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Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863 and it became part of French Indochina in 1887. Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. In April 1975, after a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT.
Population: 14,952,665 (July 2012 est.)
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
Age structure: 0-14 years: 32.2% (male 2,375,155/female 2,356,305)
15-64 years: 64.1% (male 4,523,030/female 4,893,761)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 208,473/female 344,993) (2011 est.)
conventional short form: Cambodia
local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic pronunciation)
local short form: Kampuchea
former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People’s Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia
geographic coordinates: 11 33 N, 104 55 E
time difference: UTC+7 (12 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)
Economy:From 2001 to 2004, the economy grew at an average rate of 6.4%, driven largely by an expansion in the garment sector and tourism. The US and Cambodia signed a Bilateral Textile Agreement, which gave Cambodia a guaranteed quota of US textile imports and established a bonus for improving working conditions and enforcing Cambodian labour laws and international labour standards in the industry. With the January 2005 expiration of a WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, Cambodia-based textile producers were forced to compete directly with lower-priced producing countries such as China and India.
Southeast Asian states must maintain border surveillance to check the spread of avian flu; Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary with missing boundary markers and claims of Thai encroachments into Cambodian territory; maritime boundary with Vietnam is hampered by unresolved dispute over sovereignty of offshore islands; Cambodia accuses Thailand of obstructing access to Preah Vihear temple ruins awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962
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