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Asia Insight

China's Belt and Road ports raise red flags over military plans

Cambodia shows how Beijing's 'string of pearls' threatens US ties

SHAUN TURTON, Contributing writer | Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos

SIHANOUKVILLE, Cambodia -- As a military installation, Ream Naval Base on Cambodia's southwestern coast is not much to behold. At least, not yet.

Moored to its concrete pier, which was refurbished four years ago with funds from the U.S. military, four Soviet-era Stenka patrol boats and several small Chinese-made vessels comprise most of the Royal Cambodian Navy's coastal fleet. Some of the boats are not seaworthy and at least one navy craft has been spotted hauling construction materials for commercial developments on nearby islands in the Gulf of Thailand.

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