THE RISE OF CHINA AND LOCAL ETHNIC CHINESE IN CAMBODIA

Peter Iori Kobayashi

Abstract

This study attempts to determine the impact of the rise of China and its increased presence in Cambodia on the local ethnic Chinese (LEC) community. The author conducted individual interviews with informants including the permanent secretary of a local Chinese association, the manager of a Chinese daily newspaper and the headmaster of a Chinesemedium school to understand their views. The study found that there was little interaction between the LEC and new migrants (NMs) from the People’s Republic of China (PRC), as the LEC association and Chinese school focused mainly on serving the interests of the LEC community while the NM community has grown self-sufficient with their own organizations. It also found that the increased presence of NMs and capital from the PRC in Cambodia did not cause LEC to become more China-oriented. The main recipient of the soft power diplomacy of PRC’s One Belt and One Road initiative were Khmer-speaking populace, regardless of their ethnic origin.

Keywords

Chinese Cambodians; new Chinese migrants; One Belt and One Road

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