Chris Williams writes:
I need to challenge your China linkage reporter for 29 January for drawing the headline directly from the Bangkok Post source article, 'China will train the Cambodian army, a move likely to rattle its ASEAN neighbours'. The headline was intended to cater to an internal Thai readership, and is erroneous, particularly when read in the context of these reports.
If the Lowy Interpreter intends to continue running China linkage articles, it needs to be more critical of source matter. In this instance, it is understandable that the Thai military would see purchase of the Z-9 helicopters and training of 24 pilots quite differently to other countries in the region. I feel the purchase of Ukrainian tanks and armoured vehicles is of greater significance. Cambodian opposition politicians and media sniffed out that undisclosed purchase after the vehicles arrived across the Sihanoukville docks, hence their ongoing concerns about the Z-9 purchases.
My view is that this is less a China story than it is a Cambodia story in their election year.