During my whole life I’ve never been in a place like Sihanoukville, and I’m not talking about anything positive. We are in Cambodia, surrounded by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The city is the one of the most important in here, because of the solid Chinese business invading literally any area. This place is famous for hosting Chinese tourists during their holydays, but is becoming more and more famous even among foreigners. Here there was the ancient residence of sihanuk, the sultan of the empire. The southern coast of Cambodia is now home to a US$4.2 billion business all owned by Chinese companies and some of them are controlled by the government. The most of them are in the petrol industry, casinos, restaurants and hotels. Of the US$1.3 billion invested in Sihanoukville over the past year, US$1.1 billion has come from China. It means that Chinese people own the 90% of the businesses here. In the meanwhile, the percentage of Chinese people actually living in there is growing and growing: now it is close to 20%. Here they are experiencing a speedy growth, not even comparable to the capital one. If on one hand this is good for the economy of the country, on the other one you can clearly see what all this “profit oriented” attitude caused. The Chinese are buying everything could compete with their business, without caring about renovating them, and as a consequence there is plenty of abandoned buildings everywhere, right next to huge skyscraper. The Chinese are paying so much, compared to the average salary, then is plenty of people who wonts to work for them, and the construction keeps going 24 working hrs a day. As we do not want to see just the negative aspects, the transformation has also brought employment to the city. On the contrary, the last people running a local business are now passing a terrible period: Chinese people who come in the city prefer to stay in Chinese structures, eat Chinese food and so on. Furthermore, companies are trying to buy everything, offering very high prices and at the end, locals are somehow obliged to give up. Therefore, there are no new opportunities for Cambodians, forcing any potential local economic away. Chinese own much more money than Cambodians own and, as we know, money means power, and Cambodia is becoming just a tool in the hand of Chinese people. Another issue somehow related to this one is that in the city, but especially around, there is a huge amount of trash. We all know Southeast Asia in not that clean compared to European standards, but here you can find trash everywhere, even I the city centre, just right after a 5 star hotel! However, why did Chinese chose to invest in Cambodia? Apparently, there is not any specific reason, but Prime Minister Hun Sen, was actually the only one who ever agreed to work with Chinese Investors. Out of all Cambodia’s neighbouring countries, none of them agreed to this invasion. This is why Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam, Chinese investments have not taken over any of the coastal areas. Therefore, again, it is all about money and power and China does not mean to give up. Is Sihanoukville becoming the next Macau?

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