The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) last week trained 127 individuals from the Bodyguard Unit under the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) on skills to check and maintain combat systems and short-range air defence missiles (QW-3), said a Cambodian official, noting that the training is a testament of the ironclad cooperation between the two nations.

The training, conducted at Phnom Srang in Kampong Speu province, was attended by Tang Hao, China’s Military Attache to the Chinese embassy and Bodyguard Unit commander Hing Bun Heang. It concluded on August 17.

In an August 18 statement, the Bodyguard Unit shared that Bun Heang thanked the PLA for providing the training and urged participants to make good of the training they had received to protect Cambodia’s territory integrity, sovereignty, stability and security.

In addition to that, Military Region 4, based in Varin district’s Sre Noy commune of Siem Reap province, is conducting a 30-day SVD live shooting training for 48 trainees starting August 19.

As part of the cooperation, China and Cambodia are often involved in joint military activities. The last big one was the Golden Dragon Military Exercise held from March 23 to April 8, with more than 700 soldiers from both sides attending.

Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Asian Vision Institute’s Mekong Centre for Strategic Studies, said the training provided by China is a part of China-Cambodia military cooperation to empower the army to fight against crime and support efforts during disasters.

“Cambodia needs China’s help on military modernisation via training support or purchase of more military equipment as well as upgrading information technology, usage of modern military equipment and information sharing,” he added.