Speculation has been rife over Cambodia’s alleged agreement to grant China exclusive access to a naval base in Preah Sihanouk province. The move reported in a Wall Street Journal article and confirmed by a senior U.S. military official is the latest move in the geopolitical tussle involving Cambodia, China and the U.S.
As regional and Western countries press Cambodia to clarify these claims, the Cambodian and Chinese governments have been quick to deny the reports, the former qualifying it as “fake news” and an attempt to disrupt bilateral ties with Asian economic powerhouse.
In an interview with VOA Mandarin, General Chhum Socheat categorically denied any secret agreement with China to lease the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province, pointing to constitutional restrictions to making such a deal.
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