Author Andrew Mertha discusses his latest book “Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979” with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations on April 29, 2014. This podcast contains audio of a public program and presentation; to view video and slides, please visit
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. Yet in a markedly asymmetrical relationship between a modernizing, nuclear power and a virtually premodern state, China was largely unable to use its power to influence Cambodian politics or policy.
Dr. Andrew Mertha is associate professor of government at Cornell University.
The National Committee on U.S.-China Relations is the leading nonprofit nonpartisan organization that encourages understanding of China and the United States among citizens of both countries.