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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 28, 1970

DISCUSSION BETWEEN ZHOU ENLAI AND PRINCE SIHANOUK

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    North Korea and several Arabic countries support Prince Sihanouk, but Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is holding back. Zhou Enlai reassures Prince Sihanouk that the Soviets will reconsider.
    "Discussion between Zhou Enlai and Prince Sihanouk," March 28, 1970, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP Working Paper 22, "77 Conversations." https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112190
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112190

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ZHOU ENLAI AND PRINCE SIHANOUK

Beijing, 9:10 pm, 28 March 1970

Zhou Enlai: [North] Korea will support Your Highness.  Several among the Arabic countries will also support Your Highness.  The situation among African countries is the same.  In the future, more and more countries will support Your Highness’s just cause.  

Prince Sihanouk: There is a situation which makes me uneasy.  Chea Sam[1] told me that the attitude of the Soviet Union is very cautious.  Quite a few socialist countries in Eastern Europe followed the Soviet Union’s example in taking their actions.

Zhou Enlai: The Soviet Union always acts like this, not only on the Cambodia issue, but also on the Vietnam issue.  In the future, when the three sides issue the statement, the Soviet Union will be embarassed and have to reconsider its position.

[1] Chea Sam (or Chea Som) was Cambodian ambassador to the Soviet Union until the 18 March 1970 coup which toppled Sihanouk; he then joined Sihanouk’s exile government in Beijing as justice minister.