BEIJING, June 30 -- "Certain media have been continuously hyping up the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Cambodia with ulterior motive," said Senior Colonel Tan Kefei, a spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense, at a regular press conference on Thursday.
Senior Colonel Tan Kefei made the remarks when being asked to comment on foreign media's report that an official from the US Department of Defense claimed that Cambodia has authorized the Chinese military the exclusive right to use some facilities at the Ream Naval Base, which "shows an extraordinary lack of transparency", as he put it. The official also claimed that China plans to enhance its military projection capability by building a global network of bases, monitor the operations of American troops and deter America's overseas bases.
"China and Cambodia are comprehensive strategic partners, and their cooperation in all areas is open, transparent and legitimate," said the spokesperson, adding that on June 8, the upgrade and renovation project of Ream Naval Base, an aid project undertaken by China, officially kicked off.
He continued that the project is the result of mutual respect and equal consultation between the two countries, and a symbol of the iron-clad friendship between their militaries. It complies with the domestic laws of both countries, the relevant international law, and the international practices, and it is not against any third party. The Cambodian Defense Ministry has also released news, saying that the renovation of Ream Naval Base is to enhance the Cambodian Navy's capability of protecting the integrity of its territorial waters and combating crimes on the sea. The spokesperson stressed that China always takes it as its duty to preserve regional and global peace and stability, whereas certain people from certain countries always think of others with biased mindsets. No wonder they see everything as lacking in transparency and they are always suspicious that others take everything against them. "We urge these people to stop making irresponsible remarks, stop hyping up the so-called military threats from China, and do more to preserve regional peace and stability", he added.