About 250 Chinese soliders are set to participate in a joint large-scale military exercise with more than 2,500 members of the Cambodian armed forces in Kampot province’s Chol Kiri district next month.
Defence Ministry spokesman General Chum Sucheat yesterday said in a statement that the 15-day Golden Dragon 2019 military exercises will have an opening ceremony on March 13 and closing ceremony on March 27.
“The Golden Dragon 2019 military exercise will be conducted to strengthen good cooperation between the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and Chinese People’s Liberation Army,” Gen Sucheat said. “We will exchange experiences with each other.”
Gen Sucheat said heavy live-fire drills and rehearsals will begin today.
He added that RCAF Commander-in-chief General Vong Pisen is scheduled to attend the opening ceremony, while Defence Minister General Tea Banh will attend its closing.
“This military exercise is reflective of the Royal Government’s stance, it is especially reflective of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in implementing the national defence policy between Cambodia and China and for cooperation in all sectors,” he said.
Gen Sucheat said during the 15-day joint military drill, there will be 252 Chinese soldiers and 2,542 Cambodian soldiers, including 382 training soldiers and 448 service soldiers.
“This Golden Dragon military exercises will focus on drills on counter-terrorism and hostage rescue, natural disaster response, UN missions and infantry engineering,” he said.
“Some important military equipment, such as armoured trucks, tanks, artilleries, mortars and helicopters will be used for the drill this year,” Gen Sucheat added.
Additionally, RCAF army commander Lieutenant General Hun Manet on Monday began his five-day trip to China to bolster the cooperation between both countries’ armies.
During his trip, Lt Gen Manet has met with Chinese People’s Liberation Army commander General Han Weigu, Air Force General Xu Qiliang who is also Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission and Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister Wei Fenghe.
RCAF army spokesman Brigadier General Mao Phalla yesterday said Lt Gen Manet was invited by the Chinese government.
Brig Gen Phalla said the joint military exercises in Kampot province’s Chol Kiri district will be discussed.
“His trip to China this time was on the invitation of the Chinese government. He and his delegation will return to Cambodia on March 1,” he said, adding that Lt Gen Manet’s trip came after Gen Banh travelled to China last year.