With Chinese warships anchoring in Cambodia, the US needs to respond

The recent mooring of Chinese warships at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base marked the unofficial inauguration of China’s first overseas naval post in the Indo-Pacific region and only its second overall. These latest deployments, which demand a robust American government response, signal how China plans to leverage its expanding global military footprint to thwart U.S. forces from intervening in a Taiwan crisis.

For years, Chinese and Cambodian officials insisted that refurbishments at Ream Naval Base — a deep-water facility located along the coast of the Gulf of Thailand — were never intended to accommodate Chinese military vessels. But those denials evaporated when Chinese corvettes docked at Ream Naval Base, which now boasts a near-replica of the 363-meter-long pier installed at China’s only other overseas naval base in Djibouti.

Both piers are large enough to berth any ship in China’s fast-growing naval force, including its new, approximately 300-meter-long Type 003 Fujian aircraft carrier, which will undergo sea trials this year. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy’s fleet is almost half the size it was 40 years ago.

In full: https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/2024/05/03/with-chinese-warships-anchoring-in-cambodia-the-us-needs-to-respond/

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