China base in Cambodia 'concerning': PM

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he's concerned about the implications of a Chinese naval base being built in Cambodia.

The Washington Post reported the facility would be on the northern portion of Cambodia's Ream naval base on the Gulf of Thailand.

The newspaper quoted US officials as saying the establishment of such a base was part of Beijing's strategy to build a network of military facilities around the world in support of its aspirations to become a true global power.

"This is concerning," Mr Albanese told reporters in Makassar on Tuesday, during a trip to Indonesia.

"We are in regular contact with the Cambodian government and we have been consistently assured that no foreign military will be granted exclusive access at Ream.

"We've been aware of Beijing's activity at Ream for some time and we encourage Beijing to be transparent about its intent and to ensure its activities support regional security and stability."

Meanwhile, the Australian government has left the door open for high-level dialogue with China as the deputy prime minister prepares to head to Singapore for a defence summit.

Defence Minister Richard Marles says while a request for a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri La Dialogue at the end of the week hasn't been received, Australia remains open to discussions.

It comes after Mr Marles on Monday said he would not be seeking a meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the summit, leading to some confusion about whether Australia would reject any olive branches offered by Beijing.

"Deputy Prime Minister Marles said he has not received a formal invitation to meet with his counterpart at the Shangri La Dialogue," a spokesperson from his office said.

"The Australian government has said that it welcomes the opportunity to resume ministerial dialogue with China."

China's foreign minister told state media outlet Xinhua that Beijing would continue an "open attitude and carry out more trilateral or quadrilateral co-operation with Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific" as it tried to push a regional security deal with Pacific island nations.

Wang Yi previously said any defrosting in China and Australia's relationship would need to be sparked by "concrete actions".

The summit will come a week after tensions between Canberra and Beijing heightened over an aerial incident in the South China Sea region.

Mr Marles revealed on Sunday a Chinese J-16 aircraft flew dangerously close to a RAAF P-8A Poseidon conducting routine surveillance in international airspace.

Mr Albanese called the May 26 incident "an act of aggression and a dangerous act against the Australian air force".

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