Phnom Peng diary (pt2) – There’s a Big “kanji”

More than three decades after the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia has revived and change. No Ponlot, it is now easy to find the shadow of the Chinese people across the country poured down the temple tower.

An architectural complex of deep and tight as the Forbidden City, stunned even a half wide area near the football stadium. Always standing outside a group guards armed, march through the regular march beneath towering fence row.
Buildings are not mentioned as a model prison, which is the Chinese embassy in Cambodia, which is located on the avenue named after Mao Zedong, the largest city of Phnom Peng.
Majestic appearance of the diplomatic district also voiced somewhat greater concern of Beijing to the country Temple Tower.
Casablanca Chinese
If Africa with an endless source of raw minerals are gold hidden island for the company “made in China”, then Cambodia is regarded as China’s Casablanca. Like the famous tourism city in the classic film 1942, Cambodia is a land for big business for underground power to expand the Beijing government was heavy-handed repression in the country.
The outlook given by the Asia Times as early as 2006, but until now it still remains the same. You can verify this thing as soon as he walked into Cambodian territory at Moc Bai international border gate (Tay Ninh), with the casino in Chinese signs mushroomed along the road to Phnom Peng.
The bars and discotheques in the capital’s most popular majority is owned by the owners of China. Sisowath tourist street right next to the legendary Mekong River, you can easily pick out a bar called Mao, with image of Chinese leader is on display everywhere.
Not only is using the informal form as above, China’s investment in various sectors in Cambodia has increased rapidly in recent times. According to the latest report by Xinhua, China’s investment in Cambodia reached US $ 8.8 billion in 2008, double the nation’s investment in second place was South Korea.
“The list of investors here so much that the staff Chinese embassy complained they did not have time to rest,” says “wikileaks” in a telegram from the US Embassy sent Washington said.
Mao Tse Tung Boulevard in Phnom Peng
Along with commercial investments are more and more aid by Beijing for Phnom Peng. In 2006, the Chinese government declared $ 600 million in aid to Cambodia, with the total amount of all other Western donors combined. In 2008, on the occasion of a visit to Beijing to monitor the King Sihamoni Olympics, China pledged nearly $ 260 million in aid for low-interest loans.
With the largest foreign reserves in the world, to more than 3,000 billion dollars, of course, the Chinese have the right to invest in aid and wherever they want. But the promise that “help each other as traditional job of the neighboring countries” and “unconditional aid” seems not to be honest much.
In 2009, when 20 ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang are in Phnom Peng awaiting political asylum go through the auspices of the United Nations, it was the security forces of Cambodia arrested and transferred to the Middle Korea. Within 48 hours, an amount of development aid combined with investment up to 1.2 billion dollars have been pledged for Cambodian Beijing. “Obviously this is a reward,” Time magazine commented.
With the growing role of ASEAN, of which Cambodia is a member, many experts commented that China unexpectedly tightened relations with Cambodia, a country that does not really rich in natural resources, bringing a variety of purposes political rather than economic. This explains more than reasonable when maritime sovereignty disputes over islands between China and ASEAN countries have been strained in recent times.
For ordinary people, the impact with the economic data above seem quite invisible, but the ball is “big” country is down to the Cambodian government, they can feel immediately from life Everyday.
If you pay attention to the name of the shop signs in Phnom Peng, you may be surprised when Chinese have many Khmer par.
In the central market and the Russian market, the two busiest business district of the capital, the majority of traders are Chinese.
And of course, clothes, furniture, machinery … made in China are present everywhere. Do not be too shocked when unfortunately you buy a unique souvenir at the market that night, and when he returns to see the label “Chinese origin” of it.
Economic dominance inevitably toward dominance and cultural population. According to unofficial data, about 200000-350000 Chinese people do eat here, especially strong after the route between Kunming and Phnom Peng, traveling through Laos, was built.
“Peaceful Rise” and the death of the Mekong
Cheese for not only in the mousetrap, and even mice have also wise to some hard-earned pieces of food while keeping yourself healed. Lessons that will probably have to be studied carefully before Cambodia to delegate decisions to build hydropower projects on the Mekong giant in the hands of Chinese hydropower contractor.
China now has in hand the construction permits in large hydropower projects in Cambodia, which is the largest Kamchay dam (180 MW reserves) was put into operation in 2010. In the preliminary 20 projects another, also lies primarily in the hands of Beijing, is undergoing a feasibility assessment.
All are located in China’s ambition to turn the Cambodian people, and even the neighboring countries into the “double pin of Asia,” as in a statement issued in 2008.
If it became a reality, in a not too distant future, we will witness a map of the Kingdom temple tower pockmarked with green notes of reservoir dams.
Chinese workers at hydroelectric plant Kamchay Campot Province, Cambodia
But the blue hole that brought negative impact is much more in terms of aesthetics, and it was really happening then rather than be a more distant prospect.
Kamchay dam after construction was complete road block migration to spawning of many fish species in the sea Lake, makes the catch in recent years severely reduced.
In a country where seafood is the main occupation, and fish in the sea Lake occupies over 2/3 of output, then this is a very alarming situation. When built, the dam has swallowed more than 2,000 hectares of forest, despite the environmental organizations and the people protested.
“They almost did not make statements assess the environmental impact during the construction project, and if they do, nor credible,” Mr. Meas Nee, a Cambodian social studies commented on contractors China.
While the fierce debate about whether or not to allow the contractor China builds dams continue simmering, then this country has witnessed a bout harshest drought in decades back here in 2010. The water level in Lake beach below the record, the Mekong River in Phnom Peng water was also significantly reduced. Many suggested that dozens of large and small dams on the Mekong River is the main cause of this problem.
Think about the fate of the Mekong River, especially in the song it goes through Cambodia, no one is worried. Long River, the third longest river in the world, was half dead after the Three Gorges Dam went into operation, changing completely the flow, water quality, and ecosystem around it. No one doubts that the Mekong would have the same fate.

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