BEIJING, June 7. /TASS/. The US government is fabricating false information about China's construction of a military base in Cambodia to put pressure on the country's authorities, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian commented on relevant media reports at a briefing on Tuesday.
"As far as I know, Cambodia has already commented on these reports. Cambodia has indicated that its constitution does not allow the construction of foreign military bases on its territory," Zhao Lijian pointed out. "The US is ignoring the Cambodian side's position, making malicious speculation, denigrating it, even threatening and pressuring this country. This is classic psychological terror," the diplomat said. He noted that China and Cambodia are partners, and their cooperation is transparent and rational.
"The US has 800 bases overseas, and its military budget is roughly equal to the defense spending of the next nine countries combined," the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman added. "The US interferes in the internal affairs of other countries on every occasion, and its warplanes and ships rattle the saber on other countries' doorsteps. Who then, after all, is harming the global and regional security and stability, who is spreading false information? Everybody knows that," Zhao Lijian summarized.
The Washington Post reported on Monday, citing its own sources, that China is secretly building a facility for its Navy in Cambodia. According to the newspaper, both countries are trying to hide this information. The newspaper also points out that China expects to maintain a presence in the northern part of Cambodia's Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand. According to the Washington Post, the groundbreaking, which is to be attended by the representatives from both countries, will be held on Thursday. It will mark the beginning of renovation and expansion of the base, part of which only China will use.
The Wall Street Journal reported in 2019, citing sources, that China and Cambodia had signed a secret agreement that gives the PRC military the exclusive right to use the Ream base for 30 years. According to the Washington Post, a Chinese official confirmed to the publication late last week that the PRC military and scientists would use part of the base.
China's only overseas military base is in Djibouti.