April 1978–December 1978

  • Jamie Frederic Metzl


From March 1978 to the end of that year, two different trends in Western responses to events in Cambodia developed and moved into greater conflict with each other. As information regarding and concern surrounding the human rights situation grew, Western governments, particularly the United States and Britain, began to take further responsive measures, culminating in submissions made by each government and a number of others to the UN Commission on Human Rights. As the conflict between Kampuchea and Vietnam deepened, however, and the backing of each by China and the Soviet Union, respectively, strengthened, the United States moved towards closer links with China. This move tacitly implied support for China and its ally Kampuchea against the Soviet Union and Vietnam. This paradox — between opposing the Democratic Kampuchea regime on human rights grounds and realising that Western states had certain shared strategic interests with Kampuchea — became abundantly clear with the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia at the end of 1978.


Khmer Rouge Eastern Zone Strategic Interest Western Government Eastern Economic Review 
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  1. 5.
    Pao-Min Chang, The Sino-Vietnamese Territorial Dispute (New York, 1986), p. 4; Longmire, Soviet, p. 122; Ross, Indo-China, p. 177. Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Jamie Frederic Metzl 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jamie Frederic Metzl
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Law SchoolUSA

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