The Khmer Rouge were able to take power in Cambodia in 1975 because they were provided
with enormous funds by the People's Republic of China, according to King Father Norodom
He was responding to a statement by Prince Sisowath Thomico that although his new
party had few resources, state power was within its grasp, as it had been for the
Khmer Rouge in 1975.
"The Khmer Rouge didn't have any money, yet they won the war, and on April 17,
1975, state power," Sihanouk reported Thomico as saying.
"Today I will say this," Sihanouk said in response. "The Khmer Rouge
were very rich. The People's Republic of China gave them a lot of money.
"The Khmer Rouge had an enormous amount of US dollars with which they could
buy from the LonNolien-Repubican Khmers weapons, munitions, medicines, etc.
"The Khmer Rouge had cadre and leaders possessing martial art skills, the 'science'
and 'the technique' of guerrilla [warfare], thanks to the People's Republic of China
and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. And this latter transported for them (Khmer
Rouge) by the Ho Chi Minh Trail, without disruption, weapons, amunition, etc, offered
by the PRC.
"My conclusion: I don't see very well how the example of the Khmer Rouge could
be useful to the party of Sisowath Thomico in the 2008 elections."
After his overthrow by Lon Nol and Sisowath Sirik Matak on March 18, 1970, Sihanouk
became President of the Royal Government of National Union of Kampuchea, a front
led by the Khmer Rouge and backed by China. After the Khmer Rouge took power, Sihanouk
was briefly nominal head of state.