Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Letter to the editor: Chinese investments in Cambodia are win-win-lose, and guess who’s the loser




Letter to the editor: Chinese investments in Cambodia are win-win-lose, and guess who’s the loser

The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.
The entrance to Kratie University flanked with Chinese and Cambodian flags in a photo posted on Facebook last week.

Letter to the editor: Chinese investments in Cambodia are win-win-lose, and guess who’s the loser

Editor,

Following The Post’s article titled Hun Sen comes to China’s defence, praises investment and development aid (April 26), I would like to make the following remarks.

The main problem with Chinese investments is their complete lack of transparency, which favours corruption among both Chinese investors and Cambodian government officials. These investments generally consist of “win-win-lose” arrangements, with the Cambodian people being the silent loser.

Foreign investments are expected to create jobs in the host country, which is not the case for Chinese investments in Cambodia because the needed workers are brought from China, where a portion of the money from the “investments” therefore returns. Moreover, transfer of technologies – another benefit normally associated with foreign direct investment – does not exist.

With the import of Chinese labour, no Cambodian workers are trained to acquire professional skills and there is no opportunity to develop the human resources the country badly lacks, as pointed out by Prime Minister Hun Sen himself as an excuse for the omnipresence of Chinese workers. The Hun Sen government is therefore developing a vicious circle that maintains Cambodia in ignorance, poverty and dependence.

We often notice that, when dealing with Hun Sen’s Cambodia, China generously gives with one hand but greedily takes back with the other immediate and disproportionate advantages in the form of mining, forest and land concessions as well as lucrative risk-free business contracts, for example in the production of hydroelectricity.

Massive Chinese tourism is organised around Chinese companies and the remaining money left in Cambodia hardly outweighs the ecological and social costs incurred by our country.

We know Hun Sen desperately needs China’s support to help defend and protect his regime because China does not pay any attention to the rule of law, democracy and human rights in countries where it “invests”. By recklessly siding with China just to cling on to power Hun Sen shows his economic shortsightedness and his lack of consideration for Cambodia’s interests.

Sam Rainsy is the former president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party and President of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement.

MOST VIEWED

  • First Khmer woman to pass out of West Point

    The life of a soldier certainly isn’t for everyone. The training is gruelling, the hours long and there’s no room for excuses. On top of that, soldiers must be ready to respond to sudden threats at a moment’s notice. Just ask Sithyka

  • Tourists urged not to skip trip

    The Ministry of Tourism has called on international tourists not to cancel trips to Cambodia, but urged them to adhere to several dos and don’ts when arriving in the Kingdom during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ministry released an eight-point instruction manual on Wednesday published

  • The taxman cometh – Cambodia’s capital gains tax casts the net on individual taxpayers

    In a country where only limited personal income tax existed, the new taxation law beginning January 1, 2021, will make taxpayers out of Cambodians, whether they are ready for it or not About two years ago, a little known amendment was made to Article 7 of the Law

  • Cambodian-American gets Star Trek treatment

    Kevin Ung, a Cambodian-American whose family escaped genocide during the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror, was recently selected from thousands of applicants to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s inaugural 2020 Star Trek Command Training Programme, a course intended to give hands-on filmmaking experience

  • Cambodia seeks to be transport hub

    Cambodia is working on several fronts to modernise its transport infrastructure and services, concentrating on opening new international gates to relieve and balance traffic congestion at its borders, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said on Thursday. This is part of the Kingdom’

  • Deminers unearth ancient lion statue

    Cambodia Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana told The Post on Tuesday that a statue of a lion was found by mine clearance experts while they were digging for a development project. It was sent to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts last