Cambodia Bans US Visits to Ream Naval Base After Sanctions

Prime Minister Hun Sen says the naval base is “not a place for thieves or robbers.”

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has banned U.S. visits to the Ream Naval Base, after Washington imposed sanctions on senior military officials for alleged corrupt practices involving Chinese companies.

The ban is the latest salvo in a growing diplomatic row over the base, its use, and plans by the Chinese military to develop the port. According to a recent survey by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, new buildings and a road are already under construction.

Last month, the U.S. Treasury Department leveled sanctions against two senior Cambodian defense officials, saying they inflated construction costs at the naval base in 2020 and 2021 and then planned to use those funds for their own benefit.

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