Cambodian defense minister visits China to further strengthen ties ambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Gen. Tea Banh on Saturday left for Beijing for an unofficial visit to further enhance bilateral ties and cooperation. "My visit is to discuss some tasks with the Chinese counterpart in order to further promote military relations and cooperation," he told reporters at the capital's airport before departure. "We need some help from the Chinese friend in order to develop capacity for Cambodian armed forces." Cambodia and China have constantly maintained and further developed military ties through the visit exchange of both sides' senior military officials and China's assistance for military human resources development. China has helped Cambodia since 2002 to build the Infantry Institute in Kampong Speu province, about 90 kilometers west of capital Phnom Penh. Earlier this year, some 160 Cambodian military students had completed training courses in China. Cambodian defense minister visits China to further strengthen ties - CHINA - Globaltimes.cn ))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))) In recent years, Cambodia has become one of China's closest international partners and diplomatic allies. Cambodia's apparent defence of China during ASEAN talks on the South China Sea demonstrated the strength of the partnership and its relevance to broader regional relations. There are key trends in the relationship and argues that it conforms increasingly to a patron-client arrangement. Such arrangements are rooted in an exchange of benefits. Among other things, patronage buys the stronger state a degree of deference and political support from its weaker partner, while client status entitles the weaker party to aid and protection at some cost in policy autonomy. It aÂ´can be said that Cambodian ties have become close over the past fifteen years largely because China has offered Cambodia's governing elites a favourable bargain, providing ample economic and political benefits without demanding particularly costly forms of political support in return. That has begun to change, however. Cambodia's governing elites have become more dependent on China, more beholden to Beijing's policy preferences, and more closely identified with China by critics at home and abroad. Cambodia is thus beginning to experience more of the risks inherent in any patron-client pact, suggesting an imbalance in its foreign relations that augurs poorly for the future if current trends continue. But then Cambodia is in a unending circle out of which there is no escape!