Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Growing Chinese Influence in Cambodia:
Helicopters and training for the army
and a railway deal

China's People Liberation Army and Cambodias ministry of defence have signed a contract to train the Cambodian army and to supply Phnom Penh with new and updated weapons, starting with 12 helicopters, as Bangkok Post reports.

China has been increasingly active in military and economic affairs in Cambodia during the past several years. In 2012, Chinese companies have promised to invest 8 billion US Dollars in Cambodia, the equivalent to almost two-thirds of Cambodias entire economy. According to the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) China is now by far the biggest foreign investor in Cambodia. On its website, the Council shows that in 2011 Cambodia attracted $1.15 billion in Chinese investments, with an increase of 71 percent from $694 million a year earlier. From 1994 to 2011, Chinese investments totaled $8.866 billion dollars notes asiancorrespondent.com.

On January 23 top officials of the Chinese government's railways ministry signed a deal in Phnom Penh to design, fund and build a new seaport and 404 km railway from Preah Vihear to the island Koh Kong. The railway will follow the eastern border of Thailand with Cambodia. This is part of a US$11.2 billion project, which includes the seaport, a steel mill and a 400-kilometre cross-country rail line linking the two. This is worth nearly 90% of Cambodia’s current gross domestic product, as www.chinadialogue.net underlines.

In January Cambodia inaugurated a new container terminal of the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port, turning the port as a large hub for logistics supply and goods collection and distribution. The inauguration ceremony was presided over by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Chinese Ambassador to Cambodia Pan Guangxue. The construction of the 10-hectare terminal was begun in March 2011 by Shanghai Construction (Group) General Company with a soft loan of 28.2 million U.S. dollars financed by the Government of China, Hun Sen said at the event according to news.xinhuanet.com. The terminal is located along the Mekong River in Kean Svay district, about 30 kilometers east of capital Phnom Penh.

Read more:
Growing Chinese influence in Cambodia: A railway from Preah Vihear, a steel plant and a seaport in Koh Kong

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