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HomeWorldChina and Cambodia hold first naval drills in Cambodian waters

China and Cambodia hold first naval drills in Cambodian waters


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

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

China’s National Defense Ministry said the exercises — dubbed China-Cambodia Golden Dragon 2023 — involving personnel from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) southern military command began on Sunday.

The Chinese naval ship Jinggangshan, which brought troops to Cambodia, conducted an exercise with two Royal Cambodian Navy patrol boats and established communications before practicing coordinated navigation in different formations, China’s state-run newspaper Global Times reported Monday, citing the PLA command.

The Jinggangshan is a Type 071 landing ship that traveled to Cambodia from Zhanjiang in South China.

“During the two-hour navigation and communication exercise with the Cambodian Navy, our organization and command were accurate, coordination was close and communication was smooth,” Captain Xu Jinfeng, the commander of the Jinggangshan, said in a state report. run China Central Television (CCTV).

The Golden Dragon exercises will continue until April 8 and involve more than 3,000 personnel and 300 vehicles from both sides, according to Chinese state media.

Cambodia’s deeper relationship with China has raised concerns in the United States and Australia, as well as some of its Southeast Asian neighbors who, like China, have claims to the South China Sea.

In 2022, the two countries agreed on a two-year Chinese-funded project to revamp Cambodia’s Ream naval base on the Gulf of Thailand, and Phnom Penh dismantled facilities there that were built in part with US money.

China has become increasingly assertive about its claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, despite a 2016 international court ruling that found its so-called “nine-dash line” to be unfounded.

It has turned rock outcrops into military posts and deployed its maritime militia and coast guard.

Last month, the Philippines filed a diplomatic protest after calling on China to stop “aggressive activity” after China’s Coast Guard used a “military laser” to try and hit one of its ships off Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. to block.

The dispute over the rich waters – and Phnom Penh’s close relationship with Beijing – has at times proved a source of friction in Cambodia’s relationship with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).


Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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