BEIJING (Agencies): The ongoing joint exercise between China and Cambodia is progressing well, with Cambodian troops gaining hands-on experience with some of China’s latest weapons and equipment. This demonstrates a high level of mutual trust between the two militaries, according to experts.

The Golden Dragon-2024 joint drills entered the adaptation phase on Saturday. During this phase, troops from both sides practiced their skills and engaged in deep exchanges, as reported by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Southern Theater Command.

In a light arms exchange session, Chinese soldiers guided their Cambodian counterparts on the use of Chinese sniper rifles. The QBU-191, the latest precision rifle in service with the PLA, was featured in the exchange session.

The two sides also exchanged knowledge on the operation of unmanned intelligent equipment, medical equipment, and first aid techniques. Cultural and entertainment activities were also held to boost friendship and mutual trust.

The exchange of some of the latest weapons and equipment, including the newest rifles and drones, indicates a high level of military mutual trust between China and Cambodia, according to a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity.

The joint exercise is expected to enhance mutual understanding and deepen the traditional friendship between the two countries, laying a solid foundation for future security cooperation, said Zhang Junshe, another Chinese military expert.

The China-Cambodia Golden Dragon-2024 joint exercise, which kicked off on Thursday, is being held separately on land and at sea under the theme of “joint counter-terrorism operations and humanitarian relief”. The exercises focus on the rescue of hostages in urban regions, the elimination of enemies in mountainous camps, and maritime anti-hijacking.

The drills aim to address non-traditional security threats, including common threats faced by humanity such as terrorism, piracy, and natural disasters. The exercise is not targeted at any other country and is conducive to peace and stability in the world and the region, Zhang said.

More than 300 Chinese troops from the army, navy, and joint logistic support force of the PLA Southern Theater Command maneuvered to Cambodia via sea transport on a Type 071 comprehensive landing ship in early May. Over 2,000 participants from both sides are reportedly joining this exercise, with the Chinese side sending more than 500 vessels, armored vehicles, and weapons.

The joint drills come at a time when the Philippines has been causing disturbances and taking provocative actions towards Chinese islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Both Cambodia and the Philippines are ASEAN members, but the actions of the Philippines are seen as sabotaging peace and stability and violating the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea signed by China and ASEAN members, Zhang said.

Zhang suggested that the Philippines should learn from Cambodia and work jointly with China to safeguard regional peace and stability, resolve disputes through talks and negotiations, rather than acting as a pawn of the US.

By Media

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