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Monday, May 31, 2010

China gives trucks to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH - CHINA has promised more than 250 new military trucks to Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday, signalling deeper military cooperation between the two nations.

PM Hun Sen said a donation of 257 military trucks and 50,000 military uniforms was agreed during a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao in Shanghai earlier in May.

'They are all brand-new trucks... from the factory,' PM Hun Sen said during a ceremony to open a Chinese-funded bridge.

The trucks will arrive in Cambodia June 18 and then be featured in a parade, said PM Hun Sen, who went on to praise Chinese leaders for 'talking less, but doing a lot' to help Cambodia.

The announcement of Chinese military aid comes after the US in April stopped a shipment of military trucks to Cambodia as punishment for sending ethnic Uighur asylum-seekers back to China in defiance of international appeals.

Cambodia in December deported the 20 Uighurs, members of a largely Muslim minority group in western China, even though they were seeking UN refugee status and said they would face torture if returned. The decision to deport the Uighurs came a day ahead of a visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, during which he agreed US$1.2 billion (S$1.69 billion) in aid and loans to Cambodia with Hun Sen. -- AFP

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