Laos in Danger of Losing Jobs, Culture as Chinese Pour In

China is investing heavily in neighboring Laos, rapidly altering the landscape. “Across Laos, Chinese laborers are building huge malls, dams, factories, golf courses and airports, taking jobs that could easily done by Laotians,” reports Bangkok-based Ken Quimbach for the Global Times. The source of the critique is unusual in that Global Times is an international arm of the state-run, party-controlled China Daily. “Many Chinese projects dispossess Laotians of their land. There is no question that the Chinese have always been in Laos, but it is the massive increase in numbers, influence and visibility that are causing concern.” Some refer to the investment trends as “colonization by stealth” – or perhaps by consumerism. The report is harsh, describing the destruction of traditional landmarks and mob-like control with unfair bidding processes and favoritism for political insiders as well as Chinese control of telecommunications leaving Laos phones and internet under surveillance. The report also suggests the investment counters influence from Vietnam which shares a much longer border with Laos. Quimbach concludes that the economic trends cannot be reversed. – YaleGlobal

Laos in Danger of Losing Jobs, Culture as Chinese Pour In

Unusual report in CCP-controlled Global Times criticizes Chinese methods of investing in Laos, with destruction of culture and irreversible economic trends
Ken Quimbach
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The author is a freelance writer based in Bangkok. He spent eight years in Laos.

Copyright 2014 by The Global Times

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