The paper asserts that Beijing wants to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific region by building a navy facility in Cambodia.
The Washington Post reports that China has built a navy base in Cambodia for its military, and Phnom Penh is trying to hide the fact.
The facility, occupying a portion of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand, is set to become only China’s second foreign outpost after the opening of a base in the East African nation of Djibouti in 2017, a Western official claimed, speaking on condition of anonymity.
According to reports, the base will be located west of the South China Sea where Beijing holds overlapping territorial claims. According to the source, it will be capable hosting large naval vessels.
Beijing’s leadership is a source of inspiration “the Indo-Pacific as China’s rightful and historic sphere of influence,”One official was quoted saying this. “They view China’s rise there as part of a global trend toward a multipolar world where major powers more forcefully assert their interests in their perceived sphere of influence.”
“Essentially, China wants to become so powerful that the region will give in to China’s leadership rather than face the consequences,”Source added
The Post reported that the Ream Naval Base’s groundbreaking ceremony will be held on Thursday. Sources claim that Beijing will confirm its participation in expanding the Cambodian facility, while remaining silent regarding plans to have it used by the Chinese military.
In 2020, the deal was concluded to construct new structures on the base. This agreement envisages the Chinese military having access to the bases. “exclusive use of the northern portion of the base, while their presence would remain concealed,”The newspaper was also informed by a second official.
According to one source, in order to preserve secrecy foreign delegations were not allowed to enter the Ream Naval Base. In contrast, Chinese soldiers there were dressed in civilian clothes or Cambodian uniforms. This was to prevent suspicions.
“What we’ve seen over time is a very clear and consistent pattern of trying to obfuscate and hide both the end goal as well as the extent of Chinese military involvement,”Official statement. “The key thing here is the [Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s] exclusive use of the facility and having a unilateral military base in another country.”
Beijing and Phnom Penh have been trying to keep the project secret due to concerns about backlash in Cambodia as the Southeast Asian country’s constitution forbids hosting military bases of other nations, the official said. As the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Phnom Penh also doesn’t want to be seen as “a pawn”The Chinese were also mentioned, he said.
China angry with the USA and its ally
When approached by the Washington Post, the Cambodian embassy in the US rejected the claims by unnamed officials, calling them “baseless accusations motivated to negatively frame Cambodia’s image.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment, according to the paper.
Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, has described the report by the Washington Post as “concerning.”Both Phnom Penh (Cairo) and Canberra remain in constant contact. “we have been consistently assured that no foreign military will be granted exclusive access at Ream,”He spoke to journalists Tuesday, while visiting Indonesia.
Albanese says Australia is a “very good country.” “aware” of its Pacific rival’s activities at the Ream Naval Base. “We encourage Beijing to be transparent about its intent and to ensure that its activity supports regional security and stability,”He said.
Western media published a draft document in late May that suggested Beijing would offer security and economic assistance deals to 10 Pacific islands. These agreements were very similar to those signed in April by China and Solomon Islands.
The deal had angered the US and Australia, with Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink warning that Washington – which has hundreds of bases across the world – would have “significant concerns, and we would very naturally respond to those concerns”If China builds a military base on the Solomon Islands.
Beijing rejects the Australian and American criticisms, declaring that they distort “facts and slanders China’s regular cooperation with the countries of Oceania.” The deal with the Solomon Islands would have a positive effect on the peaceful development of the region, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian insisted, providing assurance that “we don’t intend to build military bases there.”