Defense Minister Says 400 Personnel Will Soon Study in China

Defense Minister Tea Banh announced on Friday that his ministry will send about 400 personnel to study and train in China, a country that has become an increasingly generous military aid donor in recent years.

Following a welcoming ceremony for Xu Qiliang, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, at the Ministry of Defense, General Banh told reporters about the new agreement.

“About 400 people are planning to go there,” Gen. Banh said of the government’s plans to send soldiers and civilians to China.

“The most importation thing is the training of human resources. Right now they are taking a large number of people to study in China, more than ever,” he said.

“With China we have good cooperation with great benefit for our country,” he added.

Mr. Xu also met with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday as part of his four-day visit to the country, according to Chinese state media.

In February, China gave 20 military trucks and 30,000 uniforms to the Ministry of Defense. In November, China completed its sale of 12 Chinese-built Z-9 military helicopters to Cambodia at a cost of $195.5 million.

In a report prepared for the U.S. Congress in June on U.S.-Cambodia relations, the Congressional Research Service said that increasing Chinese assistance has left other donors with diminished clout.

“Furthermore, many analysts argue that Chinese assistance has significantly reduced the effectiveness of other aid donors attempting to pressure Cambodia to make advances in the areas of rule of law, democracy and human rights,” the report said.

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