The commander of the Royal Cambodian Navy yesterday revealed that Cambodia was in negotiations to buy two 140-metre heavy warships armed with modern weapon systems from China.
Admiral Tea Vinh made the revelation during a meeting with Chinese Rear Admiral Yu Manjiang at the Navy’s headquarters in Phnom Penh.
“The Royal Cambodian Navy needs two warships but communication is in process between the two defence ministries,” he said. “We will not use them for war – we will only use them to protect our territorial sovereignty. Cambodia should not be looked down on by its neighbours.”
During the meeting, Vinh also reminded Manjiang that Cambodia stayed on China’s side in the South China Sea dispute. He said he didn’t talk about such issues because “the Royal Cambodian Navy has close ties to China and respects One China”.
Three Chinese warships carrying 737 sailors docked in Preah Sihanouk province on Monday and are scheduled to leave on Friday. The Chinese navy personnel are undertaking joint exercises with the Cambodian Navy during the visit.