Chủ Nhật, Tháng Tư 21, 2024
Google search engine
HomeSorted by levelC1 - AdvancedA jungle airstrip stirs suspicions about China’s plans for Cambodia

A jungle airstrip stirs suspicions about China’s plans for Cambodia

[Reading level: C1 – Advanced]

The Chinese military’s “string of pearls” strategy depends on far-flung regional outposts. Some think Cambodia is becoming one.

 

The airstrip stretches like a scar through what was once unspoiled Cambodian jungle.

 

When completed next year on a remote stretch of shoreline, Dara Sakor International Airport will boast the longest runway in Cambodia, complete with the kind of tight turning bay favored by fighter jet pilots. Nearby, workers are clearing trees from a national park to make way for a port deep enough to host naval ships.

 

The politically connected Chinese company building the airstrip and port says the facilities are for civilian use. But the scale of the land deal at Dara Sakor — which secures 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline for 99 years — has raised eyebrows, especially since the portion of the project built so far is already moldering in malarial jungle.

 

“Why would the Chinese show up in the middle of a jungle to build a runway?” said Sophal Ear, a political scientist at Occidental College in Los Angeles. “This will allow China to project its air power through the region, and it changes the whole game.”

 

Down the coast from Dara Sakor, American military officials say, China has reached a deal for exclusive rights to expand an existing Cambodian naval base, even as Beijing denies military intentions in the country.

 

“We are concerned that the runway and port facilities at Dara Sakor are being constructed on a scale that would be useful for military purposes and which greatly exceed current and projected infrastructure needs for commercial activity,” Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, said by email.

 

“Any steps by the Cambodian government to invite a foreign military presence,” Colonel Eastburn added, “would disturb peace and stability in Southeast Asia.”

 

An American intelligence report published this year raised the possibility that “Cambodia’s slide toward autocracy,” as Mr. Hun Sen tightens his 34-year grip on power, “could lead to a Chinese military presence in the country.”

 

Mr. Hun Sen denies that he is letting China’s military set up in Cambodia. Instead, his government claims that Dara Sakor’s runway and port will transform this remote rainforest into a global logistics hub that will “make miracles possible,” as Dara Sakor’s promotional literature puts it.

 

“There will be no Chinese military in Cambodia, none at all, and to say that is a fabrication,” said Pay Siphan, a government spokesman. “Maybe the white people want to hold Cambodia back by stopping us from developing our economy.”

 

An unusual land deal – Một thỏa thuận đất đai bất thường

In July, armed men in military uniforms arrived at the wooden house of Thim Lim, a fisherman who lives in Cambodia’s largest national park.

 

Leave, they demanded.

 

Mr. Thim Lim said he was told by officials from the Ministry of Land Management that his home would be demolished next year to make way for a “military port built by the Chinese.”

 

“China is so big that it can do what it wants to do,” Mr. Thim Lim said.

 

Mr. Thim Lim’s land is part of the Dara Sakor concession leased more than a decade ago to Union Development Group, an obscure Chinese company with no international footprint apart from its 110,000-acre Cambodian acquisition.

 

The deal was questionable from its inception. With no open bidding process, Union Development was handed a 99-year lease on a concession triple the size of what Cambodia’s land law allows. The company was exempted from any lease payments for a decade.

 

Even with generous lease terms, the one part of Dara Sakor that has been built, a resort complex, is languishing. On a recent day, the golf course was empty and the casino was deserted. The marina restaurant attracted one Chinese family, which had brought seafood in a plastic bag to avoid paying resort prices.

 

Instead of retreating from a faltering venture, Union Development has doubled down. The new construction at Dara Sakor includes a 10,500-foot runway and a deep-sea port able to handle 10,000-ton vessels.

 

Who controls the venture remains opaque.

 

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/22/world/asia/cambodia-china-military-bases.html

WORD BANK:

outpost /ˈaʊt.pəʊst/ (n): tiền đồn

stretch /stretʃ/ [B2] (v): trải dài

scar /skɑːr/ [B2] (n): vết sẹo

unspoiled /ʌnˈspɔɪld/ [C1] (adj): hoang sơ

boast /bəʊst/ [B2] (v): tự hào

civilian /sɪˈvɪl.jən/ [C2] (adj): thuộc về dân sự

raise eyebrows (idiom): khiến người ta ngạc nhiên

moldering /ˈməʊl.də.rɪŋ/ (adj): mốc meo, không được dùng tới

malarial /məˈleə.ri.əl/ (adj): thuộc về bệnh sốt rét

exclusive rights /ɪkˈskluː.sɪv rɑɪts/ (n): độc quyền

exceed /ɪkˈsiːd/ [C1] (v): vượt quá

projected /prəˈdʒek.tɪd/ (adj): dự kiến

Lt. Col. (lieutenant colonel) /lefˈten.ənt ˈkɜː.nəl/: trung tá

intelligence /ɪnˈtel.ɪ.dʒəns/ [B2] (n): tình báo

slide /slaɪd/ (n): bước trượt dài (về hướng tiêu cực)

autocracy /ɔːˈtɒk.rə.si/ (n): chế độ chuyên chế

grip on power (n): sư nắm giữ quyền lực

hub /hʌb/ (n): trung tâm

miracle /ˈmɪr.ə.kəl/ [B2] (n): phép màu

promotional literature (n): lời quảng cáo

fabrication /ˌfæb·rɪˈkeɪ·ʃən/ (n): sự bịa đặt

concession /kənˈseʃ.ən/ (n): hợp đồng thuê tô giới

lease /liːs/ (v): cho thuê (đất, xe, thiết bị)

obscure /əbˈskjʊər/ (adj): mù mờ

footprint /ˈfʊt.prɪnt/ (n): dấu chân

from inception /ɪnˈsep.ʃən/ (adv): ngay từ đầu

bid /bɪd/ [C2] (n): đấu thầu

exempt /ɪɡˈzempt/ (v): miễn

languishing /ˈlæŋ.ɡwɪʃ.ɪŋ/ (adj): mòn mỏi

deserted /dɪˈzɜː.tɪd/ [C1] (adj): bỏ hoang

marina /məˈriː.nə/ (n): bến du thuyền

retreat /rɪˈtriːt/ [C2] (v): rút lui

faltering /ˈfɒl.tər.ɪŋ/ (adj): thất bại

venture /ˈven.tʃər/ [C2] (n): khoản đầu tư

double down /ˈdʌb.əl/ (v): đặt cược gấp đôi

opaque /əʊˈpeɪk/ (adj): mờ đục


NG HỘ READ TO LEAD!

Chào bạn! Có thể bạn chưa biết, Read to Lead là một trang giáo dục phi lợi nhuận với mục đích góp phần phát triển cộng đồng người học tiếng Anh tại Việt Nam. Chúng tôi không yêu cầu người đọc phải trả bất kỳ chi phí nào để sử dụng các sản phẩm của mình để mọi người đều có cơ hội học tập tốt hơn. Tuy nhiên, nếu bạn có thể, chúng tôi mong nhận được sự hỗ trợ tài chính từ bạn để duy trì hoạt động của trang và phát triển các sản phẩm mới.

Bạn có thể ủng hộ chúng tôi qua 1 trong 2 cách dưới đây.
– Cách 1: Chuyển tiền qua tài khoản Momo.
Số điện thoại 0947.886.865 (Chủ tài khoản: Nguyễn Tiến Trung)
Nội dung chuyển tiền: Ủng hộ Read to Lead
hoặc
– Cách 2: Chuyển tiền qua tài khoản ngân hàng.
Ngân hàng VIB chi nhánh Hải Phòng
Số tài khoản: 012704060048394 (Chủ tài khoản: Nguyễn Tiến Trung)
Nội dung chuyển tiền: Ủng hộ Read to Lead

RELATED ARTICLES

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -
Google search engine

Most Popular