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Defence Spokesperson Addresses Reports on Chinese Naval Presence at Ream Naval Base

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 4, 2024 – Chhum Socheat, Spokesperson and Secretary of State at the Ministry of National Defence, has responded to recent reports concerning the presence of Chinese naval vessels at Cambodia's Ream Naval Base. Contrary to claims published on July 1 by The Wall Street Journal, Socheat clarified that the Chinese vessels have not been docked at the base for over six months as alleged.

Socheat explained that the recently arrived Chinese vessels are simply replacements for others that had previously departed, affirming that their presence is part of a bilateral agreement between Cambodia and China aimed at technical capacity building within the naval forces.

Additionally, he strongly refuted claims of separate sections at the Ream Naval Base designated for Chinese and Cambodian vessels, describing such reports as "groundless, politicised, and misleading."

Socheat also noted that certain areas of the naval base are currently under construction, with entry restricted in line with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s regulations.

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