Backgrounder: Basic Facts about Cambodia
   2012-03-30 17:26:50    Xinhua      Web Editor: Zhangjin
Situated on the southern Indo-China Peninsula, Cambodia borders Vietnam to the east and southeast, Laos to the east and northeast and Thailand to the west and northwest.

The country has a total area of 181,035 square km and a population of 14.4 million, 80 percent of whom are khmer. There are more than 20 ethnic groups in Cambodia.

English and French are official languages. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism and more than 93 percent of residents are Buddhists.

Cambodia, a traditional agricultural country with a weak industrial base, is one of the least developed countries in the world. Twenty-eight percent of the population live in poverty.

The Cambodia government pursues a free market economy with an opening-up policy, putting priority on economic growth and poverty reduction.

The government has listed tourism, agriculture, processing industry, human resources and infrastructure as priority development areas.

Progress has been made in the implementation of these measures.

The country's natural resources include gold, phosphate, gem and petroleum, as well as a small amount of iron and coal.

The country is rich in tropical timber such as teak and ironwood, sandalwood and ebony, and also many species of bamboo.

The forests are mainly located in the eastern, northern and western mountain areas. The timber reserves are estimated at 1.1 billion cubic meters.

The Tonle Sap Lake, also known as the "fish lake," is the largest freshwater fishing ground in Southeast Asia.

Cambodia pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, permanent neutrality and non-alignment, and opposes foreign aggression and interference.

Cambodia is ready to establish and develop friendly relations with all countries in the world on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

It also advocates mutual respect for national sovereignty, and maintains that border and other disputes between states, including those with neighboring countries, should be resolved through negotiations.

China and Cambodia established diplomatic relations on July 19, 1958. In 2006, the two countries decided to forge a comprehensive cooperative partnership. In 2010, the two countries upgraded their ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation.

Two-way trade reached 2.499 billion U.S. dollars in 2011.
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