Earlier this month, the Cambodian government announced that it was suspending its two-week military exercise with China next month, citing a need to cut spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Golden Dragon exercise was due to take place from March 13 to 27, and would have involved around 3,000 Cambodian and Chinese troops engaging in live ammunition drills, including training on the use of tanks, armored vehicles, and demining equipment.
In comments to Radio Free Asia’s Khmer-language service, Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh said that the fourth annual Golden Dragon exercise would be canceled this year due to heavy flooding in late 2020 that devastated the country’s infrastructure and food supply. He also pointed to the country’s ongoing battle with COVID-19 and “several other problems” facing the government.
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