Cambodia's relations with China during the Cultural Revolution

[Mao Zedong] - Meyer, Charles / Sihanouk, Norodom, French diplomat in Cambodia (1923-2004). The Diplomatic Archive of Charles Meyer, including the relations between Cambodia and China.

[China, Cambodia], 1961-1965 [1958-1970].

3 dossiers. Ca. 130 documents, mostly 4to.

I. Ca. 40 typewritten documents.

II. Ca. 60 documents (13 of which autograph letters signed).

III. Ca. 30 typewritten documents.

Includes 5 monochrome photographs (dated "Peking Octobre 1965"), 1 sized 140 x 88 mm, 4 between 203 x 128 mm and 257 x 191 mm (newspaper clipping added, 30 Sept. 1965, publishing one of the photos).


This collection focuses on King Norodom Sihanouk's politics, constituted in the circles of power through Charles Meyer, his advisor for communication and public relations. Especially Sihanouk's relations to global political agents become clear during this troubled period, which shows China and Vietnam in the first row with America und France.

I. Cambodia's neighbourly relations with China during the Cultural Revolution. Documents (meetings, negotiations, audiences, protocols, delegation lists, drafts, trade agreements and speeches), some with annotations, mostly concerning diplomatic progress between Prince Sihanouk and President Liu Shaqu with his first minister Zhou Enlai in the years of 1963-65 in Beijing. One document deals with the project of the Khmer-Chinese friendship resolution. Also interesting is an analytical summary of the dialogues held on board a boat transporting the Cambodian delegation on the Yangtze.

Sihanouk's declaration to the Chinese people, with deletions and annotations: "Pour nous, cambodgiens, la Chine est bien notre amie numéro un [...]" ("For us, Cambodians, China is assuredly our best friend [...]").

II. The privileged, close relationship between Meyer and Sihanouk. These documents illustrate their direct collaboration, as well as Meyer's career, in distinctions and newspaper articles. Included are 13 autograph letters signed by Sihanouk, including a charming note relating to the politics of de Gaulles: "M. Mesmer vient de m’annoncer des cadeaux très très substantiels de la France à notre Education Nationale […] et à notre D[éfense] N[ationale] (chars, avions, GMC, etc…) en quantité extrêmement 'satisfaisante' [...]" ("M. Messmer has informed me this minute of the very substantial gifts of France to our National Education and our National Defence (tanks, aircraft, GMC, etc. ...) of an extremely 'satisfying' quantity [...]").

III. Foreign affairs and minutes. Documents (interventions, summaries, news paper articles, reports, press releases, telegrams) often annotated, e. g. "Lettre ouverte aux milieux impérialistes" ("Open letter to the imperialist world") annotated and initialled: "Vous avez rencontré des échecs humiliants et la faiblesse de votre politique dans les pays d’Asie, qui sont vos satellites est un fait universellement reconnu [...]" ("You have experienced the humiliating failure and weakness of your politics in the Asian countries, which are your vasalls, this is a world-wide acknowledged fact [...]").

Meyer lived in Indochina for 25 years, 15 of which were spent in Cambodia in the years 1946-1970. Meyer wrote the books "Derrière le sourire khmer" (Behind the Khmer Smile. Plon, 1971) and "Les Français en Indochine: 1860-1910" (The French in Indochina: 1860-1910. Hachette, 1996).

List of documents on request.