On October 7, Cambodian President Hun Sen said that Cambodian naval bases are not only the exclusive use of China. “Other countries can also ask for permission to dock ships, re-fuel or hold (joint) exercises with Cambodia,” Hun Sen said in a speech at the opening ceremony of a Chinese-owned theme park near the capital Phnom Penh. He made the statement over apprehensions that China has been given exclusive right to China to use Ream naval base.
“On access to Ream naval base, I wish to declare that we welcome ships from all countries including the USA, France, Canada, India, UK, Japan, Australia, and not just from China, to make port call or to participate in joint exercises with Cambodia. It is baseless to assert that Cambodia has given China 50 to 90 year’s exclusive rights to the base”, Sen said.
Sen reaffirmed “Cambodia’s commitment to an independent, neutral and non-aligned policy. “If one foreign navy ship can make a port visit here, then ships from other countries can do the same”, he said.