What’s Happening At Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base?

U.S. assessments of the Chinese role in the base’s refurbishment have shifted subtly over the past year.

Around twelve months ago, the U.S. Defense Department was confident enough in its intelligence to state in its annual “Report on Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China” that the Ream Naval Base in Cambodia “will be the PRC’s first overseas base in the Indo-Pacific.” But give an eye to the Pentagon’s same report for this year, published in late October. There are seven mentions of Cambodia, but not one states that Ream will be a Chinese base. In fact, the Pentagon’s only comments this time are that “in June 2022, a PRC official confirmed that the PLA would have access to parts of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base.”

On the surface, this appears to be something of a climb down, from the entire site being a Chinese overseas base (as the 2022 report implied) to just the PLA having access to parts of it, presumably the parts that Phnom Penh and Beijing have openly admitted that China is rebuilding.

In full: https://thediplomat.com/2023/12/whats-happening-at-cambodias-ream-naval-base/

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