Chinese warships have been docked in Cambodia for 5 months, but government says it’s not permanent

Cambodia’s Defense Ministry insisted Wednesday that the months-long presence of two Chinese warships in a strategically important naval base that is being newly expanded with funding from Beijing does not constitute a permanent deployment of the Chinese military in the country.

Questions had arisen after the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported last month that two Chinese corvettes that docked at the Ream Naval Base’s new pier in December had maintained a nearly permanent presence there since.

Current satellite images, analyzed by The Associated Press, confirm that the two ships remained there on Wednesday, more than five months since they initially appeared.

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