Flora Sapio

Zones of Light and Zones of Shadow in the Alliance Between the PRC and the Khmer Rouge

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: China, Cambodia, History of the International Relations of the People’s Republic of China, Sino-Cambodian Relations

The alliance between the People’s Republic of China and the Pol Pot regime is among the least explored topics in the history of China’s international relations. The present review essay intends to stimulate academic interest in this topic. After introducing the geopolitical backdrop of the alliance and reviewing the literature on sino-cambodian relations, the essay suggests three distinct areas for further research. A first area concerns the beliefs and convictions of China’s military leadership on the usefulness of guerrilla war, and how those beliefs may have influenced the decision to support the Khmer Rouge after their fall from power. China’s alliance with Pol Pot was born at the eve of the Cultural Revolution. A second and potentially very productive area could therefore focus on ideological divisions existing within China’s leadership, and the role they played in enabling the alliance between the People’s Republic of China and the Khmer Rouge. Finally, it remains to be understood how the Khmer Rouge perceived the ideological line of Deng Xiaoping, and the role such a perception played in their decision to boycott the 1993 election

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