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Project: Chinese Immigration and Capital into CLMV

Chinese Immigration and Capital into CLMV


One of the major consequences of the rise of China has been the outflow of Chinese immigrants and capital to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) from the early 1990s.

These ‘new’ Chinese immigrants – the so-called ‘fourth wave’ of Chinese immigrants – comprise professionals, students, petty traders, entrepreneurs, and both semi-skilled and unskilled labour. Petty traders and entrepreneurs are driven by the oversupply of goods in China as well as intense domestic competition, while unskilled and semi-skilled labour often accompany Chinese contractors and companies into CLMV.

In contrast to historical Chinese immigration, new immigrants are perceived by some to be ‘floating’ groups who may be profit-driven and have instrumentalist worldview. The arrival of new Chinese immigrants and capital have impacted host countries in a variety of ways including rising property prices and cost of living; village displacement and environmental degradation; market share and entrepreneurship; and Chinese identity.

This research project brings together different scholars to examine the presence of new Chinese immigrants in CLMV countries. It will look at specific sites of Chinese presence such as industrial towns, factories, mines and dams, urban centres in these four countries to understand and theorise the socio-political dynamic between these new immigrants and locals.

Relevant Seminars:

Seminar Notes on ‘The Evolution of Myanmar's China Gambit'
ISEAS, 3 March 2015, 10.00am-11.30am
By Nicholas Farrelly

Research Outputs:

Reforms Will Determine Degree of Vietnam's Dependence on China
ISEAS Trends 2014/4
By John Lee

New Chinese Migration and Capital in Cambodia
ISEAS Trends Issue 2014/3
By Nyiri Pal

Chinese Labour Migration into Vietnam’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction Sectors
ISEAS Perspective 2014/46
By Nguyen Van Chinh

China in Laos: Is There Cause For Worry?
ISEAS Perspective 2014/31
By Danielle Tan

Ethnic Chinese in the Midst of Myanmar’s Transition
ISEAS Perspective 2014/19
By Stephanie Shannon and Nicholas Farrelly

New Chinese Immigration and Capital in Cambodia
ISEAS Perspective 2013/62
By Nyíri Pál

Chinese Capital and Immigration into CLMV: Trends and Impact
ISEAS Perspective 2013/50
By Terence Chong


Relevant Output:

Myanmar Pivots Awkwardly Away from China
ISEAS Perspective 2013/64
By John Lee

Enmity in Myanmar against China
ISEAS Perspective 2014/08
By Fan Hongwei

China Adapts to New Myanmar Realities
ISEAS Perspective 2014/12
By Fan Hongwei


Researchers-in-charge: Dr Terence Chong (terencechong@iseas.edu.sg); Dr Benjamin Loh (benloh@iseas.edu.sg)