Cambodia and other nations across Southeast Asia are emerging as vital staging grounds for a new form of power struggle between China and its rivals. The growth of Beijing's vast Belt and Road Initiative since 2013 has galvanized the U.S. and its allies -- including Japan, India and Australia -- and prompted them to draw up infrastructure and security programs of their own, writes Gwen Robinson for the Nikkei Asian Review
Cambodian state-owned telecommunications companies have teamed up with China's Huawei to roll out a 5G network in 2020. However, experts say it could be years before 5G reaches ordinary Cambodians due to the scale of investment needed and the high cost of 5G handsets, reports Nikkei.
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A Chinese state construction company is building Cambodia's first expressway which will connect Phnom Penh with the southern coastal city of Sihanoukville. China Road and Bridge Corp. will finance the nearly $2 billion project in an arrangement meant to help China avoid international accusations of predatory lending to developing countries, reports Nikkei.
After a 45-year hiatus, Thailand and Cambodia reopened their cross-border railway service on Monday. With the rail service connecting the border town of Aranyaprathet in Thailand with Poipet in Cambodia, train passengers can now travel between the capitals of Bangkok and Phnom Penh, reports the Nikkei Asian Review.
Southeast Asia’s increasingly authoritarian leaders are finding China’s cyber model to be attractive, given that the Chinese government has been able to control and access data while at the same time dramatically growing its digital economy.
China envisions a vast global network of trade, investment, and infrastructure that will bring the world closer to Beijing. To better understand how China's vision is playing out on the ground, The New York Times examined nearly 600 Chinese-financed projects and the driving forces behind them, citing data from the Reconnecting Asia Project.
The leaders of Japan and five Southeast Asian countries agreed to adopt a new policy that pushes forward more than 150 projects in the Mekong region using official development assistance from Japan.
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam have announced the The Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Fund. The fund aims to help Southeast Asia become more financially self-reliant and reduce its dependence on external economic and political giants, particularly China.
Read the full article [here](https://asia.nikkei.com/Opinion/Southeast-Asian-fund-can-complement-Chinese-investment-by
Chinese infrastructure investment throughout Southeast Asia has shifted the tide of opinion, simultaneously supporting authoritarian politics in certain states and engendering opposition to Belt and Road in others, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
Cambodians remain wary of Chinese infrastructure investment due to China’s growing influence in the country.
Five nations that share the Mekong River: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam adopted a five-year master development plan during the 2018 ACMECS summit in Bangkok. The plan vowed to upgrade roads, power grids, and other pieces of infrastructure that connect and strengthen the region.
Cambodia is set to complete an ambitious rail project next week from Poipet to Phnom Penh, connecting the country from North to South for the first time in 45 years. However, substantial Chinese involvement in the project has raised concerns over high levels of debt owed to China, which some estimates place as high as $4 billion, or 20 percent of Cambodia's GDP.
Most countries along the BRI have urgent infrastructure development needs and many are considered too high-risk for traditional investors, the result being that their governments have been highly receptive to Beijing’s offers of financing, building, and operating infrastructure projects.
A close look at the characteristics of China's port projects in the Indo-Pacific suggests that rather than resulting in "win-win" economic prosperity, they are generating political leverage, increasing Beijing’s military presence, and reshaping the strategic operating environment in China’s favor.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes all ten ASEAN leaders to New Dehli in an attempt to strengthen trade and connectivity with the bloc.
Cambodia and China signed 19 aid and investment pacts on Thursday including deals for several infrastructure projects.