Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Exercises postponed temporarily

Exercises postponed temporarily

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Forces prepare for the opening Ceremony of Angkor Sentinel between the army of Royal Cambodian Armed force and the United states Army Pacific at Kompong Speu Province in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Exercises postponed temporarily

Defence Minister Tea Banh yesterday moved to deny the recent cancellation of joint Cambodian and US military exercises was to appease China, with which the Kingdom’s armed forces conducted training with last month.

Cambodia’s government wrote to the US Embassy recently to postpone for two years the annual Angkor Sentinel exercises, according to a US Embassy spokesman. Defence spokesman Chhum Socheat said the exercises, which have been held for the past seven years, were cancelled because the military was busy with an anti-drug crackdown and preparations for election security.

Reached yesterday, Defence Minister Tea Banh rejected that the Kingdom’s warm ties with China and the countries’ increasing military cooperation played any part in the decision.

“We have no conflict with anybody. [The cancellation] is because we are busy,” Banh said, adding the postponement was temporary. “Our relationship with the US and Chinese is the same. There is nothing strange.”

The Cambodian and Chinese militaries last month held the inaugural “Golden Dragon” exercises. The drills, which involved some 100 Chinese troops, were seen as yet another sign of Cambodia increasingly turning towards China for support.

In October, Chinese president Xi Jinping visited Cambodia and pledged hundreds of millions of dollars in aid. Reached yesterday, the Chinese Embassy’s Cheng Hongbo said the embassy had received no information on whether “Golden Dragon” or other joint exercises would be held in the next two years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Breaking: US House passes 'Cambodia Democracy Act'

    The US House of Representatives in Washington, DC, on Monday, passed the “HR 526 Cambodia Democracy Act”, also known as the Cambodia Democracy Act of 2019. If signed off by the president, the bill will allow two major sets of action to be taken against high-ranking Cambodian

  • ‘Zero-dollar’ tours under fire

    Minister of Tourism Thong Khon has blamed “zero-dollar” tour operators for the decrease in foreign tourists to Angkor Archaeological Park in the first half of this year and has called for action against them. Angkor Archaeological Park received 1.24 million foreign visitors in the first half

  • Breaking: Rubbish found packed inside 83 containers at S'ville port

    Eighty-three containers packed with rubbish were broken open at Sihanoukville Autonomous Port by joint authorities on Tuesday. The origin of the containers has yet to be ascertained, Ministry of Environment spokesman Neth Pheaktra said. Pheaktra, who is also the ministry’s secretary of state, said

  • VIP prison scrapped amid much criticism

    The Ministry of Interior announced on Thursday that Cambodia’s first privately run prison, which was to allow prisoners with enough money to upgrade to more comfortable cells, has been scrapped. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said studies had found that no other country in the