With a strong economy and newly acquired confidence following three decades of rapid economic expansion, China has pursued an outward looking policy based upon foreign direct investment, development assistance and trade targeting particularly the developing world. Such expansion has drawn concerns over its impact on human rights, democratization and the environment. This paper assesses these concerns by examining Sino-Cambodia relations over the past sixteen years. It concludes that while trade, development assistance, and investment have had positive effects on Cambodia’s economic development, concerns that these engagements have derailed deeper democratization in Cambodia are not deterministic. Cambodia’s authoritarian trajectory is less a product of China’s engagement and more of the Cambodian elites’ defiance of Western efforts at democratic promotion and belief in state developmentalism—economic prosperity with tight political control.
"China’s Foreign Investment and Assistance: Implications for Cambodia’s Development and Democratization,"
Peace and Conflict Studies: Vol. 16
, Article 5.
Available at: https://nsuworks.nova.edu/pcs/vol16/iss2/5