U.S. calls Cambodia opaque over Chinese activity at navy base

Via:  Buzz of the Orient  •  2 months ago  •  3 comments

By:   Prak Chan Thul REUTERS

U.S. calls Cambodia opaque over Chinese activity at navy base

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U.S. calls Cambodia opaque over Chinese activity at navy base

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday accused Cambodia of lacking transparency about Chinese construction activities at its biggest naval base, and urged the government to disclose to its people the full scope of Beijing's military involvement.


© Reuters/SAMRANG PRING  FILE PHOTO: Sailors stand guard at the Cambodian Ream Naval Base in Sihanoukville

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Wednesday made public what it said were satellite images https://bit.ly/2YK7bUW showing construction in August and September of three new buildings and the start of a new road.

U.S. embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier in a statement said that any foreign military presence at Ream would violate Cambodia's constitution and undermine regional security.

"The government of Cambodia has not been fully transparent about the intent, nature, and scope of this project or the role of the PRC military, which raises concerns about intended use of the naval facility," he said, referring to China.

"The Cambodian people deserve to know more about the project at Ream and to have a say in this type of military agreement, which has long term implications for their country."

Cambodia's ties with the United States have frayed in recent years over U.S. allegations its ruling party is persecuting its opponents, and concerns about China's growing influence.

A year ago, Cambodia said it had razed a U.S.-funded facility at the Ream naval base to allow for further expansion. The United States said Cambodia had a year earlier turned down its offer to repair the base.

Cambodia has repeatedly denied reports that it is planning to let China place its forces at the facility.

Such a move would be significant for China in a region where the United States has for decades maintained a regional presence through bases it once operated or joint exercises in countries like Thailand and the Philippines.

Phay Siphan, Cambodia's government spokesman, said Chinese construction at Ream was part of its development assistance.

"Our port is open to all when the construction is finished," Phay Siphan said, adding that China was not building a facility for its military.

"If there are other friends who want to help constructing, we allow and when the construction is finished, we welcome all countries to use it," he said.

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty)


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Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

Satellite photos show more construction at military base where US has 'serious concerns' about China's presence

  • Cambodia appears to have continued construction at its Ream naval base in August and September.
  • The work worries the US government, which suspects it may be preparation for China's military to use the base.
  • Cambodia's government has said little about the intent of the work, reflecting frustration with US policy there.

Cambodia continued construction work at its Ream naval base in August and September, advancing projects that the US suspects could support a Chinese military presence in a strategically valuable corner of Southeast Asia.

I'm somewhat amused by the fact that America, with 800 military bases around the world, is worried about China possibly having a military base in Cambodia.

The United States Probably Has More Foreign Military Bases Than Any Other People, Nation, or Empire in History

PhD Quiet
1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1    2 months ago

You are correct. We have military bases all over the world.

None of which means anyone outside of the CCCP wants to see the Chinese expanding their military influence in the area. The CCCP does not play nice with others.

Try asking Cambodia's neighbors if they are thrilled with the new Chinese presence? 

This should make the US military/industrial complex happy at least. Look for the Philippines & Thailand to get massive new agreements to buy US weapons.  

Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1.1  seeder  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Ronin2 @1.1    2 months ago

Maybe China should be thanked for helping keep the American economy afloat, funded by the military/industrial complex's sales to China's neighbours.  s/   LOL


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