Phnom Penh (FN), July 29 – Prime Minister Hun Sen asked the United States to explain the intention of accusing Cambodia of hosting the Chinese military base, speaking during his visit to the new stadium Morodok Techo National Stadium on Monday.
The premier informed the compatriots that the baseless accusations made by the Americans have made Cambodia and other countries suffer the wars tremendously.
“Before the 1970 coup, you [Americans] accused Cambodia of hosting Vietnamese troops. Then you ousted His Majesty King Father Norodom Sihanouk. You also accused Iraq of Weapons of Mass Destruction. After you attacked Iraq, where were the WMDs? Many people died in Iraq,” the premier stated.
Prime Minister asked the US whether the baseless accusations made recently have the intention like in 1970. He reiterated that there is no reasons for Cambodia-China to sign a secret deal.
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.
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.
Defense spokesperson Chhum Socheat led a big group of 73 journalists to conduct fact-finding mission to the kingdom’s Ream Naval Base on 26 July 2019.
Besides Fresh News, there are representatives of AP, Reuters, Kyodo News, VOA, Cambodia China Times, AFP, Xinhua, Cambodia China Friendship Radio, and Japanese TV.
Media representatives confirmed shortly after visit that there is no presences of Chinese armed forces at Ream Naval Base.
“What the western media published was politically motivated and a falsified truth about Cambodia,” they said.
Answering a question from Fresh News reporter whether China needs to setup military base in the kingdom, Puy Kea stated that, “China does not need Cambodia’s military base, as they already possesses a huge base in the South China Sea of Southeast Asia.”
“It is a very small waterway here at Ream of Cambodia and that the water is too shallow for the Chinese navy to navigate,” he added.
Ouk Seyha, commander of Ream Naval Base said the coast of Ream Naval Base is just more than one kilometer and the water is between six and seven meters deep.