China donated 20 military trucks and 30,000 uniforms to the Ministry of Defense on Friday at the request of the Cambodian government, officials said after a handover ceremony attended by the Chinese Ambassador and General Moeung Samphan, commander of Brigade 70.
“[China] donated 20 military trucks, 30,000 military uniforms and iron helmets and batons,” Gen. Samphan said after the ceremony, which was attended by Ambassador Bu Jianguo and several Chinese military officials at the Transport Battalion 99 compound, which is located near Phnom Penh International Airport.*
“It was the military’s request and [the donations] are needed for our units,” Gen. Samphan said.
China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that a total of 26 trucks were delivered to the Cambodian military on Friday, along with the 30,000 uniforms, “in order to help relieve the difficulties of the Cambodian army.”
“China hopes that the aid will help ease the difficulties of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, and will further promote ties and cooperation between the armies and peoples of the two countries,” Xinhua quoted Ambassador Jianguo as saying during the ceremony.
Though Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP government allocated a sizeable $489 million to the ministries of Defense and Interior this year, an increase of 17 percent compared to last year, ruling-party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said the military’s budget was still too small.
“We have seen that the national budget given to the Ministry of Defense is small, so we have a lack of equipment in the military sector,” Mr. Yeap said, thanking China for its largess.
Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition CNRP, said that Beijing should ensure that its military aid is not used to abuse human rights, citing the shooting dead of five protesters by military police on Veng Sreng Street in Phnom Penh last month and the wounding of 40 more.
“[China] should make sure that their aid is used for humanitarian purposes and not to violate human rights,” Mr. Sovann said.
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