China helps build facilities at Cambodian naval base

A ceremony has been held at a Cambodian naval base, where new facilities are being built with Chinese financial support.

Cambodia's defense minister denies that China's military has been using the base. Washington has repeatedly expressed concerns about China's presence there.

Local media say construction will proceed on warehouses and a dock to repair Cambodian navy ships at Ream Naval Base in Sihanoukville.

During the ceremony, Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh stressed his country gets support to boost its defense capabilities not only from China, but other countries as well.

Washington has repeatedly said China's military has been using the base, set in a strategic location near the South China Sea.

Cambodia places high importance on its relationship with China, a provider of investment and support.

The US has stepped up its pressure on Cambodia, imposing sanctions on senior naval and defense officials, and tightening export restrictions.