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China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence by Sophie Richardson

China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence


China, Cambodia, and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence by Sophie Richardson

Why would China jeopardize its relationship with the United States, the former Soviet Union, Vietnam, and much of Southeast Asia to sustain the Khmer Rouge and provide hundreds of millions of dollars to postwar Cambodia? Why would China invest so much in small states, such as those at the China-Africa Forum, that offer such small political, economic, and strategic return? Some scholars assume pragmatic or material concerns drive China's foreign policy, while others believe the government was once and still is guided by Marxist ideology. Conducting rare interviews with the actual policy makers involved in these decisions, Sophie Richardson locates the true principles driving China's foreign policy since 1954's Geneva Conference. Though they may not be right in a moral sense, China's ideals are based on a clear view of the world and the interaction of the people within it-a philosophy that, even in an era of unprecedented state power, remains tied to the origins of the PRC as an impoverished, undeveloped state. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence--mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty; nonaggression; noninterference; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence--live at the heart of Chinese foreign policy and set the parameters for international action. In this model of state-to-state relations, the practices of extensive diplomatic communication, mutual benefit, and restraint in domestic affairs become crucial to achieving national security and global stability.


A well documented and clearly presented work... Recommended. Choice An informative and insightful account of Sino-Cambodian relations since the early 1950s. -- Xiaorong Han China Review International This books adds important dimensions to our understanding of Cambodia's troubled modern history. -- Kenton Clymer Journal of Southeast Asian Studies

About the Author

Sophie Richardson is a scholar of contemporary Asian politics and the Asia Advocacy director of Human Rights Watch. A graduate of Oberlin College, the Hopkins-Nanjing Program, and the University of Virginia, she publishes on domestic Chinese politics and Chinese foreign policy.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th November 2009


Sophie Richardson

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Columbia University Press


344 pages


International relations



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