Tags: beijing | southchinasea | beltandroad

WSJ: US Concerned About Secret Deal For Chinese Naval Base In Cambodia

By    |   Sunday, 21 July 2019 04:23 PM

In a secret deal that significantly boosts China’s ability to reinforce its territorial claims and economic interests in the South China Sea by threatening U.S. allies in Southeast Asia, Bejing has signed an agreement allowing its armed forces to use a Cambodian navy base, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

The details of the deal, which was signed this past spring but not revealed, remain unclear. However, it apparently allows Beijing the use of the strategic installation on the Gulf of Thailand and near an airport currently being constructed by a Chinese company for 30 years, with automatic renewals every 10 years.

Although Chinese and Cambodian officials have denied the pact, the U.S. has expressed concern it will harm regional peace and security by providing China with a key site in its quest for a global network of military and dual-use facilities.

Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe recently admitted that Beijing’s "Belt and Road" global infrastructure plan was a way to establish a military foothold within other places worldwide, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

American officials are also concerned that the airport under construction 40 miles away is apparently being built so that jet fighters can quickly take off and land, although the Chinese company building it insists it is for commercial use only, the Journal reported.

Fighters flying from there would be able to hit targets in Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and and a Chinese presence in the area would greatly complicate the ability of the U.S. to come to the aid of Taiwan if Beijing attacked it, an American official said.

U.S. officials are apparently split over Washington’s ability to convince Cambodia to reverse the decision, as China already backs Phnom Penh wiith loans and investment.

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In a secret deal that significantly boosts China's ability to reinforce its territorial claims and economic interests in the South China Sea by threatening U.S. allies in Southeast Asia, Bejing has signed an agreement allowing its armed forces to use a Cambodian navy base,...
beijing, southchinasea, beltandroad
289
2019-23-21
Sunday, 21 July 2019 04:23 PM
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