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

  • Cambodia’s image problem

    In opening remarks at a recent event, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luy David said information can be a double-edged sword. He told a European Institute of Asian Studies (EIAS) briefing seminar that the media has unfairly presented

  • PM Hun Sen says dangers averted

    Delivering a campaign speech from his home via Facebook Live on Thursday, caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) had carried the country through danger in its latest mandate. He was specifically referring to the threat of a “colour revolution”

  • Kingdom's trade deal with EU questioned before poll

    A European Union (EU) mission met with senior government officials at the Ministry of Interior on Tuesday as the 28-member bloc monitors an agreement under which Cambodian goods reach the crucial European market tariff-free. Some 10 commissioners are in the Kingdom as part of a seven-day

  • A new carrier takes off in capital

    Cambodia Airways, the latest passenger airline to enter the Kingdom, launched its first domestic flight on Tuesday. Flight KR801, carrying 145 passengers, left the Phnom Penh International Airport at 9:50am and landed in Siem Reap at 10:35am in an Airbus A319. Cambodia Airways marketing and branding