Phnom Penh (FN), July 25 – Cambodian government spokesperson Phay Siphan stated Thursday that Cambodia will not sue the US-based media Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which fabricated information about Chinese armed forces in Cambodia.
Speaking at the press conference held on Thursday morning at the Council of Ministers, Siphan stated that: “Cambodia will not sue WSJ. We will just publish the truth through our local medias [to counter fake news].”
The statement came after foreign medias, including VOA and Wall Street Journal, published a fabricated reports, baselessly accusing the kingdom of signing secret deal with China over the use of military base at the kingdom’s coastal province.
“China has signed an agreement with Cambodia granting its military exclusive use of part of the Ream naval base near Sihanoukville,” according to WSJ’s article on 21 July 2019.
“Some details of the final deal were unclear, the officials said, but an early draft, seen by US officials, would allow China to use the base for 30 years, with automatic renewals every 10 years after that. China would be able to post military personnel, store weapons and berth warships, according to the draft,” it added.
In response to such fake news and fabricated reports, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced through Fresh News on 22 July 2019 that the report on “Cambodia-China signing deal to use military base in the kingdom” is the worst form of fabricated news against Cambodia.
“It was the worst fabricated news against us. No such thing happens. Foreign military base is against Cambodia’s constitution,” Prime Minister told Fresh News CEO Lim Chea Vutha in an interview.
“We have never discussed such matter [setting up foreign military base] with Beijing, let alone an agreement reached,” he clarified.
The premier also urged that. “It’s time to stop using distorted news about China’s military presence in Cambodia against us.”
A Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Wu Qian denounced a fake news published by the Wall Street Journal “It [Saying China is building Chinese military base in Cambodia] is a fake news and fabricated reports. China and Cambodia only have cooperation on military trainings and logistic supports and that such bilateral cooperation does not target any third country,” Wu Qian addressed to the press.
A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told the US’s medias not to over-interpret the good cooperation of China-Cambodia.
“As traditional friendly neighbors, China and Cambodia have conducted cooperation across the board. Our cooperation is open, transparent, equal, and mutually beneficial. We hope this will not be over-interpreted,” Geng stated.