Cambodia will not allow foreign military bases on its soil, strongman premier Hun Sen said Monday, swatting away US concerns about a possible Chinese naval site near hotly contested seas.
China has lavished billions of dollars in soft loans, infrastructure and investment on the poor Southeast Asian kingdom, providing Prime Minister Hun Sen with a fast-growing economy that he wields as justification for his 33-year authoritarian rule.
In exchange, Cambodia has been a staunch China ally.
It has seeded disunity among the 10-member ASEAN bloc of Southeast Asian nations over a diplomatic pushback to Beijing’s aggression in the strategically pivotal South China Sea.
Rumours a Chinese naval base is under construction off Cambodia’s southwest coast have been swirling. Read more