The Writings of Wilfred Burchett
Edited by George Burchett
Edited by Nick Shimmin
Foreword by John Pilger
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2007
Online Publication Date:September 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511481659.032
When he finally entered Cambodia – after the Vietnamese ‘invaded’ Cambodia and overthrew the Pol Pot regime – Burchett witnessed the full extent of the horror and the complicity of China. Instead of peace in his beloved Indochina there were mass graves, and his two ‘best friends’, China and Vietnam, were at war. Nothing in his decades of reporting had prepared him for this. He simply did not see it coming, and here lies one of his greatest journalistic failures.
This was the time he resigned from the New York National Guardian, at the time his only means of material support, because they were toeing the Chinese line and refusing to publish his articles denouncing China's role in the tragedy of Cambodia. Despite the overwhelming evidence of Khmer Rouge crimes against humanity, the US, UK, France, China and other countries backed the Pol Pot regime against the Vietnamese-installed government of Kampuchea. Burchett took the side of Vietnam and was ostracised by many of his friends on the Left and in China. The following chapter's description of life in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City demonstrates his convictions about the pernicious influence of China on their neighbour to the south.
Reference Type: bibliography