A senior official of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) announced that Cambodia, in collaboration with their Chinese counterparts, is set to embark on a 13-day joint military exercise from September 14.

Two of the days will be dedicated to offering complimentary medical checkups to the public.

According to a September 11 press statement by RCAF spokesman Thong Solimo, the September 14 to 26 manoeuvre is titled “Angel of Peace 2023”.

“The primary objectives of this military operation, aside from commemorating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia, are also to enhance our capabilities through the exchange of expertise in medical cooperation, disaster rescue operations, and communicable disease control,” he said.

“The central theme of the training revolves around joint international humanitarian rescue operations in regions severely impacted by disasters, typhoons, and floods,” he added.

This collaborative effort will mostly take place at the Special Forces Command and Army Command Headquarters.

During this period, individuals can avail themselves of free medical check-ups at the Preah Ket Mealea Military Hospital in Phnom Penh, as well as the Military Region 4 Hospital in Siem Reap.

Those interested should pre-register ahead of the September 22 and 23 health checks.

Solimo added that 595 Cambodian soldiers will participate, alongside 126 of their Chinese counterparts.

Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, highlighted the significance of military exercises in fostering ties between the two armed forces.

“Cambodia and China have elevated their relationship to an unprecedented level of ‘comprehensive strategic partnership,’ and evolved into steadfast allies who recently embraced the ‘Diamond Cooperation Framework’,” he said.

“I believe that this military exercise is a significant step towards solidifying the comprehensive partnership between the two nations. Its name, ‘Angel of Peace 2023,’ reflects its positive aspirations,” he added.

“In a world facing uncertainty due to war, as well as traditional and non-traditional security challenges, peace holds immense value for both countries and the global community,” he explained.

In recent years, Cambodia and China have conducted five major joint military drills. The exercises primarily focused on counterterrorism, disaster rescue training, humanitarian relief operations and other peace-related initiatives.