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At Cambodia airports, China's Belt and Road elbows out Europeans

Fate of French operator Vinci casts pall over country's sky-high tourist ambitions

The Cambodian government wants more airports as it aims to double tourist arrivals by 2025. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

PHNOM PENH -- Lofty government ambitions to expand international tourism, combined with an influx of Chinese cash from Beijing's Belt and Road initiative, are shaking up Cambodia's airport industry and threatening to leave the country's single existing operator, France's Vinci Airports, out in the cold.

Two Chinese-backed international airports are currently under construction, one in Phnom Penh and another at Siem Reap. The Cambodian government last week announced it had shortlisted three Chinese construction companies to work on the capital's airport.

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