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A Cambodian cement plant first donated by communists now faces crowding out by Chinese enterprise. (Photo by Akira Kodaka)
The Big Story

Cementing the China-Cambodia relationship

A 54-year-old factory reflects tumultuous history

KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei Asian Review chief business news correspondent | Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos

KAMPOT, Cambodia -- Cambodia and China established diplomatic relations on July 19, 1958. Celebrations of the 60th anniversary have seen many flattering exchanges between their respective leaders, but the relationship has been anything but placid over the years.

A cement plant in the southwestern province of Kampot, with its rich limestone deposits, tells a tumultuous story. Cambodia Cement Chakrey Ting Factory was revived in August 2014 with Shanghai-listed Huaxin Cement as the majority shareholder. The modern facility represents a $100 million investment with a 1.2 million ton annual capacity.

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