Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association

Hun Sen allocates $40M to buy Chinese arms

Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced he would use $40 million this year to buy weapons from China to strengthen the capacity of Cambodia’s army.

While presiding over a review of the construction of Morodok Techo Stadium Construction in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district on Monday, Hun Sen said the government would allocate $40 million to buy weapons from China, adding to a previous spend of $200 million as well as a further $90 million commitment in aid for arms promised by China this year.

“I want to strengthen army’s capacity. I’m not scared,” Hun Sen said. “No country in the world has no weapons.”

He noted that the reason he sought new weapons was because Cambodia’s current weapons were aging. He said tens of thousands of new weapons would be bought, while old ones replaced or repaired.

“In previous years, Defense Minister Tea Banh requested just $25 million to buy weapons, but this time … I called him to prepare a plan to request the budget to buy weapons from China,” Hun Sen said.

He added that he knew everything about the army and armaments, and sometimes during military exercises trainees would ask that they use live bullets. In such cases, Hun Sen said, he would allow the use of real bullets to raise the level of training being undertaken by the armed forces.

He was a leader, so he must think about his army, he said.

The king is the chairman of the Supreme Council of National Defense, while the prime minister is its vice chairman, Hun Sen said, adding that it was his duty to manage both the internal and external affairs of the country.