Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tea Banh looks to Chinese



Tea Banh looks to Chinese

Defence Minister Tea Banh (right) meets with Chinese Defence General Zhao Wenhua (left) yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Defence Minister Tea Banh (right) meets with Chinese Defence General Zhao Wenhua (left) yesterday in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

Tea Banh looks to Chinese

Cambodia, which this year suspended major military drills with the United States for two years saying the armed forces were too busy, is prepared for defence exercises with the Chinese, Defence Minister Tea Banh told a military delegation from Beijing this week.

Banh discussed military-to-military cooperation with the Chinese armed forces in a meeting with representatives of the Chinese National Defence University on Wednesday.

“Cambodia is prepared to conduct other exercises with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army as well as preparing for the Chinese navy’s docking in Cambodia,” Banh told the delegation’s leader, Major General Zhao Wenhua, according to a press release.

In January, Cambodia said it would suspend for two years the long-running annual “Angkor Sentinel” exercises with the US military, saying its troops were too busy.

The decision came in wake of a major joint exercise with China and was followed by the scrapping of a humanitarian programme run by the US Navy and cancelled anti-terrorism exercises run by Australia.

Observers saw the moves as part of Cambodia’s tilt away from the West and towards China, which has showered the Kingdom with grants, loans and investment.

However, Defence Ministry spokesman Chum Socheat denied playing favourites.

He said cooperating with the Chinese involved ongoing training programmes, such as language training, and not new exercises.

He said while some exercises would remain “delayed temporarily”, others would continue, but did not give further details.

Asked whether drills would continue with the US, he said the ministry “will wait and see the situation, whether it is fruitful or not”.

US Embassy spokesman David Josar referred questions on the matter to Cambodian authorities.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there