China has donated a new fleet of 150 vehicles to Cambodia for use to transport dignitaries at the upcoming ASEAN and ASEAN Plus summit and to assist the Kingdom’s Ministry of National Defence with its military archive works.
Defence minister General Tea Banh said the donation once again showed the “ironclad” bonds friendship between the two nations.
Tea Banh told reporters after the September 1 handover ceremony he co-presided over with Chinese ambassador Wang Wentian in Phnom Penh that Cambodia had requested China’s assistance because of difficulties that had arisen with a lack of appropriate vehicles for use at the recent ASEAN ministerial meetings, and to be well prepared for the November summits.
He said China's helpful responses towards its smaller neighbours showed the sincerity of its heart, and that China had made a timely response after receiving the proposal, with the vehicles arriving in Cambodia well in advance of the summit.
Tea Banh noted that of the 150 vehicles, some will be used to transport senior delegates and some others will be delivered to the defence ministry’s Military History unit.
“We'll use them to transport senior delegates who come to attend the summits, and as a means of carrying out this archiving work we're doing.
“The archiving is important because some of the military’s works contributed significantly to [Prime Minister Hun Sen’s] win-win policy that eventually brought about comprehensive peace, as evidenced by Win-Win monuments we have built at historical sites,” he said.
“We have gone through a lot in history and we cannot just let it fade away. So we need to maintain historical records and evidence, especially at some historical sites concerning our sovereignty. We put this proposal to China because this [Military History] unit is newly established and there were no appropriate means for carrying out this work.
“So, we enlisted China and now we've received a fleet of 150 new vehicles in response," he said while also expressing the gratitude of the Cambodian government and people for the assistance as the Kingdom gets ready to host world leaders from ASEAN and around the globe this November.
China-Cambodia Friendship Radio (CCFR) quoted ambassador Wang as saying that China and Cambodia had built a community of common destiny.
Wang said the community is of such strategic importance that they would be strengthening and developing a series of comprehensive strategic relations, with the bonds of friendship between the two countries having reached the highest levels ever in their long historical record of ties.
He said the Chinese side has given its firm support to Cambodia to go about choosing its path of development on its own and building its military and national economy.
“We provide these donations as merely a practical course of action to help support Cambodia in hosting the ASEAN Summit and related meetings. China hopes that Cambodia will play a more active and important role in regional security affairs, because we have the goal of seriously implementing China-led initiatives, both global security and global development initiatives,” the statement broadcast on CCFR said.
CCFR added that Tang Hao, the chief of staff at the Chinese embassy in Phnom Penh, and Nim Sovath, director-general of the Cambodian defence ministry's General Department of Policy and Foreign Affairs, co-signed the memorandum transferring ownership of the fleet of 150 vehicles.