Translated and annotated by Miao Miao 苗渺

Cambodian Comrade-in-Arms[1], Beijing Welcomes You!

This joyful harvest season celebrates both the 28th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China and the 27th anniversary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea.[2] Hearts brimming with jubilance, the Chinese people welcomes the envoy of the Cambodian people. The Cambodian delegation headed by Comrade Pol Pot[3] arrived today in Beijing on an official visit of friendship, bringing the Communist Party of Kampuchea and Cambodian people’s deep feelings of camaraderie to the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people.

At the capital airport, drums and gongs thundered the heavens. Fresh flowers wreathed Tiananmen Square,[4] colorful flags soared along Changan Avenue,[5] and teeming crowds danced before the official guesthouse. The passionate atmosphere of shared struggle uniting the two countries seeped through all of Beijing. The People’s Daily‘s published the welcoming editorial with a portrait of Comrade Pol Pot on its most visible spot.[6] Articles detailing the Cambodian people’s revolution and development blanketed newspapers. Cinemas are screening the technicolor epic Democratic Kampuchea and TV stations are broadcasting prosperous scenes of today’s Cambodia.

Warm-hearted Beijing workers, in welcoming our Cambodian comrades-in-arms, composed a poem:

Perform a dance of joy

Sing a paean[7] of friendship

Warmly welcome Comrade Pol Pot

Warmly welcome esteemed Cambodian guests

Words of love soar from our hearts

Hands of passion we extend to our comrades-in-arms

The love between our peoples are that of brothers

Shoulder to shoulder, we fight to songs of triumph

The Chinese people are very familiar, very understanding, and very admiring of the heroic Cambodian people. When the resilient, battle-worthy Cambodians, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, engaged in bloody struggle for the nation’s liberation[8] from American invaders and running dogs, 800 million people’s[9] blood boiled alongside that of the Cambodian people. When the Cambodian people finally won and established Cambodia’s first proletarian government where the people are the masters, letting Cambodia victoriously embark on the road of socialism, 800 million cheers mixed vibrantly with those of the Cambodian people. When the Cambodian people swiftly healed from the wounds of war, rebuilt their country and sent out news of mighty achievements, how happy were the 800 million people! Shared historical fate, shared revolutionary principles and shared struggle bind us closely together, for we are comrades-in-arms and genuine brothers!

Pol Pot’s plane appeared in the dazzling sky. Amidst the hurrahs and friendly gaze of the people, the plane landed at the airport. The doors swung open. By the staircase, Chairman Hua Guofeng[10] and other Chinese leaders warmly shook hands with and embraced Pol Pot and other Cambodian leaders.[11] This was precisely three o’clock in the afternoon. This scene of friendship marks an unforgettable moment in Sino-Cambodian history.

Face wreathed with smiles,[12] Comrade Pol Pot, accompanied by Comrade Hua Guofeng in the same car, arrived at Tiananmen Square. The word “Welcome” formed by thousands of golden flowers festooned the viewing platforms on either side of Tiananmen. A sea of colorful balloons was released into the air. The people cheered and danced. The grand, solemn Tiananmen Square is the symbol of revolution, and today, it opens its embrace, expressing its respect to the savior of the Cambodian people.

The motorcade of our Cambodian comrades-in-arms drove through the capital’s long-winding, holiday-decorated avenues. People on both sides warmly waved in respect. Esteemed Cambodian comrades-in-arms, your motorcade is driving through a sea of friendship. All of the capital’s people are expressing their respect to the battle-seasoned Cambodian people, and sincerely wishing you to achieve new heights in your socialist revolution and development.

Rivers flow to friendship eternal. In the anti-imperialist, anti-colonial, anti-hegemonist struggle, in the construction and development of our respective countries, let the Chinese and Cambodian peoples fight shoulder to shoulder, eternally forward!

Original Chinese text

柬埔寨战友,北京欢迎您!
在这欢乐的丰收季节,在庆祝中华人民共和国成立二十八周年、庆祝柬埔寨共产党成立十七周年的大喜日子,中国人民怀着无比喜悦的心情,迎来了柬埔寨人民的光荣使者。由波尔布特同志率领的柬埔寨党政代表团对我国进行正式友好访问,于今天到达北京,给中国共产党和中国人民带来了柬埔寨共产党和柬埔寨人民深厚的战斗友情。
首都机场上锣鼓喧天,天安门广场花团锦簇,长安街头彩旗飘扬,迎宾馆前人群沸腾,中柬两国人民团结战斗的热烈气氛洋溢北京全城。翻开各家报纸,《人民日报》发表的欢迎社论和波尔布特同志的半身照片刊登在最显著的位置;介绍柬埔寨人民革命和建设成就的文章,辟了专栏。电影院正在上映大型彩色纪录片《民主柬埔寨》,电视台即将播放反映柬埔寨今日繁荣景象的电视片。
热情的北京工人,为欢迎柬埔寨战友写下了诗篇:
跳起欢乐的舞蹈,
唱起友谊的颂歌。
热烈欢迎波尔布特同志,
热烈欢迎柬埔寨贵宾。
深情的话儿飞出心窝,
热情的双手伸向战友。
中柬人民情如兄弟,
并肩战斗奏凯歌。
中国人民对英雄的柬埔寨人民非常熟悉,非常了解,非常钦佩。当不畏强暴、敢于斗争的柬埔寨人民在柬埔寨共产党领导下,为民族的解放而同美国侵略者及其走狗浴血奋战的时候,八亿人民的热血同柬埔寨战友一道沸腾;当柬埔寨人民经过艰苦卓绝的斗争终于取得了最后胜利,成功地建立了柬埔寨历史上第一个人民当家作主的无产阶级政权,使柬埔寨胜利地走上社会主义道路的时候,八亿人民的欢呼声又同柬埔寨人民响亮地汇集在一起;当柬埔寨人民迅速医治了战争创伤,建设自己的国家取得了伟大成就的消息传来,八亿人民又是多么欢乐!共同的历史命运,共同的革命原则和共同的斗争,把我们紧密地联系在一起,我们是亲密的战友和真正的兄弟!
灿烂的晴空中出现了波尔布特同志乘坐的专机。在人们的欢呼声中,在人们充满友谊目光的注视下,专机徐徐降落在首都机场上。舱门打开了。在舷梯旁,华国锋主席等中国领导人同波尔布特同志等柬埔寨领导人亲切地握手、拥抱。这时,正是下午三时半。这是一个将要记载在中柬两国历史上的难忘时刻,将要记载在两国历史上的友谊场面。
笑容满面的波尔布特同志,由华国锋同志陪同乘坐敞篷汽车来到了天安门广场。天安门城楼两侧的观礼台上展现出用金色花朵组成的柬文和中文的“欢迎”字样。一簇簇彩色汽球腾空而起。人们欢呼跳跃。雄伟庄严的天安门广场,是中国人民革命的象征,今天它敞开胸怀,向柬埔寨人民的光荣使者表达了自己的敬意。
柬埔寨战友的车队驶过首都漫长的、披着节日装饰的街道,两旁的行人亲切地向车队招手致意。尊敬的柬埔寨战友们,你们的车队是行驶在友谊的海洋里,全首都的人们,都在向经过了斗争烈火考验的柬埔寨人民致敬,并且衷心祝愿你们在社会主义革命和社会主义建设中取得新的更大的成就!

江河永流,友谊长存。让中柬两国人民在反帝反殖反霸的斗争中,在建设各自国家的事业中,并肩战斗,永远向前。

Bibliography

Becker, Elizabeth. Pol Pot Remembered, BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/81048.stm, 1998.

Burchett, Wilfred. The China, Cambodia, Vietnam Triangle. Zed Books, 1981.

Haing Ngor. A Cambodian Odyssey. Macmillan, New York, 1987.

Kiernan, Ben. The Pol Pot Regime: Race, Power, and Genocide in Cambodia Under the Khmer Rouge, 1975-79. Yale University Press, 2008.

Li, Danhui. Sihanouk, “Pol Pot and China in the 1960s-70s” in National Humanities History China Vol 11, Academic Journal Electronic Publishing House, 2013.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media, Routledge, London, 1964.

Mittler, Barbara. “Popular Propaganda? Art and Culture in Revolutionary China” in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 152 no. 4, 2008.

Osborne, Milton. Sihanouk Prince of Light, Prince of Darkness. University of Hawaii Press, 1994.

Short, Philip. Pol Pot: History of a Nightmare. John Murray, 2005.

Thayer, Nate. “Pol Pot Tells China in 1977 that Killings Underway” in Nate Thayer’s Archives. http://www.nate-thayer.com/pot-pot-briefs-china-in-19977-that-khmer-rouge-killings-underway/, 2012 .

Yu, Haiqing. “Doing Chinese Media Studies: A Reflection on the Field’s History and Methodology” in Media International Australia, no. 138, 2011.

Zhang Qing. “Remembering China’s First Generation of Leaders Aiding Cambodia” in Around Southeast Asia. China Academic Journal Electronic Publishing House, 2003.

[1] Language note: the word zhanyou 战友, hereby translated as “comrade-in-arms”, can also be translated as “brother-in-arms,” “friend in battle,” or “fellow warrior.” The term denotes a special sense of kinship camaraderie in China, one of fighting for a common cause. It is a compound word combining the character zhan 战 (battle) with the character you 友 (friend). Compare with pengyou 朋友 (generic friend), xiaoyou 校友 (schoolmate, school friend), nanyou/nuyou 男友/女友 (boyfriend/girlfriend) and paoyou 炮友 (hookup buddy, friend-with-benefits).

[2] On September 27, a day before Pol Pot left for Beijing, he made a speech in Phnom Penh, revealing for the first time the existence of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and that he was its leader. While already familiar with the Chinese leadership, most of the outside world, and indeed many Cambodians, had no prior knowledge of who had been in power for the past two years. Pol Pot arrived in Beijing on September 28 and departed for Pyongyang on October 4, returning to China a week later and to Cambodia on October 22. The trip was Pol Pot’s only official foreign visit while in power. China would return an official visit to Cambodia in November 1978.

[3] Pol Pot, born Saloth Sar on May 19, 1925, was a French-educated Cambodian revolutionary who served as the leader of the Khmer Rouge (1963-1997), and General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (1963-1981). His administration relocated city residents to the countryside and overhauled the economic system in an attempt to create a classless, agrarian society. In the same year of the China visit, the Cambodian currency was abolished. Although officially removed from power in 1985, he exerted influence over politics and the military throughout the 1990s, albeit with decreasing prominence. In June 1997, he was ousted from the Party’s leadership by fellow leaders, and died peacefully the next year of old age.

[4] Tiananmen Square is a city square located in the heart of Beijing. The site of many great historical events, the square is of major cultural significance to the Chinese nation and is the venue for large-scale national and international events.

[5] Changan Avenue, meaning Avenue of Eternal Peace, is a major boulevard in Beijing, located between Tiananmen Gate and Tiananmen Square. It is the major thoroughfare used for all important parades, processions and events in the Chinese capital. Pol Pot’s motorcade passing through this important avenue denotes the scale of honor bestowed to him by the Chinese government.

[6] Refers to the article “Warmly Welcome Cambodian Comrade-in-Arms” printed on the front page of the People’s Daily on September 28, 1977 (see picture below). Founded in 1948, the People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, representing the official perspective of the Chinese government. The paper published both the “Cambodian Comrade-in-arms, Beijing Welcomes You!” article on September 29 and the “Warmly Welcome Cambodian Comrade-in-Arms” article on September 28.

PolPot

[7] Language note: the word 赞歌, hereby translated as “paean,” can also be translated as “song of praise” or “song of triumph.” This Chinese musical genre was a notable feature in Chairman Mao’s cult of personality during the Cultural Revolution.

[8] Refers to the long history of civil conflict in the region, most notably the Cambodian Civil War (1967-1975) which ultimately propelled the Khmer Rouge to power.

[9] Refers to the Chinese population in 1977.

[10] Hua Guofeng, born Su Zhu on February 16, 1921, was Chairman Mao’s handpicked successor as the Premier of China (1976-1980) and the Chairman of the Communist Party of China (1976-1981). He is known for ending the Cultural Revolution and ousting the leftist Gang of Four faction headed by Jiang Qing. He effectively served as the transitional leader between Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping. Although he maintained high leadership titles well into the 21st century, his power was limited and he did not actively influence politics.

[11] Apart from Pol Pot, the Cambodian delegation included top leaders such as Son Sen, head of the security apparatus, and Ieng Sary, foreign minister and deputy prime minister. Although Deng Xiaoping, the man who would later usurp Hua’s power, was absent at the welcome ceremony, he met with Pol Pot when the Cambodians returned to China from Pyongyang in October. Unmentioned in the article, Pol Pot’s concerns about Vietnamese leader Pham Van Dong’s visit to Beijing and the signing of the Vietnam-Lao Agreement the same year spurred the motivations for the trip.

[12] Pol Pot’s smile was one that was frequently mentioned by journalists, and is often cited as a feature of his soft-spoken public persona. As journalist Elizabeth Becker recounts: “He was actually quite elegant – with a pleasing smile and delicate, alert eyes. He was much more polished than the mugshot quality photographs I had seen of him.”

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