Spreading influence: On Realm naval base and Kra Canal

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  1. Recently, there have been reports that China and Cambodia have signed a secret agreement that allows China exclusive use of the Realm naval base on the Gulf of Thailand. However, both China and Cambodia have denied such speculations.
  2. According to reports, China will use the base for 30 years, with automatic renewals every 10 years after that.
  3. China would be able to station military personnel, store weapons and berth warships at the facility.
  4. Realm Naval base will be China’s first dedicated naval staging facility in South East Asia.
  5. China has had also signed an agreement with Thailand to build Kra canal across the Kra Isthmus in southern Thailand. The Kra canal would connect the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea.
  6. Kra Canal will offer an alternative route to China by surpassing the overcrowded Strait of Malacca.