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China’s financial power play: How a £530m dam in Cambodia symbolises the growing, sometimes ruthless, influence of Beijing across Asia

In lush, north-eastern Cambodia, the £530m  Lower Sesan 2 Dam stands as a potent symbol of China’s growing reach, and Beijing’s ambitious plans to expand its influence throughout Asia by building some desperately needed infrastructure.

By The Independent

Stung Treng, Cambodia, September 15, 2015

The Independent

 The thump of jackhammers and the whine of drills pierce the air. Above the river a concrete wall is slowly rising.

In lush, north-eastern Cambodia, the £530m  Lower Sesan 2 Dam stands as a potent symbol of China’s growing reach, and Beijing’s ambitious plans to expand its influence throughout Asia by building some desperately needed infrastructure.

But almost 5,000 people are likely to be evicted from their villages when the dam’s reservoir fills, and 40,000 living along the banks of the Sesan and Srepok rivers stand to lose most of the fish they rely on for food. Yet this dam project is part of a much larger Chinese ambition: President Xi Jinping is making a bold move, billed as the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, to restore what he sees as Beijing’s historic place at the centre of Asia.

 

More at The Independent

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