The Ministry of National Defence has resumed the construction of its Cartography Centre after a yearlong hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The centre is built with financial support from China's Ministry of National Defence.
A ceremony to resume the construction was held on October 14 in the presence of Cambodia's defence ministry secretary of state El Vann Sarath and Chinese embassy councilor Chang Jian.
“The defence ministry's Department of Geography is proud to have a new cartography centre. The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces never had such a centre before,” Vann Sarath said.
Back when Cambodia was a French protectorate, he said the French government created a team in 1899 to work on mapping in Indochina and they set up a cartography centre in Dalat city of the former South Vietnam.
When Cambodia gained independence on November 9, 1953, the team was dissolved and each country that emerged from the Indochinese Union had to set up its own institution to work on cartography.
Cambodia also had one of its own called ‘Khmer Cartography Team’. Yet only in June 1956 that a geography department was set up but then it had no map production facility.
Tep Chamroeun, director of the geography department at the defence ministry, said the establishment of the cartography centre – with the support of its Chinese counterpart based on an agreement on cartography and navigation between the two ministries back in 2018 – represents another significant milestone.
As per plan, the construction is expected to complete in mid-2022.