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Nuon Chea Describes Chinese Aid to Khmer Rouge

Cambodian military officials line up in front the top leaders of Khmer Rouge portraits, from right, former Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary, former Khmer Rouge head of state Khieu Samphan, and former Deputy Secretary Nuon Chea, during the second d

Jailed Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea told the UN-backed tribunal on Wednesday that China had provided munitions, food and clothes to the Khmer Rouge, but he denied any influence from Beijing over the regime’s policies.

The aid came “without conditions” and was not expected to be reimbursed, he said under questioning from a court prosecutor.

“There was the aid of technicians, but no assistants to politics,” he said.

Nuon Chea, the regime’s chief ideologue, is on trial for atrocity crimes alongside its head of state, Khieu Samphan, and foreign minister, Ieng Sary.

In testimony, Nuon Chea has continuously sought to blame Vietnam for the regime’s woes, while Khieu Samphan and Ieng Sary have limited their exchanges with the court.

China has admitted it provided some aid to the Cambodia at the time, but it has never fully acknowledged its role in aiding the Khmer Rouge.

Last year, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Gin Feng told a group of students in Phnom Penh that China had provided food to Cambodia “to save them from starvation” but had not been involved in Khmer Rouge politics.