Phnom Penh (FN), July 25 – Minister of National Defense Tea Banh decided to allow local and foreign media to visit Ream Naval Base near Sihanoukville, according to the spokesperson.
Defense spokesperson Chhum Socheat said the visit of media will clarify the truth to counter fake news and fabricated reports produced by US-based media over the alleged secret agreement, speaking at the press conference “Fake News Harms National Security” held on Thursday morning at the Council of Ministers.
VOA and the Wall Street Journal recently published a fabricated report, 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.
The premier also urged foreign media to stop using distorted news about China’s military presence in Cambodia.
A Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Wu Qian also denounced a fake news published by the Wall Street Journal.
“It 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 on 24 July 2019.