April 28, 2023
PHNOM PENH – The Cambodian and Chinese militaries will conduct their sixth joint exercises near the middle of the year, according to the Ministry of National Defence.
An April 25 social media post by the ministry said that a joint working group from both countries was already discussing the proposed exercises, which would focus on public health and humanitarian work.
General Ith Sarath, deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), met with the working group on April 25.
“Following the success of the Golden Dragon 2023 military drills, the armies of both nations have agreed to mount another training exercise, to be named ‘Cambodia-China military humanitarian health exercise, Angel of Peace 2023’,” said the ministry.
Sarath noted that the previous five joint exercises the RCAF had conducted with their Chinese counterparts had helped the Cambodian forces to modernise and grow in strength.
“They focused on combating terrorism, disaster rescue, humanitarian activities and regional peacekeeping,” he said.
The Chinese delegation was led by Bi Guangyuen, chief of the Military Medical Cooperation Centre at the Logistic Support Department under China’s Central Military Commission.
“These exercises will demonstrate to the world that the unbreakable ironclad friendship between China and Cambodia is growing and being nurtured by the leaders of both countries. It will grow stronger through our diplomatic ties and will show a new path for international relations,” he said.
“The latest drills are strategically important for China and Cambodia, in the context of exchanging experiences and meeting the pressing challenges that the world is facing. No matter how the international situation develops, both governments will remain committed to the relationship,” he added.
Sarath said additional planning and discussions are needed to ensure the success of the proposed activities.
Cambodia and China recently completed the Golden Dragon 2023 military exercises, held from March 20 to April 8. The drills, held in Kampong Chhnang province, were the fifth of their kind since 2016.
RCAF officials have said that Cambodia welcomes the opportunity to conduct joint drills with the militaries of any nation.