China digging Cambodia a deep-water naval base

Satellite imagery shows Chinese dredgers working at Ream Naval Base in an expansion that could open the way for Chinese warships to dock.

The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) recently released satellite imagery of Chinese dredging work at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base to enable the docking of larger vessels, a move that jibes with reports that Beijing has been granted exclusive access to the strategically situated base.

Cambodian officials have confirmed that China is funding the dredging project, and acknowledged that it has funded a host of other infrastructure improvements at the military facility.

The imagery shows two clamshell dredgers just off the coast of Ream accompanied by barges for collecting the dredged sands, according to ATMI, a unit of the influential Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) think tank in Washington DC. The dredgers first arrived between January 13-15 and have since remained fixed in their positions, the ATMI report said.

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