What kind of Chinese investment might win over Cambodians’ hearts? The benefits, costs and public reception of two landmark projects may help to answer that question. For while people seem enthused to use a new road, they are uneasy about economic change in the city of Sihanoukville, which lies at one end of it.
Cambodia has heartily embraced the first motorway linking the capital Phnom Penh to the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk since it was opened to the public for a one-month free trial starting in early October.
The 187km, US$2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville road is a Belt and Road Initiative project undertaken by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which borrowed from various Chinese development banks.