By: Denise Simon | Founders Code
Beyond the traditional trade talks between the U.S. Trade Representative and envoy with Beijing, there are complicating factors that enter into the debates and it is generally dealing with military aggression and espionage. So consider the following items:
1. New Delhi: China has recently leased vast tracts of land along the coast of the Koh Kong province of Cambodia to turn into a seaside resort. An area of 45,000 hectares — 20 percent of the coastline — has been leased for 40 years for a paltry annual rent of US $1 million. A Chinese private company called Union Development Group (UDG) is undertaking the project, named the Dara Sakor Seashore Resort Long Term Project.
However, there has also been increased military cooperation between Beijing and Phnom Penh, and the US has raised concerns, with Vice-President Mike Pence writing to Cambodian PM Hun Sen that these facilities could be put to military use.
Paul Chambers, professor of international affairs at the Naresuan University in Thailand, has claimed that senior Cambodian officials privately admitted that Hun Sen was considering approving a Chinese naval base at Kiri Sakor.
Hun Sen has claimed there are no foreign troops on Cambodian soil, but China has been accused of using debt traps to get its way. And according to satellite imagery accessed by ThePrint, there is a real possibility of the resort project currently under construction turning into a Chinese military base.