A SHIPMENT of 257 Chinese military lorries pledged last month is set to arrive at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port today, a defence ministry spokesman said.
Chhum Socheat said officials from the ministry had been dispatched on Wednesday to meet the lorries, which he said would be granted an official reception in Phnom Penh next week. The reception, he said, will be attended by Defence Minister Tea Banh and officials from the Chinese embassy.
Chinese President Hu Jintao offered Cambodia the lorries along with 50,000 military uniforms during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen in Shanghai in May. The offer came less than a month after the United States cancelled a similar shipment following the controversial deportation of 20 ethnic Uighur asylum seekers to China in December.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Chinese-funded US$28.7 million Cambodia-China Prek Kdam Friendship in Kandal province on May 31, Hun Sen said he was looking forward to using the trucks in military exercises. “I am thinking of exercising the trucks in lines when they arrive,” he said.
Chhum Socheat said Thursday, though, that there were no immediate plans for military exercises. “They will be driven normally from the Sihanoukville port to Phnom Penh,” he said.