China suspected of building aircraft carrier base in Cambodia

Satellite images of Ream Naval Base show new pier capable of accommodating one of China’s carriers.

China may have built its second overseas military facility, this one in Cambodia, centered on a pier that can host one of its aircraft carriers, enabling power projection and helping to resolve its “Malacca Dilemma.”

This month, Nikkei reported that China had made significant progress on building a naval base in Cambodia and was close to completing a pier that could berth an aircraft carrier. That report said that satellite images taken by BlackSky, a US commercial imagery company monitoring the construction at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, shows a nearly complete pier that closely resembles China’s pier at its only acknowledged overseas base in Djibouti.

In April, Asia Times reported China’s construction of an air defense center and expanded radar system near Ream Naval Base. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen allocated 157 hectares for the project in September 2022, and an additional 30 hectares were earmarked for a naval radar system.

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