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U.S. calls Cambodia opaque over Chinese activity at navy base

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PHNOM PENH, Oct 13 (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday accused Cambodia of missing transparency about Chinese building actions at its largest naval base, and urged the federal government to speak in confidence to its folks the complete scope of Beijing’s army involvement.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Wednesday made public what it stated had been satellite images exhibiting building in August and September of three new buildings and the beginning of a brand new street.

U.S. embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier in a press release stated that any international army presence at Ream would violate Cambodia’s structure and undermine regional safety.

“The government of Cambodia has not been fully transparent about the intent, nature, and scope of this project or the role of the PRC military, which raises concerns about intended use of the naval facility,” he stated, referring to China.

“The Cambodian people deserve to know more about the project at Ream and to have a say in this type of military agreement, which has long term implications for their country.”

Cambodia’s ties with the United States have frayed lately over U.S. allegations its ruling get together is persecuting its opponents, and considerations about China’s rising affect.

A yr in the past, Cambodia stated it had razed a U.S.-funded facility at the Ream naval base to permit for additional growth. The United States stated Cambodia had a yr earlier turned down its supply to restore the base.

Cambodia has repeatedly denied experiences that it’s planning to let China place its forces at the ability.

Such a transfer can be important for China in a area the place the United States has for many years maintained a regional presence by means of bases it as soon as operated or joint workout routines in nations like Thailand and the Philippines.

Phay Siphan, Cambodia’s authorities spokesman, stated Chinese building at Ream was a part of its improvement help.

“Our port is open to all when the construction is finished,” Phay Siphan stated, including that China was not constructing a facility for its army.

“If there are other friends who want to help constructing, we allow and when the construction is finished, we welcome all countries to use it,” he stated.

Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty

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