China has agreed to help modernize Cambodia’s military, Cambodia’s defense minister said on Monday, after the two countries signed new agreements to boost military aid.
Cambodia is China’s loyal ally in Asia, routinely backing Beijing’s position at international forums in a region where China and United States vie for influence.
Cambodia has shielded China from criticism by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) over the South China Sea. ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei are in disputes with China over rival claims to the waters.
“We signed some protocols with each other in providing supplies in order to modernize our work and as a contribution to strengthen stronger capacity of our national defense,” Defence Minister Tea Banh, who returned from an official visit to Beijing over the weekend, told reporters on Monday.