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  • On this episode of China Uncensored,

  • prostitution and gambling?!

  • Now that's an investment!

  • Hi, welcome back to China Uncensored.

  • I'm your host Chris Chappell.

  • You know, people love a good story.

  • And there are really only a handful of stories

  • that get told over and over again.

  • Boy meets girl,

  • hero goes on a quest,

  • Chinese Communist Party buries a country in a debt trap.

  • Yeah, that last one never gets old.

  • In fact, it's being repeated once again in Cambodia.

  • Chinese investment is everywhere.

  • Because Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen loves Chinese investment.

  • Hun Sen used to a member of the Khmer Rouge--

  • the communist regime that killed millions of Cambodians in the 1970s.

  • But don't worry, he left the Khmer Rouge...

  • to avoid being purged.

  • And then he became prime minister of Cambodia.

  • For the next 33 years.

  • Now after leaving the Khmer Rouge,

  • he had once called China "the root of everything evil."

  • But you know, after being dictator of Cambodia for three decades,

  • and forcing the supreme court to dissolve the main opposition party,

  • ...and winning a sham election again and again,

  • ...your attitude toward the Chinese Communist Party changes a bit.

  • Sure, they supported the Khmer Rouge that literally killed

  • a quarter of your fellow countrymen in the 70s,

  • but now the Chinese Communist Party wants to support you!

  • Water under the bridge!

  • Bodies under the floorboards!

  • Because the Chinese regime is supporting Hun Sen with a lot of money.

  • Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in southeast Asia.

  • They struggle with basic power and sanitation issues.

  • But in just four years,

  • China had invested over 5 billion dollars in Cambodia.

  • That's more money than Cambodia's own government

  • invested in the country during that time.

  • The Chinese Communist Party even pledged 100 million dollars in military aid.

  • All this is tied to Chinese leader Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative,

  • a trillion-dollar project with the goal of

  • connecting countries around the world with China.

  • Now all that sounds good, right?

  • Well, it's kind of like how the McRib sounds good.

  • Looks delicious right?

  • Until you go just beneath the surface and realize that bun

  • is made out of the same stuff they use to make yoga mats.

  • And yet, even though Chinese investment is a giant multibillion dollar McRib,

  • authoritarian dictators can't help but say, "I'm lovin' it."

  • So to look into China's McRib in Cambodia,

  • we hired a local to shoot some footage for us

  • in the sleepy seaside town of Sihanoukville.

  • Well, it's not so sleepy anymore.

  • Chinese investment has been flooding in,

  • in the form of skyscrapers, bridges, hotels,

  • casinos, restaurants and apartment blocks.

  • Construction is going on 24/7.

  • China has pumped in over a billion dollars here.

  • A joint-country economic zone has been set up

  • that has brought in hundreds of Chinese companies,

  • some owned by the Chinese government.

  • The southern coast of Cambodia is now home to more than four billion

  • dollars worth of Chinese power plants and offshore oil operations.

  • Sihanoukville is also becoming a lynchpin for China's Belt and Road Initiative.

  • A new highway will connect the city to China's vast global trade network.

  • Not only that, in June, a one billion dollar joint venture between

  • a Chinese-Malaysian company was announced that will create a massive resort,

  • complete with water parks, hotels, and even more casinos and malls.

  • Ha, sounds like a knock off Disney World.

  • What are they going to call it, Wisney World?

  • Haha, what's that Shelley?

  • Are you kidding me?!

  • That is what they're calling it?!

  • Well, I guess it will be the wappiest place on Earth.

  • Now obviously, all this investment has brought some benefits.

  • And "Cambodian workers on Chinese construction sites

  • earn three times what they used to on local projects."

  • But no matter how good this McRib looks from the outside,

  • on the inside it's still made out of yoga mats.

  • The same story that has played out in countries may be replaying here.

  • Although the roads in Sihanoukville may not have as many potholes as before,

  • now they're being used by Chinese nouveau riche driving Mercedes.

  • Chinese nationals have flooded Sihanoukville--

  • rich business owners, as well as workers.

  • Chinese make up about 20% of the population now.

  • And they don't mix much with the local Cambodians.

  • Many of the new jobs go to Chinese immigrants,

  • who are driving up housing and food prices,

  • which then drive out the local Cambodians.

  • Rooms that once went for 500 dollars a month now cost 4500 dollars.

  • And all those casinos?

  • The Cambodians can't use them.

  • Because it's actually illegal for Cambodians to gamble.

  • In fact, a Cambodian man recently won 130,000 dollars at a casino,

  • but the Chinese owner refused to pay him because of the law.

  • Although I'm sure if the Cambodian guy had lost 130,000 dollars,

  • the Chinese casino owner might have been a bit more flexible.

  • Anyway, all the gambling has brought some...

  • shall we say...less than legitimate business.

  • Like prostitution.

  • And increasing crime.

  • And according to the regional governor,

  • it's "in part due to an influx of 'Chinese mafia [who] disguise themselves

  • to commit various crimes and kidnap Chinese investors [...]

  • causing insecurity in the province.'"

  • Now this isn't exactly making the locals very happy.

  • In fact, ethnic tension is on the rise.

  • I don't want to see the Chinese

  • do whatever they want in Sihanoukville

  • or the whole country of Cambodia.

  • Not only that, but they create crime.

  • They break into cars.

  • There are now Chinese thieves who steal in Sihanoukville.

  • They are involved in the drug trade, in murders.

  • City authorities aren't capable of controlling their criminal activity.

  • And guess what?

  • All this development in Sihanoukville

  • also includes a 99-year lease on a deep water port nearby--

  • a port that could eventually be used by the Chinese navy.

  • Wait, where have I heard that before?

  • Oh yeah.

  • Vietnam.

  • And Sri Lanka.

  • So if all of this sounds familiar, it should.

  • This is a pattern we see worldwide as the Chinese Communist Party

  • comes in with their bags of money:

  • Promise big investment, build a bunch of things,

  • "oops it wrecked the local economy and now you're deep in debt",

  • "no problem, hand it over to us, ok?"

  • But if the Chinese regime and Hun Sen aren't careful in Cambodia,

  • it could actually backfire on them.

  • Sure, Prime Minister Hun Sen seems powerful now,

  • Cambodia could one day see a situation like Malaysia--

  • where a corrupt prime minister gets kicked out in favor of

  • a new guy who rejects Chinese investment.

  • And that could have serious ramifications for the future of the Belt and Road.

  • So what do you think?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And now it's once again time for me to answer a question from a fan

  • who supports China Uncensored on the crowd funding website Patreon.

  • The GunSlinger has a question for the China Uncensored crew:

  • "what hobbies do you have in your free time?

  • Any activities you do outside of your two news channels?

  • Haha, free time.

  • Between China Uncensored,

  • America Uncovered, the China Unscripted Podcast

  • and the America Uncovered podcast,

  • I don't have a whole lot of it.

  • But, with what little free time I do have,

  • I like learning more about China and its culture.

  • I meet friends at a traditional Chinese tea house.

  • I read books about China.

  • I practice Chinese martial arts.

  • I also make steak.

  • Shelley, what do you do in your free time?

  • You kick butt and chew bubblegum?

  • And you're all out of gum?

  • Huh.

  • Thanks for your question.

  • Remember, China Uncensored is only still around

  • because of support from viewers like you who contribute on Patreon.

  • So head over to pateron.com/chinauncensored.

  • Besides getting to ask me questions,

  • we'll also give you some neat perks.

  • Thanks for watching this episode of China Uncensored.

  • Once again I'm your host Chris Chappell.

  • See you next time.

  • Want to hear more of my thoughts on China?

  • Check out the China Unscripted podcast!

  • I give you my full thoughts on China in a weekly podcast

  • you can get on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher.

  • It's great.

  • Also, Shelley's on it.

  • And Matt.

On this episode of China Uncensored,

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Is China’s Belt and Road DESTROYING Cambodia?

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    zijun su posted on 2021/06/04
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