Networking with the Chinese Government

Hong Kong and Macau are now part of China, so migrant entrepreneurs spend much time and energy networking with the Chinese government by building up a relationship with the embassy. At important events, such as when leaders or officials of the People’s Republic of China visit Cambodia, the Gangshang invite them to a banquet and they frequently invite the Chinese ambassador to attend their activities. The Gangshang community has extended this network to some provincial governments in China, including in Guangxi, Guangdong and Shandong, to promote new investment opportunities on the mainland.

When I asked why they put so much effort into building close links with the embassy and different levels of the Chinese government, I was told that it is sometimes useful when seeking the embassy’s assistance in negotiating with the Cambodian government and protecting Gangshang rights and interests.

Networking with the Homeland

Gangshang as a whole identify with Hong Kong or Macau, though many have permanent residence permits or Cambodian passports. On December 22,1999, the Gangshang held a party to celebrate the handover of Macau’s sovereignty. In June 2004, it invited the Hong Kong SAR football team to visit Cambodia. Official visits from Hong Kong and Macau are warmly received by the Gangshang community. Mr. Y’s bank and many private enterprises based in Cambodia receive logistic and financial support from Hong Kong, which encourages their identification with the region. As one of their advertisements says, Xiang Gang shi wo jia (Hong Kong is my home).

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