The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and China’s New Colonialism in Cambodia


  • Sigit APRS, National Dong Hwa University
  • Elizabeth Department of International Relations, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Christian University of Indonesia



China, Cambodia, AIIB, BRI, New Colonialism, Renminbi


This paper aims to analyse Cambodia's response to China's new colonialism through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) using qualitative methods and hegemony as the conceptual framework. As the second-largest economy, China has ambitions to surpass other countries, such as the United States. The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the first project, launched in 2013, to gain worldwide penetration of China under the mask of investment and trade. To finance BRI, China inaugurated AIIB in 2015 as its second project. AIIB invites dynamic Asian countries to invest in technology-enabled green infrastructure. After gaining the trust of Asian countries, China began to offer the internationalization of its currency, the Renminbi (RMB), as an alternative to the inability of a nation to pay its debts. This scheme succeeded in coaxing Southeast Asian countries into the Chinese colonialism trap, such as Cambodia. Phnom Penh, relying on Chinese generosity to prevent national bankruptcy, immediately agreed to the internationalization of the RMB in its country. This paper suggests that every phenomenon in the world has two opposite sides, just like two sides of a coin. Although Cambodia views RMB usage as advantageous, there are some hidden threats to its sovereignty.


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How to Cite

Sigit, and Elizabeth. 2023. “The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and China’s New Colonialism in Cambodia”. ASIAN REVIEW 36 (1):38-59.



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