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Cambodian Defense Minister Wants to Resume "Golden Dragon" Military Exercises with China

SIHANOUKVILLE: The Minister for National Defense, Tea Banh, has announced his intention to resume military exercises with the People's Republic of China on a larger scale, after they were forced to be suspended last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He made this announcement during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a ship repair workshop and restoration port at the Ream Naval Base on Wednesday morning, 8 June.

A joint Cambodian-Chinese military exercise called the ‘Golden Dragon’ may be resumed, according to Cambodian Defense Minister Tea Banh’s announcement.

"If it is convenient, we will re-organize the Golden Dragon exercise, which we have already completed two, three or fourth times already," he said. “Maritime security has always been a constant source of frustration, and something we have conducted once before is the Great Slide involving our seas, where we conduct disaster relief exercises or drills to rescue ships in our seas, we can jointly complete this training exercise to a greater extent together. And if our Ream Naval Base is developed fast, we may also use this base to carry out important tasks (exercises), joint exercises of land, air and navy."

According to Minister Tea Banh, this ‘Golden Dragon’ exercise could be more formal, and he told officials of the Ministry of National Defense to be ready to resume exercises when the opportunity is favorable in the future.

Cambodia suspended its ‘Golden Dragon’ exercises with China in 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis and other natural disasters. Prior to this, Cambodia had organized joint military exercises with China since 2016.

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