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.



  • Malaysia MP accused of ‘influencing law’

    Malaysian Member of Parliament (MP) Larry Sng arrived in Siem Reap early on Wednesday, in what was slammed by one NGO as efforts by Kuala Lumpur to “influence Cambodian law”. The Malaysian Embassy in Phnom Penh requested on January 30 “cooperation from the Ministry of Foreign

  • Ministries begin measures to offset EU’s EBA decision

    In the wake of the EU’s controversial announcement this week that it has begun the withdrawal process for Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) preferential agreement, government ministries and political analysts continued to share their reactions and economic mitigation plans in preparation for the

  • Emirates launches route connecting Phnom Penh, Bangkok

    Emirates will launch a daily service on June 1 linking Phnom Penh (PNH) and Bangkok (BKK). The service from Phnom Penh to Dubai, via Bangkok, will provide more flight options to passengers travelling between the capitals of Cambodia and Thailand. Travellers from the Southeast Asian nations

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s