Cambodia's former king Norodom Sihanouk - who dominated politics in his country for half a century - has died of a heart attack aged 89 in a Chinese hospital.
"His death was a great loss to Cambodia," said his assistant Prince Sisowath Thomico, adding that Sihanouk had dedicated his life "for the sake of his entire nation, country and for the Cambodian people".
He became known as the King-Father of Cambodia.
As monarch as well as prime minister, he oversaw the country's turbulent transition from a French colony to a kingdom, through genocide and war with the communist Khmer Rouge - and finally to an emerging democracy.
China's vice president Xi Jinping paid tribute to Sihanouk calling him an "old friend of the Chinese people" while a Japanese official said without him there could not have been success in the Cambodian peace process.
Sihanouk was crowned aged 19 in 1941. The French had hoped to control him, but by 1953 his efforts helped oust them.
The Cold War was spent threading a fine line between the US and communist China. Sihanouk was a ruthless politician - accepting US aid and then drifting towards the communists before performing a U-turn and siding with Washington.
He kept his country out of the Vietnam conflict but could not stop the US bombing Vietnamese communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.
An American-backed coup toppled him from power in 1970 and he spent his exile in Beijing during years of war that killed millions.
Sihanouk backed the rebel Khmer Rouge and when they seized power in 1975 he returned home but was detained and due to be executed. Only the personal intervention of China's leader Zhou Enlai saved him.
The ultra-radical Maoist regime saw the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians who were executed or died of disease and hunger.
They were toppled after the Vietnam invasion in 1978. Sihanouk once again found exile in Beijing where he orchestrated an unlikely coalition of guerrilla groups that fought the puppet government in a war that lasted a decade.
Sihanouk engineered a ceasefire and moves toward national unity and peace, heading a UN supported structure that ran Cambodia until the 1993 elections.
The elections were won by the royalists, and Sihanouk was re-crowned the same year in a traditional Khmer coronation.
He remained at the forefront of politics until abdication in 2004 due to a series of health problems, including colon cancer.
Away from politics, Sihanouk was also renowned for an almost childlike enthusiasm for making movies, painting and fielding a palace football team.
He married at least five times and is survived by 14 children.