In one of Cambodia’s least populated, most remote provinces, Koh Kong, Chinese construction teams are hard at work. They’re building dozens of high-rise buildings and villas and an airport with the longest runway in the country.
Already over the past decade, they’ve built a hydropower dam and miles of new roads with streetlights and flower beds decorating the median strips. A sprawling resort with a casino and few guests, almost all of them Chinese, sits near the coast, with a partially built concrete pier a short motorboat ride away.
“No one in this village knows anything about the plan,” said a local fisherman, who declined to give his name. “There’s a checkpoint, and only Chinese people are allowed to go inside. They say this is Chinese land.”