US Expresses Concern Over China Link to Cambodian Base

The United States expressed disappointment Wednesday that Cambodia is tearing down a U.S.-funded building used for a maritime security program, and voiced concern that the action may be linked to the possible use of a Cambodian naval base by China’s military.

“Such a military presence would negatively impact the U.S.-Cambodia bilateral relationship and be disruptive and destabilizing to the Indo-Pacific region,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement distributed Wednesday by the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.

Controversy over the Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand erupted more than a year ago when The Wall Street Journal reported that an early draft of a reputed agreement seen by U.S. officials would allow China 30-year use of the base, where it would be able to post-military personnel, store weapons, and berth warships.

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