|a country in SE Asia: became part of French Indochina in 1887; achieved self-government in 1949 and independence in 1953; civil war (1970--74) ended in victory for the Khmer Rouge, who renamed the country Kampuchea (1975) and carried out extreme-radical political and economic reforms resulting in a considerable reduction of the population; Vietnamese forces ousted the Khmer Rouge in 1979 and set up a pro-Vietnamese government who reverted (1981) to the name Cambodia; after Vietnamese withdrawal in 1989 a peace settlement with exiled factions was followed in 1993 by the adoption of a democratic monarchist constitution restoring Prince Sihanouk to the throne. The country contains the central plains of the Mekong River and the Cardamom Mountains in the SW. Official language: Khmer; French is also widely spoken. Currency: riel. Capital: Phnom Penh. Pop: 14 482 000 (2004 est). Area: 181 000 sq km (69 895 sq miles)|
Note: Part of French-ruled Indochina until 1946, it then became self-governing. It was granted full independence in 1953.
Note: The Japanese occupied Cambodia during World War II.
Note: It was a major battleground of the Vietnam War.
Note: In 1975, Cambodian communists, called the Khmer Rouge, occupied Phnom Penh and then forcibly expelled most of its population to work in the countryside. More than one million Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge, either by outright execution or because of forced labor and deprivation.
Note: In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and installed a puppet government. In 1989, Vietnamese troops withdrew from Cambodia.