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Ambivalent Allies: China, Cambodia, and the Politics of Mutual Resistance

Andrew Mertha, professor of Government at Cornell University will give a talk on relations between China and Cambodia.

February 11, 2011 4:00pm to 6:00pm

In this talk the speaker sketches the relationship between the China and Democratic Kampuchea (DK) between 1975 and 1979, focusing on Chinese foreign aid, infrastructure assistance, and trade. He argues that the Sino-DK relationship was complex and contradictory, reflecting the domestic convulsions of the two countries as it evolved. It was not simply a response to the downturn in Sino-Vietnamese relations; nor was it a function of revolutionary solidarity. Beijing’s support for the regime in Phnom Penh was based on international commercial and strategic interests which suggest important continuities with Chinese external aid, assistance, and investment today.