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Asia, Cambodia (Kampuchea)

Cambodia, country in Southeast Asia, also known as Kampuchea. More than a thousand years ago, Cambodia was the center of the Khmer (Cambodian) kingdom of Angkor, a great empire that dominated Southeast Asia for 600 years. A monarchy since ancient times, Cambodia was a French protectorate from 1863 to 1953. A republic replaced the monarchy in 1970, and in 1975 a Communist regime known as the Khmer Rouge took power, naming the country Democratic Kampuchea. The Khmer Rouge's brutal repression and radical socialist reforms devastated Cambodia's society and economy. In 1979 anti-Khmer Rouge Communist forces from Vietnam and Cambodia overthrew the Khmer Rouge and established a more moderate socialist state. In 1989 the country abandoned socialism, and in 1993 a new constitution restored the monarchy. Cambodia's official name is the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Cambodia is bounded on the northeast by Laos, on the east and southeast by Vietnam, on the west and northwest by Thailand, and on the southwest by the Gulf of Thailand (Siam). The country's capital and largest city is Phnom Penh.

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