CAMBODIA will hold military training exercises with 257 Chinese military lorries that are expected to arrive in the country later this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Monday.
Speaking at a ceremony inaugurating the Chinese-funded US$28.7 million Cambodia-China Prek Kdam Friendship Bridge in Kandal province, the premier said the trucks, granted by Beijing last month, are to arrive in Cambodia on June 18.
“I am thinking of exercising the trucks in lines when they arrive,” he said, and added that the vehicles are “brand-new from the factory”.
Chinese President Hu Jintao offered Cambodia the trucks along with 50,000 military uniforms during a meeting with Hun Sen in Shanghai last month. 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.
Chhum Socheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, said at the time that China had a history of supporting the Cambodian military, having funded the construction of a military training school and a military hospital.
Hun Sen said Monday that the shipment includes 200 general purpose military lorries, 20 military ambulances and two tank transports, and that 100 of the vehicles will be placed under the control of the Ministry of Defence, with the remainder going to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
The prime minister said he plans to purchase additional military lorries from China for the use of the Ministry of Interior, but had not yet received information about the exact cost of each vehicle.
Google map update
Hun Sen also proposed that the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction update the official map of Cambodia to include recent infrastructure projects, including the bridge inaugurated Monday.
“The current map does not show this bridge and the Sekong Bridge [in Stung Treng province],” he said.
“So we have to update it because the situation is now different ... and then send it for posting on Google.”