Will Sihanouk choose his camp during the
Cold War ?
• After independence and the establishment of the Sangkum
– not to forget the Chinese revolution in 1949 - Sihanouk
was urged to choose his camp in the Cold War, as Ho Chi
Minh had clearly chosen his – the Soviet.
• Allen Dulles, CIA director at the time, came specially to
Phnom Penh, on 28th February 1955, to convince the
King to make his country join SEATO (Southeast Asia
Treaty Organization) created in late 1954 to prevent the
spread of communism.
• But Sihanouk was “in no mood to compromise” [Osborne, 94].
After his victories in the “Royal Crusade for
Independence” and at Geneva, Sihanouk‟s participation at
the Bandung Conference “reinforced his belief in his own
importance” [Osborne, 95] and his belief in neutralism. But
was that intense activity to prove beneficial to his people ?
I – Bandung & Cambodian Neutralism
• 1 – Charles De Gaulle
• When the young monarch went on a private visit to De
Gaulle at his home in Eastern France in 1946, the General
was by then a private individual, after his resignation on
20th January 1946. Sihanouk could have been impressed
by the General‟s rejection of what he called the “exclusive
regime of parties”, while he was to create the
Rassemblement du Peuple Français (RPF) on 7th April 1947
• Sihanouk himself was to do the same thing in 1955, with
the creation of the Sangkum. Later, after he regained
power in 1958, De Gaulle was also to flirt with an anti-
Americanism and neutralism he called a return to France‟s
2 - Jawaharlal Nehru
• In 1954 and 1955, while Sihanouk was still the King, he had drawn much
of his inspiration for his foreign policy from Jawaharlal Nehru. He was
the major intellectual source of “neutralism”, what was referred to in
India as “panchasila”: the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence,
including respect of territorial integrity and national sovereignty, non-
aggression, mutual non-interference, mutual benefits, and peaceful co-
• These principles were presented by the five members of the so-called
Colombo group (India, Indonesia, Burma, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) at
Bandung. Nehru had visited Cambodia in 1954, before Bandung, and
Sihanouk had reciprocated the visit also before Bandung. The Prince
considered the Indian leader as his guru, having been initiated by him to
the virtues of neutrality, or as “an older brother from whom I had much to
learn”. However, Sihanouk had reservations about Nehru‟s insistence on
non-violence, like his master Gandhi. He also found some inspiration
with the pious Teravada Buddhist U Nu, then Prime Minister of Burma.
3 - 18th-24th April 1955, Sihanouk at Bandung
• On 18th-24th April 1955, Sihanouk led a delegation to
Bandung in Indonesia and the first so-called Third World
Conference that proclaimed the principle of neutrality at
the time of the climax of the Cold War that saw the
confrontation mainly between the Soviet Union and the
United Stated – the two so-called Super Great.
• The stars of the meeting of mainly countries of the
South from Asia, Africa and South America, were the
Chinese Communist Zhou Enlai, Tito from Yugoslavia –
a communist State also -, Nehru from India, Nasser from
Egypt and, of course the host, Sukarno from Indonesia.
All those would adopt the 5 principles of peaceful
coexistence put forward first by Nehru and then adopted
by the so-called Colombo group of Burma, Ceylon, India,
Indonesia and Pakistan.
What was the upshot of Bandung ?
• Bandung was sponsored by the Asian nationalist
leadership of Indonesia, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Burma
(now Myanmar), and the Philippines.
• The foremost figure of these nations was Ahmed
Sukarno, president of Indonesia, who clearly ruled over a
police state, however strident his anti-imperialist rhetoric.
• The prominent personalities were Jawaharlal Nehru,
prime minister of India, Kwame Nkrumah, prime
minister of the Gold Coast (later Ghana), Gamal Abdel
Nasser, president of Egypt, Chou En Lai, premier of
China, Ho Chi Minh, prime minister of Vietnam.
5 - The rôle of Zhu Enlai
• The Chinese leader approached the conference
participants with "utmost friendliness and
reserve,...turning the other cheek when receiving
ideological slaps. »
• His speech stressed Asian-African unity instead of
attacking the West or pushing communist ideology on
newly "free" nations.
• "Pan-Asianism" was legitimated and empowered by the
weight of communist China. Chou En Lai's seemingly
weak, but tactical stance at the conference only ensured a
de facto bloc against the West. In the late 1950s it provided
China with the wedge it needed for the Sino-Soviet split.
China's relationship began to decline with India in 1959
over the question of Tibet, and was finally destroyed in
the border clashes of 1962.
6 - Lessons of Bandung (Matthew Quest, 1994)
• The legacy of these "great" leaders and their regimes
represented at Bandung is a sad one. The personalities
that were worshipped (Nehru, Nkrumah, Nasser, Chou
En Lai, Ho Chi Minh), however great their oratory, were
in practice authoritarian, undemocratic, sexist, and despite
major theses to the contrary, complicit with furthering
neo-colonialism and/or establishing state capitalism.
• Non-alignment was clearly a tactic, not a philosophy.
Skillful Cold War diplomacy gained some leverage for
state sovereignty, but what of the people? In today's one-
superpower world no manœuvers are comparably
impressive. In a manner similar to much-criticized
communist and so-called non-aligned regimes, many
nationalists rally the people for "independence" only to
seize power in their name and suppress their aspirations
for true freedom.
7 - Sihanouk‟s brand of neutralism
• Still, just after Bandung, perhaps in contradiction to the
principles proclaimed in Java, Sihanouk signed an agreement
on 16th May 1955 with the USA for direct military aid that was
extremely significant in equipping the country‟s army. “For the
moment, Sihanouk was able to have his neutral foreign policy cake, while
happily eating the benefit of generous American aid” [Osborne, 96].
• He also received the aid from USAID, while the social and
cultural service of the Asia Foundation opened an office in
• Similarly, in December 1955, Sihanouk went on an official visit
to Japan where he was received by Emperor Hirohito (1901-
1989, Emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989). He signed a
friendship treaty with Japan and renounced war damages. In
return, Japan granted Cambodia 100 million yens of aid to
The aid racket
• Sihanouk thereby inaugurated his policy of getting
aid from a vast amount of donor countries,
balancing those between East and West and
benefiting from the competition between both sides
of the Cold War.
• Still, the official slogan proclaimed in the Prince‟s
rhetoric was invariably “Cambodia helps itself” “Le
Cambodge s’aide lui-même”. As we saw, this was only
implemented in colonial days, as the Cambodian
taxpayers paid for the cost of the administration
and public investments – even for the salaries of
colonial administrators – and therefore received no
foreign financial aid.
II - Sihanouk & Communist countries
1 – Mao’s China in particular
• On 16th January 1962, Sihanouk declared in the Parliament: “I know full
well that communism is destined to dominate Asia and we shall be under its grip.
When the days come, I myself will invite the people to get ready for the new regime”
• In the wake of the Bandung meeting, on Zhou‟s invitation at Bandung,
Sihanouk went to his first State visit to Beijing in 13th February 1956. It
was the year the new Soviet leader Khrushchev (1894-1971) was to
denounce the crimes of Stalin against Party supporters and therefore the
beginning of de-Stalinization and the loosening of the close relationship
between the two Communist giants.
• Mao did not at all like this new approach to the history of the
revolutionary movement, as he himself was a great admirer and imitator
of the Soviet dictator. He indeed himself surpassed his model as it is
now reckoned that Mao Zedong caused the death of no less than about
70 millions of his compatriots – the most “self-genocidist” of all
Communist totalitarian leaders [read Mao, the Unknown Story, Jung Chang
& Jon Halliday, Jonathan Cape, London, 2005].
A close cooperation that survived all subsequent regimes
• That was to be the first step towards establishing a
friendly cooperation between the two countries that has
survived all Cambodian regimes to this very day. We may
really wonder what could have attracted Sihanouk, calling
himself “a thoroughbred prince”, to “a man of rural extraction
who lacked Zhou Enlai’s smooth gait, refined manners, and entirely
noble bearing” [Krishner, 108-109] ?
• The reason was simple: he treated Sihanouk like a great
chief of State and flattered his ego. On the first meeting,
that fatal day of February 1956, … “as my car entered the
courtyard of the President’s house, Mao was already standing there
waiting for me. He had walked out of the house to greet me
personally, a great surprise and a signal honour. After a long and
warm discussion, Mao walked me to my car and re-entered his
simple and traditionally Chinese-furnished home only after I passed
out his view” .
Sihanouk‟s fascination for Mao …
• The reason for the fascination was twofold: Sihanouk loved
to be lionized and flattered, a play-acting the less diplomatic
and more straightforward Americans hosts were less able to
put on, while the Asian leader was a past master in
obsequiousness – like later Pol Pot his disciple.
• But there was more than this: both were at the apex of their
respective State for reasons that, in their eyes, turned them
into super-humans. Sihanouk was not just a direct descendant
of Angkorean Kings – or so he believed – but he had
brought independence to his country single-handedly and
peacefully and before other Indochinese countries. Mao was
by then at the forefront of the world communist revolution
thus catapulting China into post-modernity after
Khrushchev‟s “betrayal”. One was on the throne by the
Divine Right of kings, the other by the fatal inexorable
advance of the Wheel of History that was crushing all those
that stood on its path.
…. & lucidity
• Sihanouk noted that Mao “was not at all dictatorial and even less
imperial. In informal situations, one could easily have mistaken him or
a hearty village chief.” . The Chinese also noted they
appreciated Sihanouk‟s “special rapport with his people”,
something similar to the adulation Mao was enjoying from
the crowds of Tienanmen Square. The Prince added in his
memoirs: “at a great ceremony in Tienanmen Square, Mao praised
me effusively in front of one million people, and he fully supported me
and the Khmer resistance against the Lon Nol government” .
• At the same time and contradictorily, the Prince was very
perceptively aware of the limitations and even criminality of
Chairman Mao, the Great Helmsman, when he added just
after, “later, he was to wholeheartedly support the Pol Pot regime.
Blind to its excesses, he saw it only as the classical proletarian revolution
he had dreamed of personally spearheading all his life. Goal-oriented,
he was oblivious to the Khmer Rouge’s cruel extremism and coldly
indifferent to the human casualties it perpetrated” .
The rewards of that friendship
• The main result of those friendly relationships throughout the
year was the gift on the part of the Chinese of entire factories,
all fully fitted, constructed by them: a cement factory in
Kampot, a paper mill in Kratie, a weaving factory in
Kompong Cham, a plywood factory, along the Mekong.
• It also supported the radio station in Phnom Penh and
extended the airport of Siemreap-Angkor to give it an
international standard. Everything ran smoothly until the days
of the so-called Cultural Revolution when all the workers in
Siemreap work site conducted by Chinese experts were
submitted to intense communist propaganda and shown films
of revolutionary China in the evenings at a specially built
cultural centre, and most workers joined then Khmer Rouge in
1970, after the fall of Sihanouk.
• So much for the claim of non-interference into the internal
affairs of Cambodia.
2 - A tour of the European Communist countries
• In June 1956, Sihanouk went on his first cherished
international tours that took him to several
Communist countries: Moscow, Warsaw, Prague,
Belgrade; but he balanced those with Paris,
Stockholm, Madrid and Vienna.
• But his most memorable visit was to be in Yugoslavia
where he formed what he considered a solid
friendship with president Tito, the Communist
dictator. “I found myself on the enchanting Adriatic island of
Brioni, south of Trieste, in the exalted company of the
Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito, Jawaharlal Nehru of India,
Achmed Sukarno of Indonesia and Gamal Abdel Nasser of
3 - Beloved Tito
• Tito had invited me to join the four main initiators of the non-
aligned movement, who were meeting at Tito’s luxurious villa on this
paradise island. They had signed the historic joint declaration on
non-alignment just one day before my arrival. That declaration was
in effect the charter for the movement, whose first summit conference
was to be held five years later in Belgrade in 1961.
• The day after Nehru, Sukarno and Nasser had departed, Tito
invited me to the same villa and asked me to co-sign the charter.
Thus, thanks to him, I was the fifth founding father of the non-
aligned movement” .
• Tito invited Sihanouk again in 1961 where he assembled
29 heads of State or governments. By 1989, there were
106 countries that had joined the non-aligned movement.
4 - Zhou Enlai in Cambodia
• In November 1956, it was Zhou Enlai‟s turn to
reciprocate the visit and he came to Phnom Penh to
solemnly reaffirm that the Chinese aid was absolutely
without strings attached and disinterested.
• Still, Cambodia was to provide all diplomatic support
to the communist giant it could muster, in particular in
the Taiwanese question – till today in the question of
the Mekong in international meetings.
• It continuously supported revolutionary China‟s right
to hold the UN seat instead of non-revolutionary
Taiwan, in the name of the unity of China.
5 - The Soviet Union
• In the meantime, the Soviet Union would be just as generous with
Sihanouk‟s Cambodia. It built entirely the largest hospital in Phnom
Penh – 500 beds – fully equipped and in operation, along with
specialized medical personnel. It remained the main hospital for the
Khmer Rouge apparatchiks and military under Democratic
• They also built the very important first and only engineering school in
Cambodia, The Khmero-Soviet Institute, renamed by French aid
from the early Nineties „L’institut de Technologie du Cambodge”, - the
name of the donors having disappeared.
• The Soviets built an equally vast embassy along the Sutharot
Boulevard, closer to the Royal palace and the National Assembly. The
Soviets were again present massively in the Eighties, when Phnom
Penh Tuol Tompung market was – and still is – to be know as “the
• Finally, various East European Communist countries, East Germany,
Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Poland opened embassies and
supported the Sangkum regime.
III – Sihanouk & France : Charles De Gaulle
In June 1954, Sihanouk made his first official visit to France, where he
stayed part of the summer. It was in the course of this stay that
Sihanouk obtained a substantial military, economic and cultural aid from
the former colonial country.
Certainly until his fall in 1970, when the Prince‟s relations with France
started to cool off, Sihanouk was a great Francophile. In compensation
for the dissolution of the Indochinese Federation, France offered to
construct the port of Kompong Som, later renamed Sihanoukville, and
the international airport of Pochentong, after the loss of access to
Saigon and the airport of Tan Son Nhut.
France also helped Cambodia to construct the nucleus of a University
with the foundation of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Law
and Economics Faculty and the Royal School of Administration. France
would also aid Cambodia to build the Pedagogical Institute to train
secondary school teachers and the complex of what was to become the
Faculty of Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing.
2 - France
• From 1955, the military instruction mission helped to create a
Cambodian military officers academy and gave military hardware
from 1964, when USA military aid had been rejected.
• Besides that, an important mission of technical assistance of
technicians, engineers, doctors and teachers in every subject, as
French had been chosen as the language of instruction from grade
three. The French were still running the vast rubber plantations and,
with EFEO, continuing the conservation of the vast Angkor
complex on their own, without the help of UNESCO. The
consequence of that was that the number of French nationals present
in Cambodia ran into the thousands and they were much more
numerous than under the colonial age.
• Mao‟s China was the great official friend and Sihanouk had broken
diplomatic links with the US in early 1965, but in reality the French
were still running much of the show.
3 - Exchange of visits with De Gaulle
• The climax of this francophilia or even francomania on the part of
Norodom Sihanouk was the grandiose reception the Prince put up
for one of his world idols – General De Gaulle.
• “When I paid an official visit to France in June 1964, the General received me in
a manner reserved for heads of State of friendly countries. He and Madame De
Gaulle bestowed on Monique and myself the singular honour of greeting us at
Orly airport. As we entered Paris, we were escorted not by motorcycles, but by the
magnificent mounted unit of the Garde Républicaine. We were put up at the
Quai d’Orsay in a suite once occupied by Queen Elizabeth. […]
• In [September] 1966, it was the General’s turn to pay an official visit to
Cambodia. We spared nothing to give our illustrious guests an unforgettable
memory of their stay amongst us. The 12-kilometre route between Pochentong
Airport and the Royal Palace was lined with tens of thousands of Khmers,
Chinese and Vietnamese – and of course the French still living among us. Simple
enthusiasm turned to absolute exhilaration when the General, standing in an open
car, greeted the deliriously happy crowds with his familiar gesture of raising both
his arms. […]
• That evening the capital was dazzlingly lit. The parks and
promenades were emblazoned with blue, white and red. The
programme I organized for De Gaulle surpassed any reception
Cambodia ever held for a visiting Head of State. Honour after
honour were bestowed on him. He was made General-in-chief of
the Khmer forces, which in fact owed their origin to the French army.
He became an honorary citizen of the capital Phnom Penh,
receiving a golden key to the city, and was also presented with the
Grand Collar of Independence, set with diamonds. He became the
first Head of State allowed to receive the diplomatic corps inside the
royal Throne Hall – just as if he himself were the King of
Cambodia. He became the first person to give a speech – to
100,000 people – in Phnom Penh brand new Olympic Stadium. A
major avenue in Phnom Penh and the most beautiful boulevard in
the town of Siemreap were named after him. And he inaugurated
the new State Palace of Chamcar Mon, reserved for visiting Heads
of State”. [Krishner, 45-49].
4 - The Olympic Stadium speech
• After praising the achievements of the Sangkum, De Gaulle indirectly
addressed the Government of the United States, as if it was alone
responsible for the Second Indochinese War. He gave the example of
Algeria in which it had been present for 132 years, had about one
million settlers, and yet left. This is a curious parallel, as the two
situations were quite different. Besides, the Americans were present in
South-Vietnam on the request of a free and independent country that
did not want to become communist.
• “France considers that the fighting that is ravaging Indochina […] offers no end.
In France’s view, it is unthinkable that the American war apparatus will be
annihilated on the spot. There is, on the other hand, no chance that the people of
Asia will subject themselves to the law of the foreigner who come from the other
shores of the Pacific, whatever his intentions, however powerful his weapons”
• For De Gaulle, the solution is crystal clear: the US must leave
Vietnam and everyone will be happy ever after. Well, this is just what
they did from 1973 and the Indochinese people – the South
Vietnamese and the Khmers – were not particularly happy and
prosperous after that departure.
5 - The French Riviera
• As a final note, we must not forget to underline that
Sihanouk never failed to spend months in the South
of France to be treated by his French doctors
• He usually resided in a relatively modest villa
belonging to his mother Queen Kossamak at
Mougins on the Riviera, not very far from the
Mediterranean Sea and the luxuries of high life in
this blessed and beautiful part of France.
• The excuse for those long trips was his health and
his slimming cures with his devoted French doctors.
IV – Cambodia & its Neighbours:
South Vietnam and Thailand
• Siahnouk‟s Cambodia became the greatest of friend with distant
nations, like China, Yugoslavia and France, but proved unable to
establish normal, balanced and trustful with its immediate
neighbours. That great shortcoming was to mark all the ensuing
decades of Cambodian history. One of the reasons for Sihanouk
to insist on the close ties with China was the hope: “that China
would act as Cambodia’s protector against the Democratic Republic of
Vietnam, a state whose intentions the Prince distrusted” [Osborne, 102-
• Both neighbours, South Vietnam and Thailand had, contrary to
Sihanouk, clearly chosen their camps in the Cold War – the
West, ASEAN and SEATO. That was for the immediate history,
not to forget centuries of hostility and the quite negative
heritage left by the colonial era. Indochina, a colonial construct,
had been administered from Hanoi and by many Vietnamese
middle level officials employed in French offices – interpreters,
secretaries … .
1 – South Vietnam
• Relations started very badly with the dictatorial Ngo Dinh Diem
who had refused to organize the free elections in South Vietnam
as planned by the Geneva accords. He did not return to
Cambodia the refunds from import duties before 1st January
1955 he should have returned. Worse, he blocked the free
passage on the Mekong, up and down the river, of high sea
• Then, with the development of the war, there were more and
more incursions into Cambodia of the South Vietnam military
forces. The worst incident was the total destruction of Bathu
village in Svay Rieng province. In June 1958, regular South
Vietnamese troops penetrated several kilometers into Cambodia
in O‟Yadao district, Ratanakiri, along Road 19 from Stung Treng
to Pleiku At the beginning of 1959, Son Ngoc Thanh, who had
taken refuge in Saigon, was accused of being implicated in the
Dap Chuon plot.
2 - South Vietnamese attacks
The South Vietnamese attacks, by air and by land, against
border stations and villages kept increasing in spite of the
Cambodian government‟s numerous protests. So that, the
exasperated Prince Sihanouk decided to cut all diplomatic
relationships with the Ngo Dinh Diem regime on 27th
August 1963. He was to be assassinated some two months
later on 1st November 1963.
Incidents were to escalate into 1964 when the embassies of
both the United States and of the United Kingdom were
ransacked by a mob encouraged by the Government, along
with the offices of the US Information Service and the
library of the British Council. Those were provoked by the
continuous incursions on the part of South Vietnamese and
Americans and their refusal to recognize the exact layout of
the border line.
3 - Conference of the Indochinese Peoples
• In November 1964, took place in Phnom Penh, on
Sihanouk‟s initiative, a “conference of Indochinese
Peoples” that was open to all “anti-colonialist and anti-
neo-colonialist organizations” from the peninsula. There
were of course delegation from the North-Vietnamese,
the NLF and the Pathet Lao and smaller organizations,
but the conference was a mixed success, as the
participants confronted each others.
• A complaint was lodged with the United Nations and a
commission of inquiry was set up with nationals from
Brazil, Morocco, and Ivory Coast. Cambodia, Sihanouk
claimed, obtained nothing from these peaceful
4 - Break of diplomatic relationships
• The tension with South Vietnam and the Second Indochinese War were
to be the cause of the break of diplomatic relations with the USA.
• On the occasion of he 15th anniversary of the Chinese revolution on 1st
October 1964 in Beijing, Sihanouk, who had been invited to the
celebrations, met Pham Van Dong, the Prime Minister of the Hanoi
Government and representatives from the southern so-called National
Liberation Front (NLF). The Prince mentioned the problem of the
borders and it was decided to examine the questions with those
representatives of both the North and the South Vietnam. But after long
meetings and negotiations between the three delegations, those were
bogged down in legal and technical considerations and nothing came out
of those either.
• The result was that, on 3rd May 1965, Sihanouk decided to break
diplomatic relations with Washington. That rupture of relations was a
logical step after the rejection of American aid from November 1963.
Break of diplomatic relationships - 2
• As we remember diplomatic relations had been
broken in August 1963 with South-Vietnam and
earlier with Thailand, even before the Preah Vihear
affair of 1961-62, we must note that the Sangkum
regime had no normal relations with its immediate
and important neighbours.
• Still, after an intense lobbying, the NLF, on 31st May
1967 and the North-Vietnam on 8th June, officially
recognized Cambodia‟s borders. But neither did
South-Vietnam nor Thailand.
5 - Thailand
• Relations with Thailand were just as tense. The resentment of
the Thais must have originated in the 1907 treaty that forced
those to cede back Cambodia‟s western provinces. 1947 was
another sore time for the Thais, as the same thing was repeated
• Their government tried to cause troubles in the Western
provinces by helping to create the Issarak movement that
operated from the Thai territory.
• From 1955, the Thai were putting some pressure on Cambodia
to persuade it to join SEATO. At the same time, Son Ngoc
Thanh took refuge in Bangkok after having been chased from
the Cambodian border and took the lead of the rebellious
Khmer Serey forces. He was said to have been then working for
the CIA. It was also the time when the Thai military occupied
the Preah Vihear temple.
• In July 1958, Sihanouk travelled to Bangkok to meet the King of
Thailand and conversations continued between the Khmer and the Thai
delegations. Cambodia required Thailand to officially recognize the
borders as defined by the 1907 Franco-Siamese Treaty, together with the
sovereignty of Cambodia over Preah Vihear. Thailand refused and that
was the cause of the break of diplomatic relations.
• Cambodia seized the Security Council and Dag Hammarskjoeld, the UN
General Secretary tried to bring a compromise. By 1959, nothing was
settled and the Thai troops remained at Preah Vihear. So, in October
1959, the Cambodian Government decided to appeal to the international
Court at The Hague in Holland. The verdict came out on 15th June 1962
and confirmed the temple stood on Cambodian territory. The main
argument of the judges was that until the late Nineteen Fifties, the Thais
had never contested the Treaty and the King of Thailand‟s brother
himself had visited the site without demanding a revision of the Treaty.
In other words, the international judges decided the Thais had waited
too long to object.
Can we say that by 1966-67 Sihanouk has
guaranteed peace in his country ?
• In 1964, Cambodia offered Thailand to sign a pact
on non-aggression. No reply came. In April 1966,
Thai troops attacked the temple again, but they
were pushed back. The situation remained tense
throughout the Sixties, all the more so since the
Khmer Serey of Son Ngoc Thanh, along with bandits
and smugglers, maintained a state of instability
along the border.
• 1967 would mark a change Cambodia‟s diplomacy
as a consequence of the Cultural Revolution in
China, with an attempt of rapprochement with the
West on the part of Sihanouk starting with the
official visit of Jacqueline Kennedy.