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US Military Official Confirms China Deal to Use Cambodian Naval Base

VOA national security correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this article.CAMP H. M. SMITH, Hawaii - A senior U.S. Indo-Pacific Command officer August 15 confirmed Cambodia and China are proceeding on a base for China's navy in the Southeast Asian country's Preah Sihanouk province. Army Brigadier General Joel B. Vowell said construction would begin next year at Ream Naval Base, confirming to a group of regional journalists here that Cambodia will grant China access to the deep coastal waters on the Gulf of Thailand. "We have information that tells us that there will be some development by the People's Republic of China to facilitate a naval base at Ream," said Vowell, the command's deputy director for strategic planning and policy."So that tells me they want to build something there, facilities to wharf, to house and sustain naval projection of combat power from Ream," he said.Pentagon officials in Washington would not comment on Vowell's remarks.Vowell called China's military extension plans in Cambodia "a big concern" for the U.S. and its allies in the region. The Ream base offers deep-water access to the Gulf of Thailand, which gives ready access to the South China Sea. China claims most of the South China Sea area, where the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan maintain competing claims to its islands and potentially resource-rich waters, now dotted by islands constructed by Beijing.Donald Emmerson, director of the Southeast Asia program at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, said that if China uses the Ream base, it would be "extremely dangerous." The Wall Street Journal first reported the military deal between Cambodia and China in July, saying the arrangement would allow China to use the base for 30 years, with automatic renewals every 10 years, and allow Beijing to build military facilities and buildings on the 100-hectare base. China and Cambodia denied... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, US Military Official Confirms China Deal to Use Cambodian Naval Base, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you US Military Official Confirms China Deal to Use Cambodian Naval Base

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Sunday, 25 August

 

 

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