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“China is my second home”, Sihanouk

In May 1970, Norodom Sihanouk (middle), Chairman Mao Zedong (left) and Zhou Enlai


Cambodian retired King Norodom Sihanouk died of natural cause on October 15 at the age of 90 in China's capital city of Beijing, which brought him back to the memory of many Chinese people.


“In my boyhood, I could hear the name ( of Sihanouk) every day from news and its frequency was second only to that of Mao Zedong. I used to think they were relatives,” Shengongzi, a Chinese blogger wrote in his sina blog.


In the late 70’s and 80’s, Sihanouk was a household name.


“Long live the fraternal and indestructible friendship uniting the kingdom of Cambodia and the glorious People's Republic of China!” he wrote in 2009 on his website which he maintained until just recently.


The Cambodia monarch had received regular medical treatment in Beijing since being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1994.


He maintained a long friendship with China's communist leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou, whom he met at the Bandung Conference of non-aligned nations in Indonesia in 1955.


“I've always considered China as my second homeland ... only China has supported us, the Khmer resistance, the Soviet Union does not want us,” he said in 1971.


China repaid the praise on Monday in offering condolences over his death.


Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister Nhik Bun Chhay told reporter over telephone. "This is a great loss for Cambodia. We feel very sad. The former king was a great king that we all respect and love him."


Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Cambodia's former Queen Norodom Monineath Sihanouk later to express deep condolence. Xi said Sihanouk would live in the hearts of Chinese and Cambodian people forever.


Dai Bingguo, Chinese State Councilor, escorted the coffin of Sihanouk October 19, 2012, back to his home country.


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