Kampot to host full China/Cambodia military exercises in March

Published:  17 Jan at 6 PM
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Expats in the Cambodian city of Kampot are being warned of an upcoming Cambodia/China military exercise in the locality.

The so-called Golden Dragon Military Exercise will take place in March and will involve some 2000 military attendees as well as an impressive selection of weapons of war. Held at the province’s Techo Sen Chum Kiri Military Institute under the odd title Counterterrorism and Humanitarian Relief, the drill will be the fourth in the province over the past four years.

According to local media, the training exercises will include the destruction of unexploded ordnance as well as of chemical weapons, tank battles, the rescuing of hostages and, oddly, humanitarian affairs. Deputy head of the Royal Cambodian Air Force Ith Sarath added that tanks, armoured vehicles, live fire practice and other related exercises will safeguard peace and security in the region as well as strengthening the alliance between Cambodia and China.

For expats in the Southeast Asian region, Cambodia has long been seen as a viable alternative to the country’s neighbours, with many relocating from Thailand over the past several years. Their major destination was Sihanoukville, now transformed beyond recognition from a beachside haven favoured by the Royal Family to a ruined town catering only to on and offline Chinese gamblers and property speculators.

A good number of its expat population fled to Kampot, but the increasing Chinese presence in the riverside city is now causing consternation amongst its foreign community. The upcoming joint military exercises are certain to spur fears that the comparatively peaceful town will soon meet the same fate as Sihanoukville due to its waning Western influences, thus leaving only Siem Reap as a suitable expat location, at least for now.
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