Phnom Penh (FN), Jun. 2 – Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh told Fresh News on Wednesday that China has assisted Cambodia to develop Ream Port. Banh said upgrading the port is no strings attached aids. The port solely belongs to Cambodia and that China will not have exclusive control over the port.

“Development of Ream Port allows Cambodian maritime sector has a suitable settlement, a shipyard, and a wharf. It is clear that today, no shipyard were built due to low sea level. Therefore, China voluntarily gives a hand. Cambodia is very grateful,” the defense minister underlined.

Every naval base needed infrastructure. The development of Ream Port cannot be done with low budget.

“Cambodia could not afford to spend by her own, so China lends us a helping hand,” he said.

The construction of Ream Port has begun and China is sending construction materials. Cambodia will use it for her own national development and that the port will not be controlled by China.

The minister’s confirmation came after several US media outlets accused Cambodia for allowing China to set up military bases on her territory. Cambodia has repeatedly denied the claim as the Cambodian government firmly adheres to the principles of independence and neutrality enshrined in the Constitution, which strictly forbids the presence of any foreign military base in the Kingdom.

"Does Cambodia have the right to seek help to develop her own country? Cambodian Constitution clearly states that Cambodia reserves the right to receive foreign assistance in military equipment, armaments, ammunition, in training of its armed forces, and other assistance for self-defense and to maintain public order and security within its territory,” Minister Tea Banh reiterated.

The broadcast that said Cambodia handed over the port of Ream to China exclusively was a childish talk. Our constitution make it clear that Cambodia shall not permit any foreign military base on its territory and shall not have its own military base abroad, except within the framework of a United Nations request. We have repeatedly told them our constitution, yet they do not use their ears to listen.