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China provides Kingdom security scanners

China has donated 17 secur-ity scanners worth about US$12.5 million to Cambodia in the run-up to the Kingdom’s ascension to the 2012 ASEAN chairmanship.

The scanners – three of which are for shipping containers – are expected to augment trade and meet increasing security demands for the country’s chairmanship.

“China hopes  the scanners will help Cambodia strengthen security at international ports, airports and at main functions, especially when Cambodia chairs ASEAN next year,” Chinese ambassador Pan Guangxue said after signing a grant for the scanners at a ceremony in Phnom Penh on Sunday night.

The donation also included seven full-body scanners, three large-scale baggage scanners and four scanners for personal belongings.

The shipping-container scanners should expedite the inspection process at the Sihanoukville port, Hin Theany, the country director of Mitsui OSK Lines, said yesterday.

“We have experience with a few scanners at Sihan-oukville port, but they were very slow and sometimes  caused the transport process to be scanned very late. So it’s good to have more scanners at the port,” she said.

Hin Theany added that she was concerned that Cambodian port officials would charge for the use of the donated devices.

Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Keat Chhon, who received the grant from China, will support trade and prepare Cambodian security for the ASEAN chairmanship.

“China’s assistance to Cambodia significantly contributes to social and economic development in the Kingdom, and helps strengthen Cambodia’s sovereignty and independence,” Keat Chhon said.

Since 1992, China had provided US$2.09 billion in grants and loans to Cambodia, the minister said.

That figure included $125 million in grants and $152 million in non-interest  loans, he said.

The vast majority of incoming money from the Chinese government is in the form of concession loans.

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