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Opinion

China's naval expansionism is natural path for emerging global power

Potential Chinese ports in Cambodia and Pakistan frighten regional rivals

| China
Cambodian Navy sailors stand in formation alongside a Chinese naval patrol boat at Cambodia's Ream Naval Base: China and Cambodia reportedly have signed a secret agreement to create an outpost for Chinese military forces.   © Reuters

China's potential military expansion through bases in Southeast Asia has made headlines in recent weeks. A media report that Beijing might be leasing part of Cambodia's well-situated Ream naval base prompted Prime Minister Hun Sen to denounce the claims as "fake news."

Despite Hun Sen's claims, the overseas reach of China's armed forces is growing. Some may watch the shift in the strategic balance with alarm, but others will recognize that as a major power and economy, China has legitimate reasons to expand its naval presence.

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