Minister Defends Chinese Development in Koh Kong, Seeks Stronger US Ties

New York – Defense Minister Tea Banh has dismissed concerns that a Chinese development project in Koh Kong province could be used for military purposes, and reiterated Cambodia’s commitment to keeping its territory from being used to host a foreign military base.

Banh, who visited the United States last week, said the development project by Chinese-owned Union Development Group (UDG) in Koh Kong was to serve as an eco-tourism and recreation site only.

“Cambodia doesn’t have anything to hide on the Union Development Group,” Banh told VOA Khmer in an exclusive interview in New York on Friday. “It’s a Chinese private company that has received a land concession for tourism development. They’ve planned to invest billions of dollars for the development if the project goes well, which includes an airport and seaport.”

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