Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Military equipment and vehicles are provided to Cambodia by China at a ceremonial handover on September 20 presided over by defence minister Tea Banh and Chinese ambassador Wang Wentian. SPS

Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy.

Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training Centre in Kampong Chhnang province’s Samaki Meanchey district, with Chinese ambassador to Cambodia Wang Wentian in attendance.

Tea Banh said the military aid was provided under the annual cooperative protocols between the two ministries in addition to other assistance rendered by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China.

The PLA assistance included Covid-19 vaccines, infrastructure construction and special exercises and training sessions aimed at improving the readiness and capabilities of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

He added that the tense geopolitical situation caused by the Sino-US rivalry remained a problem and a source of risk for the stability and prosperity in the region and the world.

“I would like to firmly reiterate the stance of the Ministry of National Defence in giving unwavering support to the One-China policy and the vision of a common community between China and Cambodia,” he continued.

He thanked the Chinese government and PLA for donating the vehicles and equipment as the assistance had made an important contribution to protecting peace, political stability, security and social order by curbing the attempts to cause unrest undertaken by a handful of extremists, thereby ensuring a peaceful life for the people.

He also noted that this round of assistance had also made an important contribution to the training of personnel for the rescue of disaster victims and in the health sector and other non-traditional military functions.

Tea Banh said China’s help reflected the spirit of friendship, solidarity and ironclad friendship between the two countries. He said Cambodia could always count on China’s help and support, which was always delivered on time and unconditionally.

Ambassador Wang said at the ceremony that the bonds of friendship between China and Cambodia have long been established, noting that their comprehensive cooperation was first initiated by the last legitimate regime in Cambodia prior to the current government, then led by the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

He added that last week, King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk attended a solemn ceremony, along with Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan, to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late King Father and to honour the significant contributions to the cause of friendship between China and Cambodia he had accomplished.

“We will surely honour through our actions and follow in the footsteps of the older generation who first sought to build a community of common destiny between an inseparable China and Cambodia, and by pursuing this goal actively and energetically,” he continued.

Wang also said that military cooperation between China and Cambodia is an important part of building their community of common destiny.

He said that over the years, due to the level of confidence and support evidenced by the leaders of the two countries, both militaries have always maintained trust in each other and the implementation of high-level strategies would make the cooperation especially fruitful.

“We are sincerely pleased to assist with the enhancement of the capacities of the RCAF. We will increase the capabilities of the RCAF and provide its forces with modern military equipment and infrastructure in order to protect Cambodia’s national security and to effectively protect stability throughout the region.

“We sincerely hope to collaborate further with the RCAF to support the common good and to play a more active and prominent role in regional and international security affairs,” he concluded.