Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China gives guns and ammo

China gives guns and ammo

National Police chief Neth Savoeun (seated, right) and Li Zhuqun, China’s deputy chief of General Department for International Cooperation, sign an MoU at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday.
National Police chief Neth Savoeun (seated, right) and Li Zhuqun, China’s deputy chief of General Department for International Cooperation, sign an MoU at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday. PHOTO SUPPLIED

China gives guns and ammo

China on Tuesday officially handed over 1,000 handguns and 50,000 bullets to Cambodia at the General Commissariat of National Police at the Ministry of Interior, police said, while maintaining the aid had nothing to do with tightening post-election security.

A National Police press officer said, on condition of anonymity, that the donation of weapons was a bilateral cooperation deal that had long been in the works, and that the timing of the donation was purely coincidental, though analysts remained sceptical.

“It was an old deal for cooperation and strengthening security and public order between Cambodia and China, and the handover just coincided with the post-election [period],” he said. “It is not a secret, because the deal was posted on our website today.”

He said that a memorandum of understanding had been signed between National Police chief Neth Savoeun and Li Zhuqun, the deputy chief of China’s General Department for International Cooperation.

“Senior Chinese authorities said Cambodia and China are always united, and China has always helped Cambodia with both aid and diplomatic ties,” Savoeun was quoted as saying on the National Police website.

In response, the website quoted Li Zhuqun as saying that “China would like to praise the [good] relationship about social order” it enjoys with Cambodia.

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith could not be reached for comment.

Analyst Kem Ley maintained that it was “not the right time” for the handover, coming as it does on widely circulating rumours of political unrest, and went on to lay part of the blame at China’s feet.

“It’s not the time to show publicly about the military and all that,” he said. “The communist countries try not to find peaceful solutions; they always try to force things.”

China has a long history of giving military aid to Cambodia. They delivered 12 military helicopters to the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces last month and paid for a new military institute in Kampong Speu province earlier this year.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STUART WHITE

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said