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tv   Laos On The Borders Of Empire  Al Jazeera  October 5, 2017 1:32am-2:00am AST

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three months ago to us and made an unscheduled appears to refute stories but vice president mike pence and other senior officials had to persuade him to stay on in july the leader of spain's catalonia region said he wants mediators to help resolve a standoff with the central government but the spanish prime minister mariano hoyer says catalan officials need to respect the law before any mediation is accepted on sunday more than two million catalans voted for secession from spain and a ban referendum. accorded turkey has convicted forty two soldiers in a major trial linked to the failed coup attempt in twenty sixteen forty seven people including many military officers were accused of trying to assassinate president richard tired to one aid organizations are appealing for four hundred thirty four million dollars to save the lives of range of muslims fleeing violence in northern me in mar as they struggle to deal with the surge in new arrivals in
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neighboring bangladesh more than eight hundred thousand refugees are sheltering there half a million of them have arrived in just the last five weeks there's the top stories of people in power is next more news for you off to that thanks for watching by for . it's not just phones contributing to sound phones bumper profits if we look at the u.s. economy the moment it does seem to be in pretty good shape up until around two thousand and five greek debt levels were basically stable we bring you the stories that are shaping the economic world we live in counting the cost on al-jazeera. one of the world's few remaining calm in the states now us is also one of asia's poorest countries heavily reliant on foreign investment especially from adjacent china but what our sacrificing in return of
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a helping hand of its giant valuable. the golden triangle yes. for many is a popular destination for western tourists. but they are no longer the visitors here. the chinese are the most recent foreigners to fall in love with the lazy golden waters of the me home river. in less than a year
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a brand new city has sprung up on its shores. a chinese enclave in laotian territory. it's a city without a mayor but it does have a casino. he poses tourists and hire a local guide and. well a lot of. many people come to say. new smyrna nobody really. everything here. yeah we do anything by superman you know maybe nine years we have. lots of space or sort maybe have our own dice and document we do everything ourselves up security we have i mean you have to be because the men are controlled cannot control it which i mean chinese
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what country now is just going to chinese country but in laos. already by. that's i mean deep. in this all too official town where pleasure and gambling ruled the king romans casino and hotel pays tribute to emperors from a bald eagle and era. people visit from china and some from thailand both countries would. family is mostly illegal. it's an adult theme park point during the day with a fake historical district and even the suv. down the stairs so right now to make that big sue and not spin it just so you get to keep them. right here. with us from town. like theirs to one side tigers on the other. these two endangered species
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a coveted by chinese and smugglers. and animal rights activists claim this suit is in fact a thinly veiled meat supply working to provide delicacies for the chinese pilot. who what you are or what you're going to. offer to the evil dark they're going to get out oh. oh oh they're going ok i see nothing. but you know not a few if you do a low go go go as we were we do not really go to war john paul was going to get. the flu look over your shoulder to the position you're not going to. the restaurant owner will do anything for his customers and he doesn't have to fear the rule of law to achieve your goal.
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or told you what. to look or. a place to look or didn't even if you were going to be only one of the owners the only way. well. so what. was. the golden triangle special economic zone especially. in twenty fourteen china became the main investor in laos spending five billion dollars that current of money with plenty of leverage with the old dorothy's. illegal wildlife trafficking is rampant and there's little incentive for anyone involved here to cover all tracks but it's not just wildlife and tourism the chinese are also involved in transportation real estate energy generation and even agriculture.
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the northern nonstate is slowly being reshaped. with the support of the laotian government chinese businesses a farming tens of thousands of hectares. they've even converted rice paddies into one on a plantation. two years ago and his wife and children crossed off the country to seek his fortune here in folk province. he now works on a plantation. taking the devon into a town of miami. divided by thought it was done i do i just don't know. she went on and they felt it was. soul of him but dad are you an ideal arrangement
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. tavish enough. with my left foot. my local hires and the hmong new to live we are back in on the humor they don't want looking like you. get an idea and then you and me and unto you got. the whole you did it. several times a week one sprays the trees with mr swords. you know all. these party folks are supplied to him and the other work for chinese formula. one is given no instructions for protection as you. go can't tell how that's how you dorma a photo not on your moron. but also hard to john i do have i.
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don't i didn't mark. i want to tear meaghan off. the hole in the hole. one knows he isn't danger in his health and on to his children. but in order to get here he went to detect and can no longer afford to leave. nearby we meet one's neighbor key on. his body was done it's my son decides. off the months of spraying he fell ill now he's too weak and sick to work. instead he feels his days tending to his going.
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to. her lung cancer but i know this year where the turnout it doesn't bother me go to term on a you no longer you put your car on learner boards or go. along with them washing. down the. dollars one hundred twenty four. was so badly poisoned doctors had to remove part of his liver. thousands of other plantation workers equally poorly protected and come into contact with toxic products on a daily basis. products they say a found at every stage of the production process. it's hard to accurately
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estimate just how many workers a phone until from these pesticides. but it's a question if you are living a rural development consultant has been trying to launch. ok that could be a way around this way. is a whole can we get through this whole do you think. we join him in his backyard on the banks of the meat river if we climb it down here. i think. really chinese bananas but. anyway he gives a backdrop of the mekong. he's struggled to obtain solid information about the frequency of poison and. bananas as a seventy just dana something that's come up over the last five or six years and at this stage we we haven't got a lot of information about you know how many people are dying in the really long term impacts we know there are some but it's very hard to quantify this amount
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firstly because. the use of the chemicals it doesn't kill people instantly they take you know it may be over two or three years they using these chemicals all the time and it builds up toxins in their body especially in their liver apparently ok and then after that they they get sick and of course maybe some of them die. although cases of poisoning on the rise continue to rent the chinese companies tempted by generous. to the chinese to grow bananas you're receiving the equivalent or around about twelve or thirteen hundred euros per day and you know that's a better income than you would get just from growing rice and you don't have to do anything so of course it's really a great opportunity for allow people to rent their land at the chinese to grow bananas of course the bananas also they need water so they often like a good mix to rivers like the make or other streams and so a lot of the runoff from the chemicals goes into the streams. in laos criticizing
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the chinese presence can land you in jail. to much of the pollution we call. over to time with fishermen can speak freely. these locals. just opposite the button on a plantation. to get a clearer picture we go fishing with mr somebody. come to fall out of. the middle of the.
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whole. a local association claims that of the ninety six species of fish found in this river thirty one now endangered. by. the young. today mr empty as they often are.
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going to. the polluted make home is no long. a wild river but a greater threat than pesticides is also nooning a major network of dams under construction. we return to laos. with thousands of kilometers of waterways laos has the potential to offer electricity to much of southeast asia. and levon dams are already being built and a further ninety one some of the projects are in the planning phase. and once again chinese companies are in charge. we say the lawman them tar one of the wildest rivers in laos. in less than a year this valley will be enjoying life. at first up
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both dry the seams optimistic about repeating the official line about the benefits of development combine. plan. to cut it up to my. timing. but after talking for a few minutes it begins to sound more skeptical know. where we're heading what i. could say it could. say. ok. we reach one of the few going to just that hasn't already been fully effective i took. a traditional community where
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women work on the looms while the men fish and sail around the coast. it's a peaceful place where the economy is entirely dependent on the river. but when we mention the concern across everyone's face. good morning. the point i'm on. now to hit. me.
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up and. move on with. a new film. on. the people of the. green but it's too late to turn things around. it seems impossible to stand in the way. they come.
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everyone is leaving. family. the moment to flee the area before the homes are submerged by floodwaters. it feels like the dam is chasing everyone away. further down the river we come across a semi desert to village and off to stop off again. a few villages still refuse to accept the inevitable and have camped out here despite the risks. lady. and the family. of. one man office to show us around.
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he says he's been resisting the clearance program and that his house is one of the last still standing. with. it while getting your polo pony you call home on a man to. do a new. home. for now he can't bring himself to leave. but he admits he eventually be forced to accept the deal offered by the chinese company to abandon his home and belongings in return for compensation.
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but. that's. just tired. so. to. me. the exodus continues. but
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it's nearly finished. stream. as many as ten thousand have had to bow to the chinese companies to monitor. dismantling the homes and this five hundred million dollars project. and there's even over whether electricity generated by every villagers in the new homes. to be exported to china and. the land of a million elephants is fast becoming a chinese province an unofficial colony but as regions turn towards beijing they'll have to be mindful of the mistakes of one famous border town boateng was the first
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special economic zone constructed here and a decade ago it was a powerful symbol of the new partnership between china and laos but it wasn't without problems. in a rush to attract development the government built a gold rush economy here revolving around casinos. most of them went bust in twenty eleven when the chinese ministry of foreign affairs shut down access amid reports that chinese visitors who couldn't pay their gambling debts were being locked up. now town officials say investment has finally returning one of them offered to show us around what. they are. but.
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she's reluctant to answer questions about the town's troubled past she tells us she's busy and she hands us over to one of her male employees only one of the times out who speaks english. a mind a comes along to keep him on message. we ask to see a view of the city but the tallest building turns out to be empty back in the boom years it was said to be a casino you know where you went in this case you know it was you know. i knew you would you let me. call you. so it's a look at you know you want. which could all change more like drunk fome fome fome fome. fome coming to me. with the question your genes. rushing to live on with something that she
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changes that if i get a moment i'm going to be conscious of you this is just. a sad sad. sad. time with you don't. think you should. come up with tears. coming to. you can you imagine the limits i did but you don't now see that. whole deal with a child now without all the jesuit inclusion just hold g.p. and shit week new york feels she wore. one too this is like the whole home. it's clear that china's rapid advance across laos is set to continue whatever the consequences for the people who live here but as they come face to face with the effects of such fast paced development it does beg questions as to how long the chinese will remain welcome
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guests or if they'll eventually come to be seen as just the latest in a long line of foreign columnists have taken more from this poor country than they've given back. the a in the way. yes. but.
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when the news breaks more than a million people have already lost and not number will grow is going to this in the world and the story builds vast fears and sometimes fatal child jockeys are risking their young lives when people need to be heard in the i dream about gambling in numbers i don't feel comfortable with out there i'll gamble until i die al-jazeera has teams on the ground to bring you more award winning documentaries and live news on air and online. optimism has faded. khan's elected leaders are divided. tension grows as fears that a crackdown is imminent the targets the activists who fought for democracy divide and conquer. part five of the six part series filmed over five years.
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on china's democracy experiment at this time on al-jazeera. witness documentaries that open your eyes at this time on al-jazeera. this is al-jazeera.


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