Cambodia’s Government Denies Reports it Will Amend Constitution to Allow Chinese Naval Base

Cambodia’s government on Friday denied reports that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) plans to amend the constitution to allow China to build a naval base in the country, amid growing influence from Beijing in the Southeast Asian nation.

On Jan. 29, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats submitted a Worldwide Threat Assessment to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that warned of Cambodia’s “slide toward autocracy” after its Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in November 2017, paving the way for the CPP to steamroll a general election in July last year.

Such a slide, which the assessment said culminated in the CPP’s retention of power and “complete dominance” of the parliament after it won all 125 seats, “opens the way for a constitutional amendment that could lead to a Chinese military presence in the country.”

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