Cambodia, China’s latest triumph? – VisualPolitik EN
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Cambodia, China’s latest triumph? – VisualPolitik EN

October 17, 2019

Cambodia is far from an ordinary country. It went through such a bad period that this
place became one of the poorest countries with the bleakest prospects in Southeast Asia. You see, sandwiched between two more populous
and emerging economic powers, Vietnam and Thailand, this small country of fewer than
16 million inhabitants has one of the most horrendous, cruel and ruthless histories of
the entire continent and, perhaps, the entire planet. In 1975 the Cambodian Communist Party took
control of the country. For the next four years, until its downfall
in 1979, the Khmer Rouge – as the party members were known – perpetrated one of
the worst genocides humanity has ever known. During the existence of the Democratic Kampuchea,
the name of the state ruled by the Khmer Rouge, between one and a half million and three million
people lost their lives due to their policies. That’s a quarter of the population of the
entire country. Wiped out in just four years! The execution of political dissidents and
racial and religious minorities made up most of this chilling figure. Because nobody was safe there. Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, people of
one ethnic group or another, whomever the government considered as an enemy of the revolution
was targeted by this “purge”. Yes, the Khmer Rouge was crazy. And of course, all this crippled Cambodia’s
development prospects for many years because… How can you recover from something so horrendous? As you can imagine, it was no easy task. And yes, that’s exactly what we’re going
to talk about today in this video, about how Cambodia has changed since the fall of communism,
both in the economic and political fields, And about what we can expect from this small
Asian country in the future, which is located in one of the areas of the world that has
the most potential. Listen up. (A 100% DEPENDENT ECONOMY) Cambodia has experienced impressive, exponential
economic growth in recent years. Between 1997 and 2017, its GDP has grown every
year at an average of 7.7%. Its GDP per capita has multiplied by more
than three. These are excellent numbers, but… What exactly has such development translated
into? Well, for example, this huge economic growth
has meant that the population living below the poverty line has decreased from approximately
50 to just over 13%. And of course, with this data you may think… Wow! Things seem to be going very well in Cambodia… Right? Well, yes… and no. The truth is that right now the country is
experiencing – what you could call– a great uncertainty. It sits between China and the western actors
– the United States and the European Union. But, let’s look at this step by step. We’ve already seen the Cambodian economy’s
enormous growth in the last two decades, so that raises the question, What exactly does Cambodia offer? What is their economic model based on? Well, the answer here is simple: the textile
industry and tourism. The powerful Cambodian textile industry accounts
for approximately 80% of the country’s exports and employs more than 700,000 people. This industry is by far the country’s driving
force and the main source of income for many Cambodian families. By the way, Cambodia has a feature that is
seriously harming its development, and it could also be a huge problem for its future. Cambodia is still a mostly rural country. Less than 25% of the population lives in cities,
which places it as one of the least urbanized countries on the planet. To give you an idea of ​​what this figure
means, its neighbor Laos is nearing 40%. Under these conditions, access and provision
of educational services are very expensive and difficult to manage. Most rural schools don’t have books or internet
connection, and people continue to look to the countryside as a way of life. This explains why approximately 20% of the
adult population is illiterate. But, let’s not get off topic. The fact is that a large part of Cambodia’s
economic takeoff was due to another character, a protagonist who arrived with a huge wad
of bills and stacks of bricks under his arm. Do you want to know who’s hiding behind
this sudden deluge of investment? China, China has spent years investing hundreds
of millions of dollars in infrastructure and in the construction sector, in real estate
development. In Cambodia, it’s currently very common
to see landscapes full of cranes, and imposing buildings and skyscrapers under construction. In the last two years alone, about 6,000 construction
projects valued at more than 11 billion dollars have been approved. And yes, most of the buyers in this promising
new real estate market come from China. Typically between 50 and 80% of the properties
of the most luxurious real estate developments in the capital, Phnom Penh, are acquired by
Chinese. But, just a second, what has triggered such
fervor? Are the Chinese crazy about Cambodia? Well… maybe, but there’s another compelling
reason: The poor supervision that Cambodia implements
on the source of money invested as well as its lax regulations has led many Chinese millionaires
to use Cambodia as a refuge for their money. You know, in case things go pear-shaped in
China. But of course, there’s two sides to every
coin, and in this story, it’s no different. So far, we’ve seen the attractive face,
but what about the other one? (HUN SEN, CHINA AND THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY) We already told you what’s happening in
the Cambodian economy, but we cannot forget Hun Sen, the country’s prime minister and
major player in Cambodian news. You see, Hun Sen was one of the main opponents
of the Khmer Rouge’s Maoist regime and reached power in 1979 with the Vietnamese invasion
that put an end to the Democratic Kampuchea and the horrors of the Khmer, led by Pol Pot. Since then, Hun Sen has ruled the country,
becoming second on the list of longest ruling leaders, second only to the Equatorial Guinean
leader, Teodoro Obiang. And, what can I say?… At first glance, the fact that a ruler has
been in power for so long doesn’t look good, right? The fact is that in 1993 Hun Sen approved
a new Constitution that, at least on paper, would democratize the country by turning it
into a constitutional monarchy with a multi-party system that could allow for a democratically
elected Prime Minister. However, 26 years have passed and there’s
still no trace of democracy. The Constitution exists, but there’s no
opposition because the regime itself doesn’t allow it. And in recent years things have got worse. In the local elections of June 2017, the opposition
party National Rescue of Cambodia achieved significant popular support. However, their joy didn’t last long. The Supreme Court, controlled by the Prime
Minister, ordered the dissolution of the opposition party and the imprisonment of its leader,
Kem Sokha, in November. The reason? As is often the case… The opposition was accused of planning an
uprising. After the illegalization of the opposition
and the imprisonment of Sokha, which led to other opposition leaders going into exile,
the Hun Sen regime demonstrated that the political freedoms promulgated by the 1993 Constitution
were, when it came down to it, merely cosmetic. But such a disregard for democracy and political
freedoms would have consequences. US House Passes Bill to Sanction Cambodia’s
Top Officials. Voice of America EU begins process to hit Cambodia with trade
sanctions. Reuters And it’s precisely this that can hurt Cambodia
the most: the European Union’s trade sanctions. Although in reality, it’s not about sanctions,
but about Cambodia’s withdrawal from the European “All but Arms” program, a program
that benefits the poorest countries by giving them access to the European market through
tariff exemptions, which has greatly helped the Cambodian textile industry to develop. But of course, in order to profit from these
commercial advantages, certain conditions have to be met, and one of them is securing
human rights and political and democratic freedoms. And it’s precisely because of Hun Sen’s
violation of these principles that the EU is immersed in the process of expelling Cambodia
from this initiative. THis expulsion may jeopardize a good part
of Cambodia’s textile production, whose Exports to the European Union account for
about 6 billion dollars, which, in turn equates to 40% of the country’s total exports. And of course, in the face of such a threat,
the logical thing is for Hun Sen to take a step back, don’t you think? Well… no, nothing could be further from
the truth. Hun Sen not only reaffirms his position, but
blames the European Union for meddling in internal affairs. But… just a second. Because if Hun Sen really doesn’t care about
the sanctions and this check on the Cambodian economy, is the Prime Minister condemning
the country to disaster? Well… perhaps, but the truth is somewhat
more complicated. What Hun Sen really has in mind is decreasing
their dependence on the West by turning to China. Moreover, relations with Beijing are so good
that the support is mutual. See, while China floods the Cambodian regime
with aid and investments, Cambodia supports China in the ASEAN resolutions, which condemn
Beijing’s military and territorial expansion in the South China Sea. And just a second because that’s not all. Listen up. China reportedly signs secret deal to station
troops in Cambodia. The Guardian Yes, you heard that right. There are significant indications that China
could end up opening a military base in Cambodia. A new Chinese military base abroad. We’ll see how this ends up. With all this, one thing is very clear… Hun Sen has become a Beijing man, and is turning
his back on the West, he’s the latest player to do so. But now it’s your turn… What do you think about China wielding its
power in Southeast Asia by flashing its checkbook even at the cost of harming political freedoms? Should Hun Sen retract and remain more neutral
towards the West and China? Leave your answer in the comments. So I really hope you enjoyed this video, please
hit like if you did, and don’t forget to subscribe for brand new videos. Don’t forget to check out our friends at
the Reconsider Media Podcast – they provided the vocals in this episode that were not mine. Also, this channel is possible because of
Patreon, and our patrons on that platform. Please consider joining them and supporting
our mission of providing independent political coverage. And as always, I’ll see you in the next

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  1. Funnily enough, European Union virtue signaling is backfiring and ending up empowering brutal dictatorships around the world, such as China ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  2. I love Cambodia and the West needs to stop the bullshit. Retracting the EU trade agreement would be unwise for the EU because they would cause many Khmer people to possibly lose their job. The EU has to stop thinking about the politics of a country and start thinking about the people. When I went to Cambodia, I didn’t see ANY Khmer people working for the Chinese. Maybe there are some people that benefit from China, but the majority still lives in poverty.

  3. This channel's basic principle is western intervention is great and China is evil. I like the way you tell stories, but the contents are strongly and sadly biased. Boring that you make it so obvious.

  4. The west intervention is the biggest problem. The west always takes side and, as a result, cause separation within a country. Such separation is always in favour of the western interest and results in bloodshed in the country. Shame.

  5. The site name is VisualPolitik, I would assume the visual material, that is, the video, is as important as the narrative, at least it should match. This episode starts with Khmer Rouge, but the video shown before 1:36 is really confusing. At 1:25, the viewer can easily assume the person in this historical footage is a leader of Khmer Rouge. Actually, he is not. His name is Norodom Sihanouk. Putting up a picture of Sihanouk when talking about Khmer Rouge is as misleading as putting up a picture of Obama while talking about Trump.

  6. As usual, pushing democracy and sanctions! Cambodia is an Asean Country…. It will trade with Asean. Who needs Europe?

  7. Youtube, please don't push this kind of keyboardman's videos to me.
    I want the really deep field trip type videos, got it?

  8. I rarely ever hear any mention of Sihanoukville, Cambodia's only coastal town with a deep sea port, which went from being a quaint peaceful town just three (3) years ago with beautiful beaches, friendly locals and one (1) tiny casino, to where it now has about 85+ Chinese owned high rise casinos with more under construction, a completely ruined infra structure where all roads are like in the wild west ca 1880. Raw sewage now runs from the massive new casinos across the roads into ditches and straight into the ocean, and the massive 'China Towns' being built all over the place do not invite anyone to live or buy there but the Chinese. The most beautiful part of Ream National Park close to Sihanoukville, with amazing beaches and wildlife has been closed down by the Chinese while they're building yet another 'China Town'…this one with a deep sea 'yacht harbor' as is the case with many other projects along the Cambodian coastline. The Chines now own 95% of all businesses in that town, and the locals have simply been forced out, and all this is going on simply because of greed and corruption. China wanted the Cambodian coastline for several reasons, including military presence I'm sure, and they got it simply by handing out cash, no questions asked…Democracy in Cambodia…sure…:):):)

  9. After Syria and Iraq, Cambodia will sure look into what China offers other than US. Development for the well being of all people or bomb and wars by the name of so called democracy? Dont blame Cambodia, if u wanna change Cambodia, offer them better things other than talking. China really helped them, you cannot expect that Cambodia will sacrifice everything just to satisfy westerners.

  10. Termites enter a weak wood – Eat it up with in, out side looks ok – crumble the wood to powder one fine day.

    Sounds familiar guys, its China economic model too, unfortunately.

  11. Its too early to make a definitive conclusion. Massive chinese investment started 2 or 3 years ago. They are already local hostilities against chinese encroachment. If the cambodian government arent careful, it will be destabilise the country. But eventually there will be pushback agajnst china like other Asean country. There is already visa restriction on foreigners due to chinese illegal migrants.

  12. Welps there's a Chinese saying that "A nearby neighbor is better than a faraway cousin" China is so much closer to Cambodia and the US and UK situations now aint that great.

  13. In GDP per capita China is a 3rd world economy Lebanon is ahead of them.

  14. Textile and clothing are the commencement stages of industrializations. Then machinery manufacturing and mining comes to foray to build assets and net worths in the markets. Then technology innovations, by these ways prophets come to lives in those societies. Bad things in the markets come with building apartments, skyscrapers i.e. called bad industry that does not help for the GDP per capita for citizens, just an additive and coverage factors. Service industries are the latest and most crucial aspects of technological and scientific prowesses of societies. Khmer Rouge had killed millions of university alumni in their societies in order to make everybody in Cambodia socialist and communists. So primary school alumni are the important citizens in Cambodia's society. But ASEAN countries are way very developed compared to Middle Eastern, ex Soviet states and African countries in the world, so ASEAN's foreign direct investments will help Cambodia grow and will see how easy for those neighboring budhist states to recover with their minds.

  15. Geostrategically speaking though, Vietnam is the biggest threat to Cambodia, so it only makes sense for them to ally with China

  16. "People continue to look to the countryside as a way of life."

    Heretics! Round them all up and send them off to reassignment camps.

  17. What I believe is that Cambodia has a right to pursue a system of government and international relationships that suits its culture and benefits its people.
    After witnessing the corruption and decline in rule of law in this country, the USA, I do not want one more American to open their mouth or the political connections/inclinations and dare to preach any other nation about corruption, rule of law, or democracy.

  18. USA give cambodia trade sanctions.
    You= hmm..okay
    China invest and building cambodia economy
    You= it's free real estate, China's fault,

  19. Hi Simon, I feel like all of your videos tend to have a very Anti China agenda to them ( much like any other Western news outlet), and this includes your "clever" choose of wordings in your subtitles. I feel like this has been a collective effort to stop China's rise. Please prove me wrong cheers

  20. Cambodia has been threatened its freedom and its integrity from its hostile neighbor Vietnam all the time. Even today Vietnam's still secretly playing conspiracy in Cambodian politic using their own people as Khmer charlatan. Cambodia need help and protect for its freedom as it's so weak itself.

  21. Ecuador is in a horrible state of emergency and I feel as if it is not getting covered enough. Would be great if you can speak about this on your channel

  22. Aah always the nice place to go for some anti-China information … sadly I can’t say the information presented here is correct or wrong.

  23. The reality is that except for their money, the Chinese are disliked throughout Asia, because they are generally loud, aggressive, lack common decency, and do not respect local customs. Sorry, but this is a common perception. For example, one Thai artist who built a Buddhist temple became so distraught with the behavior of Chinese tourists, including their disgusting toilet habits, that he considered banning them. One positive is that with greater mass travel by the Chinese, they will come to understand what a simply awful communist government they have back home, which might eventually result in political reform. In the meantime, let them buy poor quality condos in Sihanoukville and elsewhere to satisfy their casino gambling obsession. I recently returned to Thailand from a visit to Cambodia.

  24. Living in Thailand, I feel that this part of the world see China more as a big brother than a threat. I fear the tide will start to change over the next 10 years.

  25. I am Cambodian Let me tell you all, Without China Cambodia will not exist Thai and Viet always want Cambodia so they can be regional power But Cambodia development and independent because of we have China as Big brother 🙂

  26. This year 2019 Cambodia – ASEAN + 6 will have a agreement of RCEP the Economic of RCEP will be the biggest in the world soon Cambodia will have free trade agreement with China too.

  27. I just came back from Cambodia. From speaking to many locals I can tell you most do not trust their government at all. They don’t trust the currency. So much so that most businesses don’t even accept it . I had to pay in US dollars at grocery stores , taxis/tuktuk and restaurants. But more importantly , they also don’t want the Chinese there. Same in the Philippines, and I witnessed this first hand. The Chinese are investing in the Philippines. They’re building hotels and resorts in many popular Filipino islands. However a lot of poor people live on these lands in huts and shacks . The Chinese developers burned it all to get rid of those families

  28. Been to Cambodia, it's a lovely place with great people. Just a shame you have to navigate a maze of Chinese tourists to get to meet them.

  29. Hun Sen said, any sanction is hurting Cambodian people and decimate opposition party. He told both EU and USA to go ahead cutoff everything, don't delay. All the dictators in this world, Hun Sen is the most careless about his nation. Anyone who dares to raise concern about Vietnam-Cambodia border will be arrest and charge for treason. Cambodia prophecy called him anti-Cambodia. His group was the one who was responsible for the death of millions of Cambodian who died in between April 1975 and 1977. They were the real killers. Though, Pol Pot was responsible for being the leader but Hun Sen groups were the butcher.

  30. I Think world would have been more peacefully if some time traveler went back and murdered Karl marks. What do you people at visualPolitik think about the world order in this senario

  31. Its funny how westerners like to impose their image and projections onto China without any real effort to sincerely understand China.

  32. Did the West help when Cambodia badly needed investments to build up the critical infrastructure that can make industrialisation possible ? Did the West help Cambodia build the power plants that can supply electricity to factories ? Path roads that can allow goods to be send around the nation safety ? Telcom infra that can guarantee basic communication system ? No, the West only try to force their democracy and freedom to subjugate nations ! Then why view Cambodia as a 'game' that is lost or win ? Why the west, be it analytically or geopolitically, like this channel always have this zero-sum worldview that if a nation dont bow to Western 'universal' standard then it is an enemy ?

  33. It's because US lost by default in Cambodia. And everything Cambodia needs now, they can easily buy from China. Opening up to China has resulted in higher GDP continuously. Also, China does not meddle in its internal affairs, unlike the US and its Western allies.

  34. The west: Imposes sanctions on the country for breaking human rights and democracy, damaging the country in the process.
    China: Sees an opportunity and uses it, helping the country in the process.

    And that, dear kids, is why China is winning the trade war.

  35. You still don't give the total picture. Cambodia now knows that China builds but US can bomb. People tend also to forget that old Khmer rouge regime was supported and used by both US and China to thwart Soviets proxy expansion by Vietnam.

  36. If you Westerners are concerned about Cambodia why don't you Westerners go and develop? If you can't just fuck your fucking ideology and let Chinese do. They're doing for the people goods.

  37. The adds in the middle of a sentence are just too much. At the beginning is fine or in an appropriate break in the dialog but it destroys the flow when it cuts a sentence.

  38. Some data you have based your research on are not reliable.

  39. Shame about the stupid graphic at the start. The flat-heads claiming that the US were responsible for the Khmer Rouge are simply expected.

  40. A great video but I would have thought that thirty seconds more research might have got the pronunciation of the Khmer Rouge, Kampuchia, and Phnom Penh, down pat . Your attemots at saying Khmer were probably the worst mispronunciation I have ever heard .

  41. hey visual politik asshole, when you make a video, do not insult leaders as dictators, or say something bias about China, you shit, you gain popularity by making video about other country, dont be a fucking white piece of shit

  42. So sad, no one can do to against this communist. but also some people don't know that US played the important role in Cambodia's destruction. It's not not new that American still play the important of destroying the peace of the world nowadays.

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