April 1978–December 1978

  • Jamie Frederic Metzl

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Fatigue Europe Expense Malaysia Toll 

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Notes

  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
  2. 6.
    King C. Chen, China’s War with Vietnam, 1979 (Stanford, CA, 1987), pp. 39–68; Chang, Sino-Vietnamese, p. 4; Chen, Strategic Triangle, p. 141.Google Scholar
  3. 18.
    Gelman, Brezhnev, pp. 105–73; Herring, America’s, p. 270; Raymond L. Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan (Washington, DC, 1985), pp. 617–18, 623–53.Google Scholar
  4. 70.
    Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, After the Cataclysm; Postwar lndo-China and the Reconstruction of Imperial Ideology (Nottingham, 1979), p. 196.Google Scholar
  5. 97.
    John Barron and Paul, Anthony, “Cambodia: The Killing Goes On”, Reader’s Digest, vol. 113 (July 1978), pp. 167–74.Google Scholar
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    Jean Lacouture, Survive le Peuple Cambodgien! (Paris, 1978), p. 5.Google Scholar
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    See Karl D. Jackson, “Cambodia 1978: War, Pillage and Purge in Democratic Kampuchea”, Asian Survey, vol. XIX, no. 1 (January 1979), p. 82fn; Jackson, Cambodia, p. ix.Google Scholar
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    Roberta Lynch, “Blacking out the Mind: Cambodia and the American Left”, In These Times, vol. 2, no. 31, 21–27 June 1978, p. 16.Google Scholar
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    See R. J. Vincent, “Human Rights in Foreign Policy”, in Dilys Hill (ed.), Human Rights and Foreign Policy: Principles and Practise (London, 1989), pp. 54–66.Google Scholar
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    See J. R. Frears, France in the Giscard Presidency (London, 1981), p. 99. Similarly, the Swedish Ambassador to the Commission told a State Department official that Sweden “would not want to damage its potential good office’s role by making a complaint against Kampuchea at this time” (Sieverts to Secretary of State, 4 July 1978).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jamie Frederic Metzl 1996

Authors and Affiliations

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

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