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Chinese defence boss brings military aid

Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan arrived in Phnom Penh yesterday accompanied by senior military officials for a four-day official visit aimed at boosting military ties with the Kingdom.

According to a Ministry of Defence press statement, Wanquan and Cambodian Defence Minister Tea Banh will today preside over the signing of a military assistance package ahead of the delegation’s meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen and visits to various military facilities.

“The exchange visit of the two ministers, made at the invitation of Tea Banh, will strengthen military training to promote our defence affairs,” said ministry spokesman Chhum Socheath, who was unable to confirm the value of the assistance package.

Chea Vannath, an independent Cambodian analyst, said that as China becomes one of the region and world’s most influential countries, it is natural for Cambodia to seek closer military ties with the rising power.

“Whether it is good or bad that China is Cambodia’s giant friend, it is important to modernise military ties, as well as other forms of investment alongside diplomatic, touristic and cultural links,” she said.

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