Cambodia denies new speculation about Chinese base plans

Demolition of US-funded facility on Ream Naval Base prompted questions about possible deal with Beijing.

Cambodia’s government on Monday officially denied suggestions that its demolition of a US-funded facility at one of its naval bases is a signal that China will be granted basing privileges there, saying the work only involves planned infrastructure improvements.

The statement by the National Committee for Maritime Security was in response to recent media reports highlighting new concerns over China’s suspected plans for Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand. The stories were based on satellite photos showing the demolished facility and statements from Cambodian officials.

The committee said its Tactical Command Headquarters, “an operational unit responsible for implementing multi-agency law enforcement” in cooperation with the United States and Australia, had been a temporary structure, and plans were begun in late 2017 to relocate it.

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