WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on a Chinese state-owned company, accusing it of seizing land in Cambodia from local people for the construction of a development project that media reports have said could be used for military purposes.
The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement it blacklisted the Union Development Group Co Ltd over activities related to construction at the Dara Sakor resort, a project that has included the building of a runway capable of taking some of the world’s biggest planes.
The department said the Chinese government had used the company’s projects in Cambodia to “advance ambitions to project power globally.”
It expressed concern that the Cambodian government spokesperson, Phay Siphan, had said that Dara Sakor could be converted to host military assets.
“A permanent (Chinese) military presence in Cambodia could threaten regional stability and undermine the prospects for the peaceful settlement of disputes, the promotion of maritime safety and security, and the freedom of navigation and overflight,” the statement said.
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