A Change of Guard

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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Chinese influence runs deep in Cambodia

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Cambodia today. Photo Phnom Penh Post.

Published: 30-Mar-2012

PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) – Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Phnom Penh Friday ahead of an ASEAN summit next week amid concern that he will use his visit to convince Cambodia as ASEAN chair to avoid discussion of the South China Sea issue.

China's influence runs deep in Cambodia as the government depends heavily on Chinese aid as well as economic and political cooperation.

Such influence has raised concern that it could have a negative impact on Cambodia's role as ASEAN chair, especially on the South China Sea conflict.

Ahead of Hu's visit, Chinese Ambassador Pan Guangxue held a press briefing to highlight the strong cooperation between the two countries.

Pan depicted China as one of the most important countries for Cambodia in terms of political relations, aid, trade, and investment.

He noted that bilateral trade had jumped more than tenfold from $224 million in 2000 to $2.5 in 2011 and that China had also contributed $2.1 billion in aid to Cambodia since 1992.

Cambodia's national budget for this year meanwhile includes plans to request $767 million in loans from China.

Chinese aid to Cambodia has been channeled towards roadworks stretching 1,800 kilometers and six big hydropower projects. Another four hydropower projects are underway.

In addition, China is helping Cambodia to construct three irrigation systems, a bridge across the Mekong River and another bridge across the Tonle Sap River -- next to an existing bridge built with Japanese assistance.

Chinese companies are also the largest source of foreign investment in Cambodia with investment reaching $8.8 billion between 1994 and late 2011, the Council of Development of Cambodia says. Such investment includes the infrastructure, hydropower, agriculture and light manufacturing sectors.

Pan estimates that Cambodia has about one million Chinese immigrants, mostly businessmen, among its population of more than 14 million.

In ceremonies to inaugurate the many projects funded by China, Prime Minister Hun Sen always highlights the strong friendship and cooperation between the two countries.


Anonymous said...

It has nothing to do with influence.
It is about a real deep friendship and trust between the 2 countries since the Khmer Empire time.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with that guy in the picture? He's about to choke...or something?

Anonymous said...

This is a positive influence.
Unlike the Viets, the Chinese do not have a plan
to make Cambodia their SECOND Kampucha Krom.

A Khmer Patriot

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect picture that was taken on time with the guy was coughing or choking, like the one in USA a man was yawning behind Barak Obama’s speech.

Anonymous said...

I hope the strong relation between China and Cambodia would prevent the annexation of Cambodia by Viet.

Anonymous said...

8:20 AM
Nope. We should not create a rivalry between China and Vietnam on Cambodia soil. This rivalry will speed up the destruction of Cambodia. They will carve out our land, divide it, and swallow it so fast even if they have a full stomach. Now both of them are going in for the kill. China can't blame Vietnam because the youns will say, hey if you can do it, so can I. Same when the Viet blames the Chinese. There is only one loser here, us.