Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Brotherly love

A new book that examines the relationship between China and their support of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 70s is the subject of Andrew Mertha's tome Brothers In Arms : Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975–1979. When the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in 1975, they inherited a war-ravaged and internationally isolated country. Pol Pot’s government espoused the rhetoric of self-reliance, but Democratic Kampuchea was utterly dependent on Chinese foreign aid and technical assistance to survive. Mertha suggests however, that China was unable to exert the level of influence it might've expected to wield. David Chandler said in his review of the forthcoming book, to be published in March: "Andrew Mertha talked to dozens of Cambodians and Chinese who worked together in the Khmer Rouge era. He has buttressed this research with forays into unexploited archival collections. The outcome - a judicious, vividly written analysis of the Sino-Khmer encounter - is deft, path-breaking, and persuasive." Andrew Mertha is Associate Professor of Government at Cornell University.

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