China and Cambodia break ground at naval base in show of ‘iron-clad’ relations
Chinese and Cambodian officials broke ground on a Chinese funded upgrade of a naval base in the southern region of Cambodia on Wednesday. Beijing referred to the military cooperation between the countries as an iron clad partnership. The project at the Ream Naval Base will use grant funding from China to renovate.
This move by China comes during Western concern that Beijing is looking for a military outpost at the Gulf of Thailand facility. Cambodian Defense MInister Tea Banh reassured people that the Cambodian constitution bans foreign military bases on their territory and that the nation is allowed to have development assistance from other countries. The base is being upgraded to protect the country’s sovereignty and the Chinese Ambassador Want Wentian stressed that the upgrade of the base is not directed at a third party.