US Ambassador, Cambodian Defense Minister Meet Following China Sanctions

General Tea Banh downplayed reports that Cambodia is planning to permit a Chinese military presence on its south coast.

Earlier this week, the U.S. ambassador to Cambodia had a meeting with Cambodia’s minister of defense, not long after Washington imposed sanctions against a Chinese firm developing a $3.8 billion resort complex on the country’s coast.

The meeting between Ambassador W. Patrick Murphy and General Tea Banh came after the U.S. Treasury Department’s announcement of sanctions on the Tianjin-based Union Development Group (UDG). The Chinese firm is constructing the Dara Sakor Resort in Koh Kong province.

In May 2008, UDG was granted a 99-year lease to a massive concession spanning 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline.

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