South China Sea: Beijing on collision course with US after investing $300m in Cambodia

China’s agreement to invest almost $300million in Cambodia, a deal which will give it an important military foothold in the region and access the strategically important Gulf of Thailand, has put it on a collision course with the United States and Australia.

Beijing’s move was swiftly followed by an announcement by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison that his country would be investing £280 million in efforts aiming at fighting climate change and “disaster resilience in the Pacific”. Analysts have suggested the decision was the result of pressure by Washington to counter Chinese influence in the South China Sea, where Beijing has built numerous military installations in recent years.

The agreement between China and Cambodia will see the Beijing invest $290million to expand its presence in the south-east Asian country.

Under the terms of the deal, China will get access to a Cambodian naval base, plus the rights to invest in a base located in the Gulf.

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