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Chinese Developer Tianjin Union Development Group (UDG) will be constructing the 1,200-hectare Cambodia property “Tourism Vacation Town” next year at the shorelines of Koh Kong Province.

This new property will contain high-end hotels, upscale condominiums, commercial offices, and theme parks. However, Tourism Vacation Town’s location has not been finalized.

UDG works under Wanlong Group, a state-owned Chinese real estate developer. According to a report from investvine.com, UDG was granted concession over 45,000 hectares of land in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor and Kiri Sakor districts.

UDG acquired the Tourism Vacation Town after securing another big project in Dara Sakor, costing US$3.8 bn. This project has a 99-year leasehold which will become a port featuring attractions such as casinos. Reports also said that this Cambodia property displaced its residents, leading some to protest against “unlawful land grabs.”

Despite these accusations, Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen said that the Tourism Vacation Town is vital for the country. He said that this Cambodia property investment would further Cambodia’s economy, making him embrace China’s support. China has been investing heavily in Cambodia, wherein in 2017 alone, China invested US$1.7bn. China has even pledged more military aid in Cambodia to ensure great ties with South East Asian countries.

Furthermore, reports say that by extending ports in Cambodia, China might have greater access to maritime trade routes and greater support in territorial claims in disputed areas. The report also mentioned that China’s expansion in Cambodian ports has raised critics’ concern. Critics wary of Beijing’s influence in South East Asian countries said that the Tourism Vacation Town accelerates“Chinafication.”

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