Crime

A screen grab from a video featuring the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway. (Internet)

Easy highway, troubled city: How China wins and loses Cambodians’ hearts

Two China-driven projects show striking contrasts. The newly opened Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has been well-received by Cambodians. But grand plans for Sihanoukville to be an investment hub and “multi-purpose” city have instead seen Chinese businesses crowding out locals, a boom-bust cycle in construction and illicit trades.
Local people are seen on their vehicles as they get stuck in traffic while the VIP convoys pass during the ASEAN foreign ministers meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 3 August 2022. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

China: Needed but not well-loved in Cambodia

Cambodian commentator Sokvy Rim explains why recent Chinese immigrants in Cambodia are viewed with suspicion and even some dislike despite major Chinese investment flows in Cambodia and related economic benefits.
Almost all signboards in the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville are in Chinese. (Kwong Kai Chung/SPH Media)

The revival of Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s ‘Gold Rush’ city

In this fourth instalment of a seven-part Lianhe Zaobao-Business Times series on China and ASEAN, we look at the role of Chinese investors in the rise, fall and recovery of Cambodia’s Sihanoukville province.
A worker wearing protective gear and standing behind a fence in a residential area under Covid-19 lockdown talks with a man on a scooter in the Xuhui district of Shanghai, China, on 16 June 2022. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

Singaporean in China: The Chinese netizens speaking up for their fellow men

Chinese netizens may get things wrong or even be out of line sometimes, but it is also their persistence in speaking up on Chinese social media that has got the authorities on their toes. At the very least, their willingness to make a stand shows they have a certain faith and hope in their fellow countrymen and their government to effect change.
Balconies at a compound in Sihanoukville are covered with iron grilles to prevent escapes.

Chinese scam rings in Cambodia drawing recruits from Southeast Asia

Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies, but it has also become a hotbed of Chinese telecoms and online scams targeted at mainland Chinese in recent years. Most of the scam rings based in Sihanoukville recruit mainland Chinese, but have also started to bring in Chinese from Southeast Asia and Taiwan. Once duped into joining their firms, these workers are trapped and forced to work as online scammers. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim visited Sihanoukville in May to get a better picture.
The Tangshan incident revealed that the gangsters' violence derives from the age-old patriarchal ideology pervading Tangshan to some extent. (Illustration: Lorna Wei)

A personal account of Tangshan's dreadful societal culture

The Tangshan assault case unearths deeper societal issues such as an insidious guanxi culture that has condoned the practice of turning a blind eye. Worse, ordinary folk no longer even bat an eyelid at such “norms” anymore. When that happens, is the recent violence enough to jolt society and the authorities to do things differently?
Two women lie on the ground after being assaulted by a group of men outside a restaurant in the city of Tangshan, China, 10 June 2022, in this screen grab taken from surveillance footage obtained by Reuters on 12 June 2022. (Video obtained by Reuters)

Chinese public safety fears rise after Tangshan assault case

The violent beating of a group of women on 9 June in Hebei province’s Tangshan has sparked an outcry for the safety of the public. Zaobao correspondent Yu Zeyuan notes that the attack has also brought to light the underworld of organised crime in the city, despite the central government’s crackdown. Will justice be served?
Men in China's rural areas find themselves in a tough situation when it comes to marriage. (Noel Celis/AFP)

When millions of rural Chinese men are desperate for a wife

In China’s rural areas, despite traditional pressures to get married, young men are finding themselves in a difficult position as the high gender imbalance has led to a short supply of marriageable women. Furthermore, men who are not well-off cannot find wives, with many of the women looking to marry men with better prospects in other towns and cities as a means of upward social mobility. These social problems have led to the abduction and trafficking of women in rural China. Zaobao correspondent Wong Siew Fong visits some villages to find out more about these crimes.
Motorists refill their vehicles with petrol at a gas station in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 3 March 2022. (Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP)

Kidnapped and abducted, Chinese nationals are falling victim to cross-border crimes in Cambodia

The case of Li Yayuanlun, a Chinese national who was kidnapped and forced to work as a “blood slave” by a gang of online scammers in Cambodia, sent shock waves through China. While the Cambodian police have questioned the veracity of Li's story, this incident nonetheless reflects the transnational illegal activities and violent crimes involving Chinese nationals in Cambodia.