A 28-day Sino-Cambodian joint military exercise, dubbed the “Golden Dragon”, ended on Monday at a shooting field located inside the Techo Sen Chumkiri Training School in Kampot province’s Chumkiri district.
The Ministry of National Defence’s website stated that the 2019 Golden Dragon joint military exercise was not held with the intention to threaten anybody but to strengthen regional security by exchanging experience, especially in counterterrorism and natural disaster rescue exercises.
The exercise focused on cooperation, humanitarian and counterterrorism operations, and served as an opportunity for the two countries’ armed forces to exchange experience and improve individual abilities to effectively fulfil their duties in defending their nations.
The ministry said the Golden Dragon exercise was conducted at its headquarters and in the field. He said it mainly focused on counterterrorism and hostage and natural disaster rescue drills, so that the Kingdom’s soldiers could fulfil their duties on UN peacekeeping missions and as part of UN engineering teams.
During the drills, a number of weapons were used – including tanks, helicopters and air-defence artillery.
Ministry spokesperson Thong Solimo told The Post on Monday: “Due to the successful military exercise, Cambodia and China both agreed to hold larger joint military exercises once a year to improve military cooperation, and other areas in which Cambodia is still lacking, to boost the Cambodian armed force’s abilities.
“Sino-Cambodian relations are at their peak – better than at any other time. Relations have been strengthened under the leadership of Samdech Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Cambodia and China will continue to improve relations and cooperation in all areas,” read the ministry’s website.
The Golden Dragon is the third of its kind – the first of which was held in 2016 and the second last year.
This year’s military exercise saw more participants – nearly 2,800 soldiers – and employed a wider variety of weaponry than in both 2016 and last year.