Cambodia (6do encyclopedia)

Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

With a rich history that dates back to the Khmer Empire, Cambodia is a nation filled with awe-inspiring temples, bustling cities, vibrant cultural traditions, pristine beaches and dense jungles teeming with wildlife. Despite experiencing years of conflict and political instability, Cambodia has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in Southeast Asia, thanks to a growing tourism industry and exports of clothing, footwear, and agricultural products.


Cambodia’s history is shaped by the rise and fall of the Khmer Empire, one of Southeast Asia’s most powerful empires. The kingdom was established in the 9th century and lasted until the 15th century. During this period, the Khmer people built magnificent temple complexes such as Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm, which served as centers of political, religious, and cultural life. The Khmer Empire reached its peak under King Jayavarman VII, who constructed many temples and infrastructure projects and controlled a vast territory from modern-day Thailand to Vietnam.

After the decline of the Khmer Empire, Cambodia was ruled by a series of monarchies and external powers, including Thailand, Vietnam, and France. Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953 and experienced periods of political instability, including the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975-79, which led to the deaths of millions of Cambodians due to genocide, forced labor, and starvation.

In the 1990s, Cambodia emerged from a period of civil war and international intervention, leading to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. Cambodia’s present monarchy is headed by King Norodom Sihamoni, who ascended to the throne in 2004.


Cambodia covers an area of 181,035 square kilometers and is located in the southern part of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is composed of plains, plateaus, and mountains and encompasses the upper Mekong River basin and the Tonle Sap (Great Lake). The country’s coastline stretches 443 kilometers along the Gulf of Thailand.


Cambodia has a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the rainy season from May to October and the dry season from November to April. The country’s climate is heavily influenced by the monsoon, which brings over 70% of the annual rainfall. The southwestern monsoon arrives in May/June and brings hot and humid weather, while the northeastern monsoon arrives in November/December and brings cooler and drier weather.


Cambodia has a rich cultural heritage that is influenced by Hinduism and Buddhism. Khmer is the official language, and Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion. The country’s traditional dress is known as the sampot, a long, rectangular cloth worn around the waist and draped over one shoulder. The sampot is commonly worn by both men and women and comes in various styles, colors, and patterns.

Cambodian art is known for its intricate carvings and religious motifs, and traditional Khmer music features wooden xylophones, drums, and strings. Cambodian dance is characterized by elaborate costumes and graceful movements and is often accompanied by a musical ensemble. Cambodia is also home to several national parks and protected areas, which are home to a rich variety of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, and rare birds.


Cambodia is a popular tourist destination due to its historical and cultural attractions, pristine beaches, and bustling cities. Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, attracts millions of tourists annually and is considered one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Other popular attractions include the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, the Bokor Hill Station, and the seaside town of Sihanoukville.

In addition to cultural and historical attractions, Cambodia offers a range of outdoor activities, including trekking, cycling, kayaking, and rock climbing. Cambodian cuisine is also a draw, with its blend of herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients. Some must-try dishes include amok, a curry-like dish cooked in banana leaf, and num banh chok, a noodle soup made with lemongrass and coconut.


Cambodia has transitioned from a centrally planned economy to a market-oriented one in recent years. The country’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, accounting for over 70% of employment and 20% of GDP. The country is one of the world’s largest rice exporters and also produces rubber, corn, cassava, and other agricultural products.

Cambodia’s textile and garment industry is a significant contributor to the economy, accounting for over 80% of the country’s total exports. Tourism has also played an important role in Cambodia’s economic growth, contributing over 12% of GDP.

The country faces several challenges, including a lack of infrastructure and skilled labor, corruption, and high levels of poverty. However, Cambodia has made significant progress in reducing poverty rates, with the percentage of people living below the national poverty line falling from over 53% in 2004 to under 10% in 2019.


Cambodia is a land of ancient history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty. Despite experiencing years of conflict and political turmoil, the country has emerged as a dynamic and rapidly growing economy in Southeast Asia. With its extraordinary temples, unspoiled natural landscapes, and friendly people, Cambodia is a must-visit destination in Southeast Asia for adventurous travelers and luxury seekers alike.

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New US solar rules will do little to break China dependence, experts warn

Financial Times

23-05-12 21:19

New US rules are unlikely to reduce the American clean power industry's dependence on solar imports from China. The US Treasury Department issued guidance on Friday that offers tax credits only to solar developers who made cells domestically, but very little of the solar cells are produced in the US. Existing US-based developers have few ways of benefiting from the subsidy, say analysts, who argue that the country will still need to rely on China for solar supply chains. The Chinese are responsible for the vast majority of the world's wafers, 85% of cells, three-quarters of all modules and are the main provider of polysilicon.
U.S.-Thai Relations Have An Alliance Problem

Foreign Policy

23-05-12 14:45

Regardless of the outcome of Thailand's upcoming national election, the kingdom's prevailing foreign policy orientation towards China is set to result in further weakening of its treaty alliance with the US. Last year marked the US’ strongest period in Thailand since the coup, with key visits, agreements and strategic partnerships cementing relations between the two nations. Meanwhile, Beijing's relations with Thailand hit a rare rough patch, with issues arising around closed land borders, curbing the export of Thai goods and buyers struggling to purchase Thai condominiums. Thailand's political leaders responded with concern to China's policy changes driven by ideology, including an absence of tested mRNA vaccines. Chinese pressure on the high-speed rail project between Kunming and Bangkok also put a strain on relations.
‘Bendy bananas’ rule to stay after Tories abandon post-Brexit bonfire of EU red tape


23-05-12 13:36

The UK will retain EU regulation stating that bananas must be "free from malformation or abnormal curvature of the fingers", after plans to abolish all EU laws by the end of the year were rowed back on. A list of around 590 laws that could be removed without consequence has been published, leading to concerns that the government will fail to axe the 4,800 laws it had promised to repeal by the end of 2023. Priti Patel accused the government of not being committed to delivering Brexit, while Jacob Rees-Mogg criticised ministers for failing to push through reforms and allowing the "blob" to triumph. The regulations relating to the bendy banana rule were drawn up over two decades ago by the European Commission and were codified in 2011.
Cambodia and Thailand’s Cultural Rivalry Has Serious Implications


23-05-12 12:29

Tensions between Cambodia and Thailand have increased ahead of this year's Southeast Asian Games, with some reports claiming that their longstanding disputes over cultural heritage has soured relations and generated aggression online. Thailand and Cambodia are predominantly Theravada Buddhist and share similar national values and cultural activities, but debates over ownership of traditions such as kickboxing and Apsara dancing have caused dispute in recent years. The Cambodian Boxing Federation's decision to name a kickboxing event "Kun Khmer" rather than "Muay Thai" for the upcoming Games has particularly offended some in Thailand, prompting nationalist sentiment on both sides.
China, Laos begin weeks of ‘Friendship Shield 2023’ joint military drills

South China Morning Post

23-05-12 10:23

China and Laos have begun joint military exercises designed to improve their coordination against international criminal groups. The drills, titled Friendship Shield 2023, will last until 28 May and include the firing of various types of weapon and support for combat operations. More than 900 troops will take part, including China’s PLA Ground Force 75th Group Army, which is providing over 300 items of material for use in the exercises. Previous joint humanitarian exercises revolved around “Peace Train” medical drills, including a train with pandemic control equipment as part of the China-Laos Railway, part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Businessman arrested after girlfriend hacked to death in luxury Bangkok apartment


23-05-16 18:00

A man staying with his Ukrainian girlfriend in Bangkok’s luxury condominium complex is accused of hacking her apart with a handsaw and using Google’s translation service to communicate with a taxi driver he asked to help dismember her body for the equivalent of about £35 ($44). The taxi driver called the hotel where the couple was staying after becoming alarmed by the suspect’s behaviour, and police found his partner dead on the bed. It is suggested that Polish entrepreneur Jan Jerzy Lagoda-Filippow was going to try to flee to Cambodia.
Your Wednesday Briefing: Ukraine Says It Shot Down Hypersonic Missiles

NY Times

23-05-16 20:45

Ukrainian officials have claimed that their air defence system intercepted six hypersonic Kinzhal missiles which had been pointed at Kiev, evidence which if confirmed, would suggest the country's ability to shoot down the most advanced weaponry from Russia. Ukraine accused Russia of launching an "exceptional" flurry of missiles and drones at Kiev, but said that it had stopped the Kinzhals. Russia claimed that one missile had hit an American-made Patriot system. This is one of Russia's biggest attacks since March, and Russia's chaotic defence system and lack of resources have failed to improve the country's 15-month war strategies.
Biden vetoes US lawmakers’ bid to reinstate Southeast Asia solar tariffs

South China Morning Post

23-05-16 20:02

US President Joe Biden has vetoed a bill that would have repealed an exemption on tariffs on imported solar panels from four Southeast Asian nations, including Vietnam and Cambodia. The exemptions, which cover panels made in the countries directly, make up around 80% of US solar panel supplies. Advocates argue that the low-cost, imported solar panels are needed to complete climate investments and help the US hit decarbonisation targets. Top clean energy trade groups and advocates for the solar industry have praised Biden's veto as essential for supporting the domestic industry.
Biden vetoes resolution that would have restored solar tariffs

Washington Post

23-05-16 18:26

US President Joe Biden has vetoed a resolution that would have restored tariffs on solar panels imported from certain Southeast Asian countries. These tariffs were waived when the administration alleged that there was a shortage of solar modules that could threaten American solar projects. In a bid to find a balance between building domestic solar manufacturing capacity and securing solar panels necessary for the country, President Biden ordered tariffs on solar panels from Southeast Asian countries waived for two years. Biden stated that this had been successful and that domestic solar panel manufacturing capacity will increase eightfold by the end of his first term.
Biden vetoes bid by Congress to reinstate tariffs on solar panel imports from SE Asia

The Independent

23-05-16 18:11

US President Joe Biden has vetoed a congressional resolution that called for tariffs to be imposed on solar panel imports from Southeast Asia, deciding that punishment for China for trade violations that bypassed US rules for importing low-priced panels can wait. The two-year delay on the tariffs will remain in place until June 2024, giving domestic production the time to increase to eight times its current amount. Last year, the mere threat of tariffs led to delays or cancellations of solar projects in the US. Less than 30% of solar panels and cells installed in the US are produced in the country.
Businessman arrested after girlfriend hacked to death in luxury Bangkok apartment


23-05-16 18:00

A man staying with his Ukrainian girlfriend in Bangkok’s luxury condominium complex is accused of hacking her apart with a handsaw and using Google’s translation service to communicate with a taxi driver he asked to help dismember her body for the equivalent of about £35 ($44). The taxi driver called the hotel where the couple was staying after becoming alarmed by the suspect’s behaviour, and police found his partner dead on the bed. It is suggested that Polish entrepreneur Jan Jerzy Lagoda-Filippow was going to try to flee to Cambodia.
Cam­bo­dia’s main op­po­si­tion par­ty barred from July elec­tion

Al Jazeera

23-05-17 02:00

Cambodia's main opposition party, the Candlelight Party, has been disqualified from participating in the national elections in July, as it did not submit "proper registration documents," according to the election commission. Candlelight was by far the strongest general election challenger to the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Prime Minister Hun Sen. Other parties have submitted registration documents, however Candlelight's disqualification increases fears that the CPP will secure a landslide victory, as they did during the last elections in 2018, which saw the opposition party banned.
Chinese ship capsizes in Indian Ocean with 39 on board, Xi orders rescue efforts

South China Morning Post

23-05-17 07:36

Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a search and rescue operation after a Chinese fishing boat, with 39 crew on board, capsized in the Indian Ocean south of the Maldives. The boat is operated by Penglai Jinglu Fishery, which is based in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, and exports mainly to Japan, the United States and the European Union. According to the ship-tracking website FleetMon, the boat left Cape Town, South Africa on 3 May and appeared to be heading to Busan, South Korea. China has the world’s largest distant-water fishing fleet, with almost 3,000 boats.
Democrats, environmentalists clash over a bill to save California's sequoias

Washington Post

23-05-17 10:54

The US House Natural Resource Committee will discuss a plan this week to protect California’s giant sequoias from fires and climate change. The Save Our Sequoias Act is a bipartisan piece of legislation that offers over $300m and further emergency protection options for US Forest Services to tackle the effects of climate change and wildfires on the world’s largest trees, which are going extinct. However, many Democrats and environmental advocacy groups have opposed the bill, stating that the plan could weaken environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The legislation would allow environmental projects to move ahead under emergency conditions before being assessed for their potential environmental impact. The outcome of the vote will directly impact the future of protecting the Sequoia National Forest and the balance between environmental protection and climate change mitigation.
Henry Kissinger explains how to avoid world war three


23-05-17 14:41

Former US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger has warned of a fast-approaching situation of “great-power confrontation” between China and the US. As both nations compete for pre-eminence in technology and the economy, Kissinger expressed his fears that the rapid advances in AI could lead to disaster. With a lack of principles on which to establish order as power balances shift worldwide, the risk of force becomes evermore likely. The fate of humanity is dependent on how the US and China interact with one another, says Kissinger, as he sees the two nations having just five to ten years to secure a good relationship. The focus for Kissinger now is on future international relations and how to prevent conflict between global powers.
Books: War and redemption in Vietnam, 60 years after Agent Orange

Nikkei Asia

23-05-17 23:00

George Black's book "The Long Reckoning: A Story of War, Peace, and Redemption in Vietnam" highlights the continuing legacies of the Vietnam War for people in the US, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia through the lens of two American veterans who return to Vietnam in the 1990s to help people recover from injuries caused by leftover explosives and Agent Orange, a dangerous chemical used by the Americans in the war that causes debilitating health problems for generations. The book also highlights the persistent efforts of a small group of American and Vietnamese heroes that broke down opposition to re-establish unofficial and official outreach between the two nations and aid those in need.
Myanmar clashes stall completion of Southeast Asia economic corridor

Nikkei Asia

23-05-18 06:54

Fighting between ethnic rebels and Myanmar's military near the Thai border has reportedly stopped a significant economic development project from promoting trade among Mekong Delta countries. The East-West Economic Corridor runs for 1,700km across Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, but was nearly complete before the military took control of Myanmar’s government more than two years ago. However, the clashes between ethnic rebels and the military appear unlikely to stop anytime soon.
The humiliation of Thailand’s regime is a boost for Asian democracy


23-05-18 12:47

Move Forward, a pro-democracy party in Thailand led by 42-year-old former tech executive Pita Limjaroenrat, won big in the country's recent elections to become the large force in Thai politics, marking a rebuke not only to army rule but also the regime’s ineptitude. Thailand’s vulnerability to coups has long seemed anomalous. Its success is a rebuke not only to the principle of army rule but also to the regime’s ineptitude. Thailand's economy is creating fewer opportunities and attracting less foreign direct investment than its regional rivals. Its post-pandemic recovery is the slowest of any major economy in South-East Asia. Thailand would benefit hugely were Move Forward to fulfil its pledge to break up the monopolies gumming up industries such as agriculture and telecommunications where the operators have made fortunes. New battle-lines have been drawn; Thailand’s halfway-house democracy no longer looks like an option.
Myanmar’s conflict is dividing South-East Asia


23-05-18 12:47

Myanmar's neighbours are unable to agree on what action should be taken over the country's conflict, as more than 1.3 million Burmese people have been displaced and over 30,000 killed since the military junta seized power in early 2021. A summit of the 10-country Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on 10 May discussed progress on ASEAN’s draft peace plan for Myanmar. While some countries called for Myanmar’s generals to be invited back to the club’s meetings, more democratic countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore remained critical of the junta. ASEAN’s divisions are widening over the issue.

China has recently become the country closest to Myanmar’s junta, as it seeks to protect its investments and establish strategic advantage in a country that offers access to the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean, bypassing the Malacca Strait. China has already committed over $21bn into a China-Myanmar Economic Corridor of roads, railways, pipelines and a port. In addition to economic expansion, China is promoting President Xi Jinping’s foreign-policy mantra of “community with a shared future for mankind” that prioritises economic development over individual rights. China’s influence as ASEAN’s unity weakens is allowing the country to advance its interests to the detriment of Burmese people.