A struggle ‘on Chinese land’

Sitting on the edge of the dock, 68-year-old Vichay angrily pointed to three crumpled sheets of paper as he shuffled them around in his right hand. These wrinkled pages, he said, were the last remnants of evidence proving he owned the 15 hectares of land he had been farming in Chroy Bros village in Koh Kong province since 1995. The land was now teeming with acacia trees thanks to Chinese conglomerate Green Rich, which took control of the land in 2012. As one of the oldest people in the village, Mr. Vichay was dismayed at government officials who allegedly gave away land that he had toiled and sweated on for years. “I farmed to help my daily life, but I stopped when the Chinese company came to take my land in 2012,” he said. “My land is now for the company’s acacia and I only have papers recognizing my ownership of the land. I have tried to find any solutions, but I only get promises.”

Keep reading