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Cambodian leader denies allowing China naval base

July 22, 2019

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has strongly denied allowing China to set up a military outpost in the Southeast Asian nation, after a news report alleged that the two nations signed a secret pact allowing Beijing exclusive use of a naval base on the Gulf of Thailand.

Hun Sen told the pro-government Fresh News website Monday that the report by The Wall Street Journal was “the worst distorted news,” and that Cambodia had never discussed with China setting up a base.

The Journal’s report said an early draft of the reputed agreement would allow China use of the Ream naval base for 30 years, where it would be able to post military personnel, store weapons and berth warships.

China is Cambodia’s biggest investor and closest political partner.

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