Cambodia breaks ground on China-funded Ream Naval Base expansion

Officials again deny site will be used by People's Liberation Army.

Cambodian and Chinese officials broke ground on a Beijing-funded expansion of Ream Naval Base on Wednesday, using the occasion to again reject reports the site will be used by China’s military.

Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh presided over the ceremony, which was also attended by Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian. Defense attaches from several embassies were also present at the base in the south of the country.

Banh thanked China for financing the upgrade, saying the expansion would help “level up” Cambodia’s naval capacity and dismissed what he called “speculation” about a deal to allow China exclusive rights to part of the site.

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