*** ----> China shows off robot ‘dogs of war’ in Cambodia drills | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

China shows off robot ‘dogs of war’ in Cambodia drills

AFP | Beijing

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

China’s military showed off its machine gun-equipped robot battle “dogs” yesterday at the start of its biggest-ever drills with Cambodian forces, as the United States frets about Beijing’s growing influence in the Southeast Asian country.

Cambodia has long been a staunch ally of China, receiving billions of dollars in investments, and Washington is growing increasingly concerned Beijing will use a Cambodian naval base it is upgrading on Gulf of Thailand to expand its influence in the region.

More than 2,000 troops, including 760 Chinese military personnel, are taking part in the drills at a remote training centre in central Kampong Chhnang province and at sea off Preah Sihanouk province.

The 15-day exercise, dubbed Golden Dragon, also involves 14 warships -- three from China -- two helicopters, and 69 armored vehicles and tanks, and includes live-fire, anti-terrorism, and humanitarian rescue drills.

The hardware on show included the so-called “robodogs” -- remote-controlled four-legged robots with automatic rifles mounted on their backs.