16 November 2007
Patrol ship of the Cambodian Navy donated from China (photo : China Dylife)
In a sign of deepening military cooperation between the two countries, China has donated nine new naval patrol boats to Cambodia. These boats, according to Cambodia's defence minister, will be used to boost protection along Cambodia's coast, providing security against piracy and other crimes.
China had earlier donated six patrol boats to Cambodia in 2005.
Cambodia said that it is increasing its navy from 1,000 to 3,000 sailors, apart from creating a force of 2,000 marines.
According to Cambodian government sources, oil exploration companies have found six potential oil and gas fields off Cambodia's coast, which has heightened the need for an enhanced naval security.
According to defence observers, Cambodia is now providing China with a strategic foothold in Southeast Asia that will become increasingly significant as it seeks greater influence in the region.