Sunday, April 07, 2019

Is China Building an Airbase in Cambodia?

It’s only natural that Beijing might show an interest in a tourism development that aims to lure big-spending Chinese tourists to the shores of Cambodia with the promise of casinos, golf courses and luxury resorts.

After all, Cambodia granted 45,000 hectares of its prime real estate in Koh Kong province – and 20 per cent of its coastline – to private Chinese company Union Development Group, just so it could build this supposed tourism Mecca, and all for a peppercorn rent that will start at just US$1 million per year.

At least, that’s the official version. But sceptics who say the terms of this deal are too good to be true think there’s another reason for China’s interest: they believe the development is as much about welcoming the Chinese military as it is about Chinese tourists.

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