The Cambodian coastal town of Sihanoukville will be seeing a further involvement from the Chinese, after Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang agreed on Sunday to provide financial support for the development of the Preah Sihanouk province.
Over the last few years, Sihanoukville has become synonymous with Chinese-run casino hotels and related businesses, with as much as 95 percent of all businesses in the region owned by Chinese nationals.
However, infrastructure has been seen as a bottleneck to the growth of the region, with roads, and waste disposal described by those on the ground as chaotic, at best.
According to a Facebook post from Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, a closed-door meeting was held with Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang during the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit held in Bangkok.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Hun Sen noted an influx of Chinese nationals and investment in Sihanoukville.
“Prime Minister Hun Sen requested his Chinese counterpart to support development in Preah Sihanouk province because many Chinese companies are investing there,” he said.
“The Chinese premier expressed his support for development projects in Preah Sihanouk province. He said that the two countries will hold special discussions on grants to support development.”
During the meeting, Hun sen also requested the fifth meeting of the Intergovernmental Coordinating Committee between China and Cambodia to be held in Sihanoukville before the end of this year.
“The Chinese premier said that China will support the planning of this meeting and both sides will discuss the finances needed [to develop Sihanoukville] during the meeting,” he noted.