Royal Cambodian Army Commander Lieutenant General Hun Manet (Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son) unveiled a shipment of 290 Chinese-made military trucks on Thursday, saying the vehicles were not aid from Beijing but gifts from unnamed donors. At a ceremony to distribute the vehicles to the armed forces and police, parried criticisms of the acquisition, saying that the money for the trucks came from private donations and did not cost Cambodia a single riel. While the cost of the trucks was not revealed, RFA reported in late July 2019 that Hun Sen revealed he had allocated U.S. $40 million to purchase unspecified arms from China, on top of $290 million it had already spent on military purchases from Beijing.
Lieutenant General Hun Manet said the vehicles, ordered a year earlier, would be used during natural disasters such as floods and wildfires and to defend Cambodia’s interests in a border dispute with Vietnam that dates back to end of French colonial rule in the 1950s. Hun Manet denied that the trucks, which arrived by ship last week, were a gift from the Chinese government. Beijing’s political support is seen by wary Cambodians as entrenching Hun Sen’s authoritarian policies while deepening Chinse influence on the country. Hun Manet did not reveal the names of the donors, but the military installed a sign at the ceremony saying the vehicles were donated by Hun Sen and his wife.
The Genlyon truck is based on the Iveco Stralis AS. The Genlyon truck is produced in Chongqing at the all-new SAIC-Iveco Hongyan Commercial Vehicle Company (SIH) headquarters and production facility constructed on a green-field site. The truck features the Stralis Active Space cab with internal and external appointments designed specifically for the Chinese market, including the standard specification of air conditioning and air suspended driver’s seat. The product marks the JV’s entry into the premium heavy truck market. The Iveco Stralis is a heavy-duty truck produced by the Italian manufacturer Iveco since 2002.
SAIC Iveco Hongyan Commercial Vehicle Co., Ltd. is a Chinese joint venture headquartered in Chongqing, China and owned by SAIC (as a majority holder), the Chongqing city and Iveco. SAIC Iveco Hongyan was established in January 2003 as Chongqing Hongyan and traces its origins back to a Chinese manufacturer established in 1965. The company is focused on producing Iveco-based heavy trucks which are mostly marketed under the Hongyan marque. In China, the company markets its products under the Hongyan marque while that for export markets it uses both the Hongyan and Iveco marques. As of 2019, trucks produced by SAIC Iveco Hongyan include the Genlyon , the Kingkan, the Genpaw and the Gentruck.