About 30 armoured personnel carriers from China will arrive in Cambodia next week several days before a joint military exercise is due to be held on March 17.
According to BTV news, a military officer said that about 30 armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles from China were scheduled to arrive in Cambodia on March 13 and 14.
The military officer told BTV that China’s assistance in the exercise was meant to enhance the abilities of the Royal Cambodia Armed Forces and cooperation between the two countries in battling terrorism.
Defence Minister Tea Banh said yesterday that China would bring some armoured personnel carriers and vehicles to participate in the joint military exercise.
“Not only armoured personnel carriers, but also some other vehicles will arrive in Cambodia soon to join the military exercise,” Mr Banh said.
A senior military officer at the Defence Ministry said China would bring some armoured personnel carriers, three helicopters and other vehicles to join the exercise between Cambodia and China in Kampong Speu province.
The officer noted that the armoured personnel carriers, helicopters and other vehicles were being brought only for participation in the exercise and were not being donated.
General Ith Sarath, RCAF deputy commander, said in a statement on January 24 that the exercise would be held in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the two nations’ diplomatic relations.
The exercise will include 280 Cambodian troops and 190 Chinese troops.
In 2016, a joint training exercise with China was held at the Thlok Tasek Military Institute in Kampong Speu province, and included 85 Chinese and 256 Cambodian military personnel.
It involved road repairs, mine and UXO clearance, bridge construction, and resettlement of disaster victims.
General Chhum Sucheat, spokesman for the Defence Ministry, said he had no updated information about the arrival of armoured vehicles.
Prime Minister Hun Sen last week said that tonnes of weapons were shipped to Cambodia to bolster the nation’s national defence a day after the United States announced that it would be reining back aid programmes, including military aid, because of perceived democratic setbacks.
A senior Ministry of Defence official said the equipment included heavy artillery, mortar shells, anti-aircraft weapons and other weapons for military units, and hinted that they originated from China, which has stepped up its support for Cambodia as ties with the US deteriorate.