US raises concerns over Chinese construction at Cambodian naval base

Phnom Penh spokesman denies it is a facility for China’s military after American embassy calls for transparency. It comes after a CSIS report says satellite images show three new buildings have gone up and a road is being built.

The US has raised concerns over Chinese construction activities at Cambodia’s biggest naval base after a Washington think tank released satellite images showing what it said were new structures.

Three new buildings went up and a new road was being built at the Ream Naval Base in Sihanoukville province during August and September, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies said on Tuesday, citing satellite images from commercial sources.

The report by the think tank’s Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative also said other areas at the base had been cleared, potentially for more construction. It said the purpose of the construction was unclear and there were “concerns that the new facilities are being built to facilitate a Chinese military presence in Cambodia”.

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