China may be on a spy infrastructure-building spree in Myanmar and Cambodia, deftly leveraging these countries’ security and economic troubles to advance its geopolitical interests.
This month, Economic Times reported that satellite imagery from US-based Maxar Technologies showed renewed construction activities on Myanmar’s Great Coco Island, including a freshly-lengthened 2,300-meter runway. The report also mentions other signs of increased military activity in recent months, such as the construction of hangars and a radar station.
It says these activities have led to suspicions that China is behind the infrastructure buildup, turning Coco Island into its listening post in the Indian Ocean, although this has not been proven. Beijing has cultivated good ties with Myanmar’s coup-installed junta at a time Western nations have sanctioned the regime.