Context: A Chinese base in Cambodia could become a chokepoint in the Gulf of Thailand close to the strategically important Malacca Strait that has prompted global concern that it will be used by Beijing as a naval outpost on the Gulf of Thailand.
- Cambodia’s official described the expansion of the Ream Naval Base as “cooperation between China and Cambodia”
- China and Cambodia have reportedly signed a secret pact allowing China exclusive use of a naval base on the Gulf of Thailand, although officials from both countries have denied such a deal exists.
Ream Naval Base
- Location: Ream Naval Base is a facility operated by the Royal Cambodian Navy on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand in the province of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
- Ream faces the Gulf of Thailand, adjacent to the South China Sea
- This would be china’s second overseas naval foothold, after a base in Djibouti opened in 2017.
- A Chinese base in Cambodia could become a chokepoint in the Gulf of Thailand close to the strategically important Malacca Strait.
- China’s strategic military footprint in Southeast Asia would help it bolster its territorial claims in the disputed South China Sea.
Source: The Hindu