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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Series Two: Vietnam, 1959-1975
(Public Record Office Classes FO 371 and FCO 15: South East Asia Department)

Part 3: Cambodia, 1959-1963
(PRO Class FO 371/144344-144386, 152684-152736, 160085-160106, 166664-166696 & 170057-170087)

Cambodia had a long standing suspicion of Vietnamese motives, which prompted Prince Sihanouk to find creative methods of curbing the ambitions of Vietnam to be the dominant regional power. As a result Sihanouk looked to the People's Republic of China to provide a restraining influence, and the two countries signed a Treaty of Friendship and Non-Aggression in 1960. In spite of this intimacy with China, Cambodia still relied on the US to supply the bulk of its civil and military aid requirements. The US, by now herself becoming enmeshed in efforts to secure the independence of South Vietnam, was prepared to overlook this friendship with communist China in order to ensure the survival of a non-communist Cambodia. As with Laos, the Americans had little direct interest in Cambodia beyond denying it to the friends of the Vietnamese communists, for whom Cambodia provided an essential supply route and hiding place. These files include:

  • Notes on the internal political situation in Cambodia.
  • British assessments of US policy towards Cambodia.
  • Files on political relations with China, France, Thailand, Laos,
    the United States, the Soviet Union, India, Vietnam and other countries.
  • Papers of the International Supervisory Commission in Cambodia.
  • Documents on UN policy in the region.
  • French views on the region.
  • Reports on border incidents.
  • Papers on the London talks.
  • Reports on the status of foreign troops in the area.
  • Notes on Anglo-US discussions.


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