Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China donates uniforms to army

China donates uniforms to army

China donates uniforms to army

110527_1
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces officials inspect boots donated to the Cambodian military by China. China donated 50,000 sets of new uniforms and boots to the Cambodian military at a ceremony held yesterday at the Cambodian Air Force Headquarters in Phnom Penh.

China donated 50,000 new uniforms to the Cambodian military yesterday in a move representatives of both countries said was indicative of the two countries’ strong bilateral relationship. 

The uniforms are part of a commitment China made last year to donate military supplies including 257 trucks to the Kingdom after the United States, angered by Cambodia’s decision to send 20 Uighur asylum seekers back to China in 2009, reneged on a similar offer.

At a ceremony held at Cambodian Air Force Headquarters in Phnom Penh yesterday, Chinese military attaché Zhang Jianlin said the donations would help bolster Cambodia’s military capacity and were a sign of China’s goodwill.

“Cambodia and China are friends and brothers,” he said.

Moeung Samphan, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Defence, said the donation was the second largest China had provided the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, after the 257 trucks that were donated in June of last year.

“The aid will give RCAF more advanced and modern materials,” he said.  

The donation comes as Cambodia and Thailand attend UNESCO-mediated talks in Paris on the preservation of Preah Vihear temple and continued to honour a fragile ceasefire brokered earlier this month that ended vicious fighting along the countries’ shared border that broke out in April.

Carlyle Thayer, a politics professor at the University of New South Wales who specialises in Southeast Asian military affairs, suggested yesterday that the donations constituted a soft gesture by China urging Thailand to exercise more restraint in the contested border areas.

“When China announces that it’s providing these uniforms, that has political implications, but uniforms aren’t going to kill you,” he said. “[China’s] not taking sides, but I think it [still] has a chilling effect on Thailand.”

Zhang Jianlin pledged yesterday to continue to help Cambodia bulit its military capacity in the future.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY DAVID BOYLE

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and