A Jungle Airstrip Stirs Suspicions About China’s Plans for Cambodia

The Chinese military’s “string of pearls” strategy depends on far-flung regional outposts. Some think Cambodia is becoming one.

The airstrip stretches like a scar through what was once unspoiled Cambodian jungle.

When completed next year on a remote stretch of shoreline, Dara Sakor International Airport will boast the longest runway in Cambodia, complete with the kind of tight turning bay favored by fighter jet pilots. Nearby, workers are clearing trees from a national park to make way for a port deep enough to host naval ships.

The politically connected Chinese company building the airstrip and port says the facilities are for civilian use. But the scale of the land deal at Dara Sakor — which secures 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline for 99 years — has raised eyebrows, especially since the portion of the project built so far is already moldering in malarial jungle.

In full: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/22/world/asia/cambodia-china-military-bases.html

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