China has donated equipment to assist with mine and unexploded ordnance clearance in Cambodia, an official has said.
Serey Kosal, deputy head of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority, said in a video posted to his Facebook page that he had met with Xiong Bo, the Chinese ambassador, at a presentation ceremony where the goods were handed over, on Monday.
He said Cambodia had “two types of friend”, in an apparent reference to the China and the west, “the first helps us when we need help, and the others, as Cambodians usually say, are useless because they are only there for the drinks.”
“China is a first-rate friend because we know they will help Cambodia whenever Cambodia encounters difficulties,” he added.
Kosal said Cambodia needed some $400 million to complete mine clearance operations before 2025.
At the ceremony, China handed over 40 motorbikes, dozens of computers and tablets, as well as demining tools.
The Chinese donation came after the United States said it was cutting aid to the Cambodian Mine Action Center’s operations this year.
Bo, the ambassador, said via an interpreter: “The Chinese government actively supports the cause of mine clearance in Cambodia. It reflects China’s international responsibilities and obligations for humanitarian work on the international stage and also reflects our traditional friendship.”
David Josar, U.S. Embassy spokesman, said the United States remained committed to helping the Cambodian people remove unexploded ordnance and landmines.