Having been in Cambodia for so many years now, there is no doubt who is the most influential nation in Cambodia: China. Why you may ask? Let’s consider the effects of the foreign policy.
China does give more than the US, they give about 90 million per year and the US gives about 60 million per year. Consider also what the US gives for. They call it “health and education” in Political Correctness talk, but in reality it means providing condoms, promoting and paying for abortions and promoting democracy. They also have Radio Free Asia which gives basic news, weather and basic English classes. There are obviously decision makers who think that is the best use of US tax dollars in Cambodia.
Now let’s consider China. What do they support in Cambodia? Well, as much as I can tell they are building roads and bridges, massive bridges, all over Cambodia. As they realized the government offices are not well maintained they are also building new office buildings for the various ministries (departments of the government) as well as installing a fiber-optic network across Cambodia to connect every village in the country with phone, wireless internet and full computer networking capabilities for the government. I am certain it will be used for intelligence gathering as well.
Is it no wonder the people of Cambodia, the government and myself am really impressed with the foreign policy of China. They are focused on the long-term. The US did build a road one time, more than a decade ago. It was the road built to the only deep water port for the country and is the best road in the country since 1994. However, it is now run and operated by a Cambodian, a Chinese Cambodian!
You may wonder how this relates to serving God in Cambodia. Well, not only do I get to drive on the roads that China builds and cross their bridges, but I get to see the effects of significant amounts of money can do to affect policy and affect people’s lives. As a result of US policy, we have more immorality, more abortions, more unfaithful husbands and chaos in Cambodian families. Not only is the US aid not a-moral (neutral), but it is immoral assistance. It is actually noticeably destroying the social foundation of the nation. Of course, the US is not solely at fault, but they are certainly promoting immoral lifestyles.
China, is building influence for their own purposes also. While I do love the roads and bridges, with China, there are always backroom deals going on. They have no problem with corruption, and would promote corruption for their own objectives. As they assist, they are also stripping the land of raw materials such as timber, iron ore, gold and other minerals for their own purposes.
Policies always have an effect on society. Even with our little bit of money that Christians help people with in Cambodia, we too affect the society: Some for good and some for bad. When Christians operate and have policies which are in line with God’s word, then we can expect God’s results. But God always operates with righteousness and integrity. I like how China is building for lasting fruit. In 100 years we will still talk about China’s bridges in Cambodia. The US only has a short-sighted policy, therefore their influence is much less. I think Christians need to build nations with long-term and righteous policies. Expect Christians and their ministries that you bless to operate with God’s policies. Follow the Book. . . the Bible.