China, Cambodia to deepen collaboration on mine clearance: Chinese FM
Published: Jan 19, 2024 09:25 PM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning Photo:

The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mine-clearance cooperation between China and Cambodia provides a more solid basis for deeper cooperation in this area, which has become a vivid example of the two sides working together to implement the Global Security Initiative (GSI), a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday.

The two sides inked an MoU on Thursday at an event in Phnom Penh, during which China handed over a new batch of demining equipment to the Cambodian side, including mine detectors, demining toolkits, demining protective equipment, laptop computers, tablet computers, and tents.

Commenting on the cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at Friday's press briefing that as a good neighbor, good partner and good brother of Cambodia, China has cared much about the landmine problem in Cambodia.

Since 1998, we have been providing Cambodia with support in various forms, including funding, mine-clearance equipment and personnel training. Mine-clearance cooperation has become an important part of the China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, an important component of the "diamond hexagon" bilateral cooperation framework, and a vivid example of the two sides working together to implement the GSI, Mao said. 

Going forward, China stands ready to step up cooperation with Cambodia and provide more support for Cambodia in its effort to clear all landmines and achieve the mine-free goal by 2025 as scheduled, noted Mao.

A China-aided mine clearance project, which began in 2018 and will last until 2025, has helped find and destroy about 78,000 landmines and unexploded ordinances, and cleared over 100 square kilometers of land contaminated with mines and explosive remnants in Cambodia, benefiting some 1.5 million people, a senior government official said on Thursday, the Xinhua News Agency reported. 

Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia, Wang Wentian, said at Thursday's event that China's long-standing mine clearance assistance to Cambodia has been of major significance in helping Cambodia maintain national security, uphold social stability, promote economic development, and improve the well-being of its people.

Cambodia is one of the countries worst affected by landmines. An estimated 4 million to 6 million landmines and other munitions have been left over from three decades of war and internal conflicts that ended in 1998.

According to Yale University, between 1965 and 1973, the US dropped some 230,516 bombs on 113,716 sites in Cambodia.

Global Times