Is Cambodia becoming a new flashpoint between China and the US?

Reports of Beijing’s involvement in a Cambodian naval base come after Phnom Penh declined Washington’s offer to repair the port facilities.

Cambodia, the Southeast Asian country that boasts about its ancient temples and a 2000-year old history, is emerging as another flashpoint between China and the United States as the world’s two biggest economies compete for diplomatic and military influence.

The latest development which has raised concerns in Washington is centred around Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base in the port city of Sihanoukville.

A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report published on July 22 claimed that China has signed a secret agreement to lease the base on the Gulf of Thailand where it will install its own navy personnel and warships, ostensibly to restrict US military outreach in times of any conflict.

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