US, Vietnam fear China-backed Techo Funan Canal in Cambodia could be used for military purposes

The US urged greater transparency from Cambodia over the US$1.7 billion project that analysts say could be used to boost China’s military presence in Phnom Penh.

The latest China-funded infrastructure project in Washington’s cross hairs is a proposed canal in Cambodia.

The US is urging greater transparency from Cambodia over a planned US$1.7 billion canal that observers say could be used to bolster China’s military presence in the Southeast Asian nation, posing a potential security threat to regional neighbours like Vietnam.

Spanning some 180km (111.85 miles) from Phnom Penh to the coastal province of Kep, construction on the Techo Funan Canal is slated to begin later this year after the state-owned China Bridge and Road Corporation landed a deal to develop it during a Belt and Road Initiative summit in October.

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