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Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. The sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 15 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by approximately 95 percent of the population. The country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia. Cambodia became a protectorate of France, which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north and west from Thailand.
Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War extended into the country with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973. Following the Cambodian coup of 1970 which installed the right-wing pro-US Khmer Republic, the deposed king gave his support to his former enemies, the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power, taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and later carrying out the Cambodian genocide from 1975 until 1979, when they were ousted by Vietnam and the Vietnamese-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea, supported by the Soviet Union in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War in 1979 to 1991.
Cambodia, according to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty,pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger. Cambodia has been described by Human Rights Watch's Southeast Asian Director, David Roberts, as a "vaguely communist free-market state with a relatively authoritarian coalition ruling over a superficial democracy".
1841 – 1845 The Siamese–Vietnamese War ended with an agreement to place the country under joint suzerainty
1863 - The king of Thailand sought protection from French rule
1867 - The Thai king signed a treaty with France, renouncing suzerainty over Cambodia in exchange for the control of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces which officially became part of Thailand
1867 - 1953 - Cambodia continued as a protectorate of France, administered as part of the colony of French Indochina
1907 The provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces which officially became part of Thailand were ceded back to Cambodia by a border treaty between France and Thailand
1941 - 1945 Cambodia was occupied by the Japanese empire
1970 – 1975 - Cambodian communists now referred to as the Khmer Rouge, killed range from approximately one to three million; the most commonly cited figure is two million
1979 - 1992 - Vietnamese occupation and transition