Cambodia Not Transparent About China’s Role in Naval Base Development

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released a survey of new buildings and roads at Ream Naval Base in Cambodia. The results show that construction is continuing “amidst concerns that new facilities are being built to facilitate a Chinese military presence in Cambodia.”

The Washington-based CSIS report on October 12 showed that the changes included three new buildings and a new road being built, during August and September.

To FLY In an email Thursday (15/10), U.S. Embassy Spokesman Chad Roedemeier said that the embassy “received consistent and credible reports that significant construction by the People’s Republic of China continues at Ream Naval Base.”

He added that “Cambodians have a right to know about the project in Ream and have a say in military agreements of this kind, which have long-term implications for their country.” He warned that “any foreign military presence in Ream would be against the Cambodian constitution and undermine regional security.”

Cambodian government spokesman Phay Siphan told Mouab that the CSIS study was false and unfounded. He stressed that the Ream base is not used by China or any other country as its military base. [ka/rs]

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