Opening the door to Chinese investment comes with risks for Southeast Asian nations

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.”

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