Has Cambodia Become a Chinese Colony?
China is covertly building a naval base on Cambodia’s coast that its military will have exclusive access to, the Washington Post reported on June 6, stressing that both the Chinese and Cambodians are “taking extraordinary measures to conceal the operation.”
The facility is located at Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base on the Gulf of Thailand. The Chinese military, according to a United States government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, will have “exclusive use of the northern portion of the base, while their presence would remain concealed.”
The secrecy around the Chinese base is likely fueled by Cambodian worries about a domestic backlash, particularly since the nation’s constitution bans foreign military bases inside its borders. Details about why Cambodian authorities are apparently flouting the law to let China in remain unknown. But it is clear that China acquiring an ability to launch military operations from the Gulf of Thailand will strengthen its ability to enforce claims of sovereignty over the South China Sea. A military presence on Cambodia’s coast will also extend China’s influence over the strategically vital Strait of Malacca, through which some 90 percent of South China Sea crude oil shipments pass.
American officials have been taken aback by Cambodia’s decision to allow China to establish such a game-changing presence in their country, largely because Washington has spent lavishly over the years to develop Cambodia, in an effort to win it over as a U.S. partner.
Billions of U.S. dollars have been pumped into Cambodia for military aid, education, poverty reduction and economic development. America has assisted with training Cambodian soldiers and built military installations in the nation—including parts of the Ream Naval Base where China is now moving in.
But despite America’s outlay and overtures, Cambodia is snubbing the U.S. and granting the Chinese strategically valuable access to their territory.
Analysts are particularly concerned that China’s new base could undercut U.S. power in the event of an attack on American partners in the region, such as Japan, the Philippines, South Korea or Taiwan. Should one of these U.S. allies come under attack, many of the U.S. forces charged with their defense would customarily pass through the Strait of Malacca. But by using naval forces based in Cambodia, China could seriously complicate the transit of these U.S. forces.
China’s base in Cambodia is only the latest increase in Beijing’s ability to project military power around the world at the expense of U.S might. This trend is rapidly advancing and it simultaneously advances three developments that are significant in light of Bible prophecy: the beginning of “the times of the Gentiles,” the amalgamation of “the kings of the east,” and the waning of America.
‘The Times of the Gentiles’
Luke 21:24 speaks of a time in the modern age when mankind would enter into an era called “the times of the Gentiles.”
In his February 2020 article “The Climax of Man’s Rule Over Man,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry discussed this coming epoch, explaining that the term Gentile in this context refers to “two major powers—one revolving around Russia and China, and the other around Germany. Each will have strong allies ….”
When these “times” are in full effect, U.S. influence will have vanished. And nations such as China will have filled the vacuum of power. “These ‘times of the Gentiles’ are yet to be fully realized,” Mr. Flurry wrote. “However, we are in the outer edges of this catastrophic storm.”
Cambodia’s cold shoulder to America and extraordinary invitation to China blows this “catastrophic storm” closer.
‘The Kings of the East’
Revelation 9:16 discusses an Eastern military force that will emerge during the same “Gentile” era. This force will consist of 200 million soldiers. Revelation 16:12 calls this future Asian group “the kings of the east,” with the pluralized “kings” indicating a multinational bloc made of multiple Asian countries. Ezekiel 38 provides several details about this military alliance, including that it will be led by Russia, with China in a position of secondary leadership.
When Asian states such as Cambodia rally behind China today, conditions are being created for “the kings of the east” prophecy to be fulfilled.
The Decline of ‘Israel’
The late world-renowned educator Herbert W. Armstrong forecast decades ago of the collapse of U.S. power. Just after America’s botched invasion of Cuba in 1961, he laid the blame at the feet of, not the U.S. military or even the Kennedy administration, but the people of America: “Unless or until the United States as a whole repents and returns to what has become a hollow slogan on its dollars: ‘In God we trust,’ the United States of America has won its last war! [T]he God America has deserted gave it its most humiliating defeat! What does the Cuban debacle mean? It means, Mr. and Mrs. United States, that the handwriting is on your wall!” (Plain Truth, October 1961).
Mr. Armstrong understood that America was heading for collapse because the people had refused to turn to God. And he made his forecasts with confidence because they are founded on Bible prophecy. The Bible includes remarkably specific forecasts for the descendants of Israel, which include the people of America. God said that if the nations of Israel refused to turn to Him, He would “break the pride of [their] power” (Leviticus 26:19).
In the six decades since Mr. Armstrong wrote those words, the people of the U.S. have intensified their rejection of God and His law. And in the time since, America has entered into dozens of military clashes, with each half-hearted campaign sapping a little more of the nation’s pride in its power.
Luke 21:26 shows that these various trends will culminate in a time of unprecedented global calamity and suffering when “men’s hearts” will be “failing them for fear.” Yet the next verse says that the calamity will end with the most transformative event in all of human history. The times of the Gentiles, the outer edges of which humanity is already in, will transition directly into a time of utterly unprecedented harmony and prosperity for the peoples of China, Cambodia, America and all countries.
To understand the significance of China’s deepening influence in Cambodia and beyond, and the hope that is tied into current trends, order your free copy of Russia and China in Prophecy.