China and Cambodia hold first naval drills in Cambodian waters

Exercises underline deepening relationship between Phnom Penh and Beijing, which has expansive claims in the South China Sea.

China and Cambodia have begun their first-ever naval drills in Cambodian waters.

The Chinese Ministry of National Defence said the drills — dubbed China-Cambodia Golden Dragon 2023 — involving personnel from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Military Command began on Sunday.

The Chinese navy ship Jinggangshan, which brought the troops to Cambodia, carried out an exercise with two patrol boats of the Royal Cambodian Navy and established communications before practising coordinated navigation in different formations, the Chinese state-run Global Times reported on Monday, citing the PLA command.

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