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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 07, 1971

DISCUSSION BETWEEN LE DUC THO AND IENG SARY

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    Le Duc Tho offers advice to Ieng Sary about the current conflict between China and the Soviet Union.
    "Discussion between Le Duc Tho and Ieng Sary," September 07, 1971, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP Working Paper 22, "77 Conversations." https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113110
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LE DUC THO AND IENG SARY[1]

7 September 1971 [place not provided]

Le Duc Tho: We will always remember the experience in 1954.  Comrade Zhou Enlai admitted his mistakes in the Geneva Conference of 1954.  Two or three years ago, comrade Mao also did so.  In 1954, because both the Soviet Union and China exerted pressure, the outcome became what it became.  We have proposed that the Chinese comrades admit their mistakes and now I am telling you, the Cambodian comrades, about this problem of history.

We should be independent in thoughts, promote international solidarity and solidarity with the Soviet Union and with China.  We  have to fight a big imperialist country.  If we take sides in the Sino-Soviet dispute, the situation will become more complicated.  At present, China considers that it has two enemies, namely the Soviet Union and the US.  It therefore will not be beneficial if we take sides.

[1] Ieng Sary (1930-), Pol Pot’s closest collaborator in the Cambodian Communist Party Politburo. He moved to Beijing in 1971, where he established the authority of the Khmer Rouge over Sihanouk’s government in exile.  He was responsible for foreign affairs in the government of Democratic Kampuchea after 1975.  Defected to the Hun Sen-Ranaridh government in 1996.