By Tom Fawthrop
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Additional resources for Getting Away With Genocide: Cambodia's Long Struggle Against the Khmer Rouge
The newly-discovered enthusiasm of the Khmer Rouge to attend all UN conferences included those of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation and the Universal Postal Union. Given the fact that Khmer Rouge had no planes, no ships and no postal service, their contributions to these UN affairs were at best irrelevant. 20 Contrary to normal UN practice, most refugees in the border camps were subject to daily control and intimidation by either the Khmer Rouge or their battlefield allies – the Royalist guerrillas and the rightist soldiers loyal to former prime minister Son Sann.
From the very first days of the Khmer Rouge regime, attacks were mounted across the border into islands regarded as Vietnamese by previous Cambodian governments and a major cross-border assault was mounted on 30 April 1977, the second anniversary of the end of the war in Vietnam. In December 1977, Democratic Kampuchea broke off diplomatic relations with Vietnam, which then launched its first serious retaliation to a series of assaults. 2 China and the US, which had just normalised relations in 1978, had their first taste of working together in the effort to prevent Vietnam from obtaining international acceptance of its crushing defeat of the Pol Pot regime.
The USSR and Vietnam were outmanoeuvred by a new coalition between China, the US and the Asean nations, now shamelessly aligned with Democratic Kampuchea. It was the most important seating controversy since the exclusion of mainland China and the Fawthrop 01 intro 31 3/9/04 4:08:07 pm 32 Getting Away With Genocide? endorsement of the island of Taiwan as the UN’s choice to represent nearly 1 billion people. The world’s largest nation was deprived of representation as a result of US machinations in support of the defeated Kuomintang who fled from the mainland and seized control over the island of Taiwan.