Cambodia, China hold joint naval drill as U.S. eyes Beijing’s clout

Cambodia conducted a maritime drill with China on Monday off its coast in the southwest, amid U.S. concerns that Beijing could use a Cambodian naval base to expand its influence in the region.


The maritime drill, conducted as part of a joint military exercise called “Golden Dragon 2024,” was joined by two Chinese ships that have been docked at the Ream Naval Base, which is being upgraded with Chinese financial assistance, since last December.

Gen. Ith Sarath, chief of joint staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said the maritime drill was conducted to expand relations, strengthen the capacity of their armed forces and exchange experience, noting, “This drill is not at all threatening any country.”

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