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The Kingdom of Cambodia (ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា) is a constitutional monarchy in southeastern Asia. It borders Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni, a monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council, as head of state. Cambodia has it better than it does in our timeline; without Pol Pot and his genocides, Cambodia has escaped its third-world status.
During the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries, the Indianised states of Funan and its successor, Chenla, coalesced in present-day Cambodia. Cambodia's Indian influence would also spread to other nations including modern Laos and Thailand. Little else is known for certain of these polities, however Chinese chronicles and tribute records do make mention of them. After the death of Jayavarman I of Chenla, turmoil ensued resulting in the division of Chenla into Land Chenla and Water Chenla, which were loosely ruled by weak princes with Java being the technical owner. This was the foundation for the Khmer Empire, becoming firmly established in 802 when Jayavarman II declared independence from Java and created the empire. He and his followers instituted the cult of the God-king and began a series of conquests that formed an empire which flourished in the area from the 9th to the 15th centuries. During the rule of Jayavarman VIII the Khmer Empire was attacked by the Mongols, however the empire was able to buy peace. During the Khmer Empire's rule, Angkor Wat, the symbol of Cambodia, Angkor Wat was built. The empire, though in decline, remained a significant force in the region until its fall in the 15th century.
Dark ages of Cambodia
After a long series of wars with neighbouring kingdoms, Angkor was sacked by the Ayutthaya Kingdom and abandoned in 1432 because of ecological failure and infrastructure breakdown. This lead to a period of economic stagnation within the empire, and Cambodia's internal affairs fell under the control of their neighbors. The court moved the capital to Longvek where the kingdom sought to regain its glory through maritime trade. The first mention of Cambodia in European documents was in 1511 by the Portuguese, describing the city as a place of wealth and foreign trade. The attempt to regain power was short lived, however; further wars against Vietnam and Thailand made Cambodia lose even more territory. A new Khmer capital was established at Udong south of Longvek in 1618, but its monarchs could survive only by entering into what amounted to alternating vassal relationships with their neighbors. In 1863, King Norodom, who had been put into power by Thailand, sought the protection of France. In 1867, the Thai king signed a treaty with France, renouncing suzerainty over Cambodia in exchange for the control of Battambang and Siem Reap provinces. During the Pacific War, the Japanese took over Cambodia, creating the puppet Empire of Cambodia.
After the Indochina War, Cambodia won independence from Japan. This created a large period of tension between the two nations; due to further revolts and invasions in places such as Korea, Cambodians feared for their sovereignty. The current monarch is Norodom Sihamoni. The Cambodian monarchy has some power, unlike most other constitutional monarchies, though the prime minister has absolute authorities; the monarch only has power over spiritual aspects. Starting from their independence to fairly recently, Cambodia was a third-world country. However, with help from foreign leaders and good decisions by the government, Cambodia has climbed out of its less-than-decent economic state, going from being a developing nation to a newly industrialized one; despite this, a large number of monks and farmers still live in Cambodia.