Cambodia’s China-built runway irks US but locals have other concerns

The rural southwestern province of Koh Kong, previously off the international community’s radar screen, has drawn the global spotlight.

That’s because a massive runway stretching approximately 3,200 meters appeared suddenly at a resort being developed by a Chinese company in this otherwise out-of-the-way province, about a six-hour drive from the nation’s capital.

The U.S. has expressed strong concerns about the possibility of China using the runway for military purposes; Cambodia has flatly denied this will be the case. As the U.S. and China confront each other over trade, security and other issues, residents of the coastal province are watching the situation with mixed feelings.

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Tomoya Onishi