underscoring the complex geopolitical dynamics in the region.


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