Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:36 pm

US Treasury Sanctions Chinese Developer For Land Seizure, Graft in Cambodia Project
2020-09-15

The U.S. Department of Treasury on Tuesday sanctioned a Chinese developer for the “seizure and demolition of local Cambodians’ land” during construction of the Dara Sakor project in Cambodia, which has been touted by Beijing as one of the key pieces in its Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

The sanctions by the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which target perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, prohibit Union Development Group (UDG) from conducting business with any U.S. citizen and cuts it off from the U.S. financial system, the agency said in a statement.

Additionally, land granted to UDG as part of a lease by the Cambodian government extends into Botum Sakor National Park, a protected area which can only be handed over by royal decree. The Treasury Department said that in order to obtain the land, UDG falsified its registration to hide its Chinese ownership.

“After falsely registering as a Cambodian-owned entity in order to receive land for the Dara Sakor development project, UDG reverted to its true ownership and continued to operate without repercussions,” said Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

“The United States is committed to using the full range of its authorities to target these practices wherever they occur.”

The Treasury Department said that it had designated UDG for “acting for or on behalf of a current or former government official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or has directly or indirectly engaged in corruption”—in this case, a Chinese-owned company acting on behalf of a Chinese official.

Tuesday’s action was not the first taken by the Treasury Department against entities in connection with the U.S. $3.8 billion-dollar Dara Sakor project, which includes an airport, deep water seaport, and casino resort as part of an investment zone in the middle of the jungle in Koh Kong province.

In December last year, the agency sanctioned former senior Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) general Kun Kim for corruption, noting that he was “instrumental in a development in Koh Kong province and had reaped significant financial benefit from his relationships with a People’s Republic of China (PRC) state-owned entity.”

On Tuesday, the Treasury confirmed that some of UDG’s “seizure and demolition” of land for the Dara Sakor project was conducted through Kun Kim.

“Specifically, with the assistance of Cambodian military forces provided through Kim, UDG prevented local villagers from planting rice paddy fields on the disputed land and was also accused of burning down the houses of villagers with whom it had conflicts, and of using private security and Cambodian military forces to control the movements of local villagers,” the statement said.

“Cambodia’s Council of Ministers issued a directive ordering UDG to stop destroying villagers’ property; however, UDG ignored the directive and continued the destruction.”

Controversial project

The Dara Sakor project has been mired in controversy ever since UDG’s parent company, Tianjin Wanlong Group, was granted a 99-year lease to 90,000 acres along 20 percent of Cambodia’s coastline in May 2008. The lease, which was handed to Tianjin Wanlong without an open bidding process, provided the company with more than triple the size of any concession allowed under Cambodia’s land law and exempted it from any payments for a decade.

UDG soon began clearing large swathes of forest from Botum Sakor National Park that was included as part of the land lease and forcing hundreds of families to relocate—many of which have yet to receive compensation they were promised as part of the deal 12 years ago.
Full article: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambod ... 13052.html
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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by SternAAlbifrons » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:22 pm

Leaving aside the land grab/disputes for a minute and going back to the story AM put up two or three posts back.
In Cambodia, stalled Chinese casino resort embodies Silk Road secrecy, risks (see full article ^^^)

This is a big Q for me too.
Development has indeed stalled for some time now. A few possible reasons;
i/ Initial master developers have gone broke - looking for buyer/s.
ii/ Timing not quite right to get the funding. Some sectors in China including outbound tourism have experienced a slowing over the past few years. That will probably swing back up again very soon.
iii/ Game plan always was to grab this vast concession when they could - and sit on it long term for eventual tourist/residential development in the future. There is long term finance in China for that.
iv/ Somebody (very high) is putting the squeeze on. These discussions can take some time.

I would go for any one of these options ^^. or a combo.
And they all mean it is just a matter of time before this huge stretch of Cambodian coastline is fully developed, populated and colonised. For sure.

The fifth option - that this whole tourist concession/development is just a cover for secret air and naval bases by a foreign power.
I have seriously worried about that too - and it has been discussed on related threads - but have come to the conclusion, for now, that this is the most unlikely of the explanations.
a. The colonisation /development makes perfect sense on it's own.
b. None of the necessary heavy-duty infrastructure a military base needs is in evidence, yet. Zero, and they are not just tack-ons. Including heavy rail or road transport links probably.
c. I'm not convinced of the strategic value of this location these days anyway. That's outdated.
China has much more suitable bases available right in the South China Sea and all over the Indian Ocean nowadays. The Cambodian coast is in a very hemmed in location for military bases, surrounded by the potential foes, and very limited manoeuvrability all around for both air and sea operations. Not what you want.

But you gotta stay open (!!!) and even without the military bases it still suits China's strategic policy to be sitting on 50,000 hectares of the best coastline in the immediate region.
So, keep watching...

and keep supporting the khmer farmers, fishers - and yes, even the subsistence hunters in this National Park get a special exemption for these dire times, i reckon.
Their cause is noble and true. and raw guts gutsy as hell.
(some of the long running land agitators just blow me away with their courage and sustained determination. And the miracle?? - occasionally it all pays off.)
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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Sep 17, 2020 2:33 pm

Chinese Embassy Condemns US Sanctions on China’s Union Development Group Investing in Cambodia
17/09/20 14:17
Phnom Penh (FN), Sep. 16 – A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Cambodia issued a statement on Wednesday, condemning the United States’ measures to impose sanctions on China’s Union Development Group investing in the Kingdom.

The Chinese Embassy considered that the US sanctions not only undermine the legitimate interests of enterprises, but also a complete violation of Cambodia's sovereignty.

"As we all know, Dara Sakor Comprehensive Investment Development Pilot Zone and Special Tourism Resort Zone Project has been approved by the Royal Government of Cambodia. It is a large-scale comprehensive project invested by Union Development Group, a subsidiary of Tianjin Union Group, a Chinese private firm. This project complies with the laws and regulations of Cambodia and contributes to the socio-economic development of Cambodia,” said the spokesperson.

"The US government has allegedly used its own regulations to impose sanctions on Chinese firms in Cambodia. This is an act of repression. The US crackdown on legal investment by Chinese enterprises in Cambodia not only undermines the legitimate interests of enterprises, but also a complete violation of Cambodia's sovereignty,” the statement added.

The Chinese Embassy's reaction came after the US Treasury Department issued a statement on 15 September 2020 to sanction Union Development Group over its projects in Cambodia in accordance with The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Act and relevant US government regulations.

The Chinese Embassy in Cambodia strongly opposes and condemns such act and urges the United States to immediately correct this wrong approach and lift its sanctions.
=FRESH NEWS
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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by Jerry Atrick » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:10 pm

Petty shit from the USA.
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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:33 pm

More on that here: Furious response as US blacklists Chinese developer over Cambodian 'human rights violation'
https://www.globalconstructionreview.co ... er-cambod/

Nice pic of the projected development.(From the link above).
Image
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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by whatwat » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:06 pm

paparazzi wrote:
Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:47 pm
Yes. I know the Chinese make an offer on a place double the present rent. We are talking $3500 to $7000 a month.
Also pay staff 30 % more.

When l went to business school we were told control costs!!

What school of thought these Chinese coming from???,,

Dont they understand 75cent beers not going to generate a fortune.!!!
I’m guessing no Chen has paid 75c for a beer ever.
Don’t listen to Chinese whispers.
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Re: Koh Kong lady fights Chinese $4Billion tourist resort

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Sun Sep 20, 2020 4:57 pm

September 19, 2020
Dara Sakor’s developer, says US is invoking domestic laws to impose long arm jurisdiction

The Union Development Group and shareholder, China Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co., Ltd said that the United States is seeking to invoke domestic laws to impose “long arm jurisdiction” on the enterprise on baseless and unnecessary charges.

Union Development Group Co., Ltd, is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co., Ltd in a public statement, targeted the US to clarify the company’s stance on the allegations made against it which resulted on sanctions being imposed against it.

In a three page statement obtained by Khmer Times, China Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co., Ltd said that it is was established in 1994 and is indeed a genuine local private enterprise in Tianjin with zero state linked investments.

“Our company is mainly engaged in real estate development, and has been awarded the honorary titles of “top 100 private enterprises in Tianjin” and “meritorious enterprise” for many years. “UnionDevelopment Group Co., Ltd.” registered in Cambodia in 2007, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tianjin Union Group, not a state-owned enterprise.
Full article: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50764514/d ... isdiction/
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