Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sino-Cambodian military drill begins

Sino-Cambodian military drill begins

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of National Defence said 2,871 Cambodian soldiers and 265 Chinese soldiers take part in the exercises. Royal Cambodian Armed Forces

Sino-Cambodian military drill begins

A total of 3,136 soldiers from Cambodia and China have embarked on the fourth Golden Dragon military drill. It is being held from March 15-30 under the theme United to counter terrorism and Cambodia-Chinese humanitarian work.

The Ministry of National Defence said on Sunday that Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief Vong Pisen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian presided over the opening of live-fire exercises.

It is held at Techo Sen Chumkiri Training School at Trapaing Raing commune, Chumkiri district, in Kampot province.

According to an announcement, 2,871 Cambodian soldiers and 265 Chinese People’s Liberation Army soldiers are taking part in the exercises.

The Royal Cambodian Armed forces (RCAF) used four helicopters, 10 T55 tanks, 12 DMT1 armoured vehicles, six 122-D30 artilleries, 12 mortars and many other automatic weapons, and investigative and demining tools, and tools for liberating hostages and neutralising chemical substances.

Chinese soldiers used six helicopters, three 122-D30 mobile artilleries, nine armoured and 28 other vehicles and various combat equipment in the exercises.

Ministry spokesperson Chhum Socheat told The Post on Sunday that Chinese soldiers had been checked rigorously for symptoms of Covid-19.

The checks were conducted in full consideration of the safety of residents around the vicinity of the exercises and people’s health across the country.

“Before the Chinese came, the health of the soldiers was already checked. All 265 of them had undergone standard scans and extensive physical tests to ensure they are healthy and coronavirus-free,” he said.

When asked where the Chinese soldiers had come from, Socheat replied “We don’t know because the Chinese soldiers are from a very mobile and advanced unit.

“They have come from a variety of provinces, but the important thing is they have been checked thoroughly and have no signs of Covid-19,” he stressed.

Socheat said this year’s Golden Dragon exercises will continue to focus on counterterrorism and humanitarian work.

“The exercises present an opportunity for the two armies to continue gaining experience from each other and increasing their professional capacities.

“After this training, they will be able to rescue people during disasters, maintain peace and fulfil missions and duties to defend the nation more efficiently and effectively,” he said.

Socheat said the drill would also contribute significantly to friendly relations between China and Cambodia, and especially between the RCAF and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.

“The friendship between our nations is the strongest it has ever been under Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Golden Dragon joint military drill was held for the first time in 2016, the second in 2018 and the third in 2019. Around 3,000 soldiers from both armies have attended each event.

Minister of National Defence Tea Banh will preside over the closing exercises.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied