The Ream base is strategically positioned within the Gulf of Thailand, offering prepared entry to the fiercely contested South China Sea — a key international delivery route.
Beijing claims nearly all of the resource-rich sea — vying with six different international locations.
“Different international locations also can ask for permission to dock ships, re-fuel or maintain (joint) workouts with Cambodia,” Hun Sen mentioned in a speech on the opening ceremony of a Chinese language-owned theme park close to the capital Phnom Penh.
Satellite tv for pc pictures launched by a Washington-based assume tank final week confirmed a US-funded tactical naval headquarters on Cambodia’s southern coast had been demolished.
An American embassy spokesman informed AFP Wednesday that the US was “upset” by the transfer, including the bottom had been an indication of US-Cambodia relations and was solely seven years previous.
“We’ve issues that razing the ability could also be tied to plans for internet hosting Individuals’s Republic of China army property and personnel at Ream Naval Base.”
Such a army presence “would negatively influence the US-Cambodia bilateral relationship and be disruptive and destabilizing to the Indo-Pacific area,” the spokesman warned.
The Wall Avenue Journal final 12 months reported on a secret draft deal permitting China to dock warships on the Ream base.
The Cambodian authorities in June denied this and maintained its overseas coverage was unbiased.
Cambodia mentioned the ability was merely being relocated about 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of Ream because it had outgrown the previous web site.
Hun Sen has repeatedly insisted Cambodia’s structure forbids any overseas army base inside its borders.
Lately, he has tilted away from the US after Washington’s criticism of alleged abuses by his authorities.