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LinkAsia | Oct 22
The former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, died this past week, leaving behind a complex legacy. Contributor Justine Drennan takes a look at ho...
Staying in Southeast Asia, the former King of Cambodia, Norodom Sihanouk, died earlier this week in Beijing from natural causes. CCTV reports.
He was 89 years old. The former king of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk died of natural causes at 2:20 AM on Monday in Beijing. Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen arrived in Beijing on Monday afternoon to bring home the body of King father Sihanouk for a traditional funeral. Chinese foreign minister Yang Jiechi went to the airport to pick them up and express condolences for the former king. They then arrived at King father Sihanouk's former residence in Beijing's Dongcheng District. They headed to the Beijing hospital where he died. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said at a regular press conference that Sihanouk was an old friend of the Chinese people and his death was a great loss to both China and Cambodia.
Cambodian King Father Norodom Sihanouk established a profound friendship with Chinese leaders and made a great contribution to the friendship between China and Cambodia. His death is not only a loss to the Cambodian people, but also a loss to the Chinese people.
Sihanouk was a key figure in Cambodian politics for six decades but abdicated in 2004 citing poor health. He was succeeded by his son Norodom Sihamoni. He went to live in self imposed exile in Beijing, where he had for years received medical treatment. In a message in January, Sihanouk said he wanted to be cremated upon his death and have his ashes kept in an urn inside a royal palace. The Cambodia deputy prime minister called his death a great loss to Cambodia. Adding that Sihanouk had dedicated his life for the sake of his entire nation, country, and for the Cambodian people.
The former monarch guided his country through many treacherous times, but after he was ousted in the 1970s, Sihanouk decided to back the Cambodian communist guerrillas, the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge was responsible for a brutal "reign of terror" that resulted in 1.7 million deaths over four years.