Sihanoukville, Cambodia was once known for its quiet, cosy beaches. An atmosphere that mostly attracted families, individual travellers, and backpackers. That was until the Chinese investment flooded in, driven by the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).By 2018, the once-tranquil city was transformed. Sihanoukville today is an enclave of Chinese investments and is peppered with Chinese-run, -operated and -patroned hotels, apartment towers, restaurants and gambling dens.
In a previous article, The ASEAN Post highlighted the fact that today, in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, Chinese mainlanders own more than 90 percent of all businesses. While this has increased land prices in the once sleepy-coastal town, the fact that the Chinese are willing to pay millions of dollars to buy land there only serves to heighten worries that Sihanoukville is becoming a small Chinese colony.
Following the growing number of foreigners who come to invest and work in Cambodia, the country’s Ministry of Labour said that it will make an announcement soon to ban foreigners from self-employment on 10 types of jobs including driving a taxi, tuk-tuk, or motor taxi; or being a street vendor, barber, delivery man, or other small occupations.
Investigations are underway in the Philippines of establishments and other businesses that not only cater solely to Chinese nationals, but are also rejecting local Filipino customers. Just recently on 6 May, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo told the press that Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III will be asked to begin a probe on the matter.“We have to investigate that, if that is true. We cannot allow that to happen. They cannot be discriminating against Filipinos.
Indonesia is hoping to attract 3.5 million Chinese tourists to visit various tourist destinations in the country this year. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya expressed optimism that the target of 3.5 million Chinese tourist arrivals for 2019 would be achieved after the ministry designated Singapore as a hub for the Indonesian tourism market."Our weakness is that we do not have many direct flights.
Recent reports have revealed that villagers in the remote Lao settlement of Huaiyae in the scenic Vang Vieng region north of Vientiane have expressed concern about the possibility of losing their land to a Chinese development project. This was after local authorities were spotted in the town taking measurements and noting the locations of trees.
Earlier this week, Lao announced a year-long plan to draw more Chinese tourists to the country through its Visit Laos-China Year 2019. The campaign is expected to be launched either late January, or during the Chinese New Year week-long holiday between 2 to 9 February. It’s also possible that it could even be launched on Chinese New Year day itself on 5 February. Lao’s tourism sector has a lot of potential.
Recent reports have revealed that Indonesia is hoping to attract 3.5 million Chinese tourists to visit various tourist destinations in the country next year. Tourism Minister Arief Yahya expressed optimism that the target of 3.5 million Chinese tourist arrivals for 2019 would be achieved after the ministry designated Singapore as a hub for the Indonesian tourism market."Our weakness is that we do not have many direct flights.
Sihanoukville used to be a sleepy coastal town in south Cambodia. Its beaches were known for their quiet, cosy – albeit a little seedy – atmosphere that attracted mostly families, individual travellers, and backpackers. Aside from the on-goings of tourists and those connected with the country’s sole deep-water port, nothing much changed.