Tanaka Series Explores Cambodia and China Relations – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Tanaka Series Explores Cambodia and China Relations

Professor of Government at Cornell University Andrew Mertha presented “Fragmented Authoritarianism Abroad: the Case of Sino-Khmer Rouge Relations, 1975-1979″ as the latest guest in the Tanaka Asian Studies Speakers Series.

Mertha’s discussion addressed the relationship between China and the Khmer Rouge regime. In the latter half of the 1970s, Cambodia depended on Chinese foreign aid for its survival, yet China failed to use its power to influence Cambodian politics or policies – to an extraordinary human cost. Mertha examined the domestic bureaucratic dysfunction in both nations that led to this failure, and explained how Sino-Khmer Rouge relations have continued to shape Chinese policy in the 38 years since the Cambodian regime’s collapse.

At Cornell, Mertha specializes in Chinese and Cambodian politics and foreign and domestic policy. He is the author of numerous publications on Asian governments, including three monographs: Brothers in Arms: Chinese Aid to the Khmer Rouge, 1975-1979; China’s Water Warriors: Citizen Action and Policy Change; and The Politics of Piracy: Intellectual Property in Contemporary China.

The Tanaka Asian Studies Lecture Series is funded by the Tanaka Memorial Foundation. Since 1992, the Foundation has been a major contributor to the education and intellectual growth of both faculty and students on the HWS campus. With the first of these grants, the Colleges established the Tanaka Asian Studies Endowment; since then, the Tanaka Memorial Foundation has funded the speaker series among other opportunities.