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Border camps hostile to the PRK; 1979–1984. KPNLF camps shown in black.

When the Khmer Rouge government was removed from power in January 1979, the Kampuchean people hoped that peace and liberty would return to their country. This was reinforced by the Constitution of the People's Republic of Kampuchea, proclaimed in 1981, which specifically stated that Kampuchea was an independent, peaceful state where powe

When the Khmer Rouge government was removed from power in January 1979, the Kampuchean people hoped that peace and liberty would return to their country. This was reinforced by the Constitution of the People's Republic of Kampuchea, proclaimed in 1981, which specifically stated that Kampuchea was an independent, peaceful state where power belonged to the people.[69] However, there was a deep contrast between what was written in the constitution and reality, because the Kampuchean people began to despair at what they viewed as the Vietnamese occupation of their country, rather than a liberation that had freed them from the brutality of Democratic Kampuchea. That perception was reinforced by the presence of Vietnamese advisers who worked at every level of Heng Samrin's Kampuchean Government. In 1986, for example, there was one Vietnamese adviser for every Kampuchean cabinet minister and one adviser for each one of their three deputy ministers. Furthermore, it was reported that final decisions made by a Kampuchean minister had to receive final approval from the Vietnamese adviser, who usually dictated policies.[70] Opposition to the Vietnamese was further fomented by human rights abuses committed by the Vietnamese and their allies. To fulfill its K5 Plan, a construction project to strengthen the Cambodia-Thai border, the PRK government conscripted 380,000 people, with large numbers succumbing to malaria.[71] Claude Malhuret of Médecins Sans Frontières reported that a tactic the Vietnamese and KPRAF used to fight the Khmer Rouge was to withhold food from areas controlled by the Khmer Rouge. Thousands of tons of food provided by international relief organizations spoiled on the docks of Kompong Som. Food sent by aid organisations was often instead used to feed Vietnamese troops and Cambodians living under Vietnamese control.[72]

To resist the Vietnamese occupation of Kampuchea and the government which they installed, the Khmer Rouge called on the Kampuchean people to unite and fight the Vietnamese. However, due to the brutality which they had experienced under the deposed government, many Kampucheans believed that any political movement aimed at restoring national freedom must oppose both the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese.[73] In response to such preconditions, two non-communist movements were formed to fight the Vietnamese occupation. The first group, a right-wing and pro-Western organisation, was formed in October 1979 by former Prime Minister Son Sann and was called the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF). The KPNLF operated from several refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, where it controlled thousands of civilians.[74] At its peak, the armed branch of the KPNLF were estimated to have between 12,000 and 15,000 fighters, but a third

To resist the Vietnamese occupation of Kampuchea and the government which they installed, the Khmer Rouge called on the Kampuchean people to unite and fight the Vietnamese. However, due to the brutality which they had experienced under the deposed government, many Kampucheans believed that any political movement aimed at restoring national freedom must oppose both the Khmer Rouge and the Vietnamese.[73] In response to such preconditions, two non-communist movements were formed to fight the Vietnamese occupation. The first group, a right-wing and pro-Western organisation, was formed in October 1979 by former Prime Minister Son Sann and was called the Khmer People's National Liberation Front (KPNLF). The KPNLF operated from several refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, where it controlled thousands of civilians.[74] At its peak, the armed branch of the KPNLF were estimated to have between 12,000 and 15,000 fighters, but a third of that number were lost through fighting and desertions during the Vietnamese dry season offensive of 1984–1985. Nonetheless, the KPNLF continued to operate in small groups, harassing the Vietnamese and their Kampuchean allies using guerrilla tactics.[75]

The other non-communist organisation was the National United Front for an Independent, Peaceful, Neutral, and Cooperative Cambodia, formed by Sihanouk and known by its French acronym FUNCINPEC.[76] The organization was formed after Sihanouk had severed ties with the Khmer Rouge following his representation on its behalf at the UN Security Council. As the leader of FUNCINPEC, Sihanouk called on the UN General Assembly to expel Khmer Rouge representatives for their crimes while in power and to keep Kampuchea's seat at the UN vacant on the basis that neither the Khmer Rouge nor the Vietnamese-installed PRK had the mandate to represent the Kampuchean people.[77] He also criticised ASEAN for its continued recognition of the Khmer Rouge, and specifically Thailand for enabling Chinese arms shipments to travel through its territory to supply the notorious communist group. Despite the strength, effectiveness and popularity of the KPNLF and the FUNCINPEC, both resistance groups were plagued by internal divisions caused by the lack of unity, leadership struggles, corruption and alleged abuses of human rights.[78]

In the early days of the Vietnamese occupation, Kampuchean resistance groups had limited contact with each other due to their differences. Even though the Khmer Rouge enjoyed widespread international recognition, by 1980 the organization was under pressure from the international community to reform itself. ASEAN, which had backed the Khmer Rouge throughout their diplomatic confrontations with the PRK government at the UN General Assembly in 1979, urged the Khmer Rouge leadership to put its blood-stained image behind it in order to join forces with other non-communist movements.[79] The idea of forming an alliance with the Khmer Rouge initially caused a certain degree of uneasiness within the leadership circles of the FUNCINPEC and the KPNLF, because both groups were leery about joining with a communist organization well known for its brutality. Nonetheless, early in 1981, Sihanouk and Son Sann began engaging in talks with Khieu Samphan, President of the deposed Democratic Kampuchea, to discuss the prospect of forming an alliance.[79]

In August 1981, unity talks between the three organizations appeared to have collapsed as a result of conflicting interests. Sihanouk, who feared the resurgence of the Khmer Rouge, proposed that all resistance groups disarm themselves following the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Kampuchea. Meanwhile, Son Sann demanded that the KPNLF be the lead organization within the proposed alliance, and the leaders of the Khmer Rouge "most compromised" by the atrocities in Kampuchea be exiled to China.[79] Against these preconditions, Khieu Samphan reminded his rivals that the autonomy of the Khmer Rouge and Democratic Kampuchea should not be undermined.[80] On 22 November 1982, Singapore, with the backing of ASEAN, proposed that three organizations form a coalition government with equal decision-making powers within the alliance. Singapore's proposal was welcomed by Sihanouk, who believed it was a fair deal for the non-communist movements.[80] Khieu Samphan, on the other hand, rejected that idea, viewing it as an attempt by Sihanouk and Son Sann to isolate the Khmer Rouge. However, Sihanouk knew that Chinese support would not be made available to the FUNCINPEC unless he made some compromises and joined the Khmer Rouge on their terms.[79] So, in February 1982, Sihanouk met with Khieu Samphan in Beijing to work out their differences. In what he described as "another concession", Khieu Samphan proposed forming a coalition government without integrating the other resistance groups into institutions associated with Democratic Kampuchea. However, he emphasized that all parties must defend the legal status of Democratic Kampuchea as the legitimate state representing Kampuchea on the world stage.[80] In May 1982, with the urging of Sihanouk, Son Sann decided to form a coalition government with the Khmer Rouge.[79]

On 22 June 1982, leaders of the three organizations formalised the formation of their coalition government by signing a Thai-sponsored agreement which established the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea (CGDK). Accordingly, the CGDK's Inner Cabinet consisted of Sihanouk as the President of Democratic Kampuchea, Khieu Samphan as the Vice-President in charge of foreign affairs and Son Sann as Prime Minister. Below the Inner Cabinet were six separate committees responsible for national defence, economy and finance, social affairs and public health, military affairs and the media.[81] During a meeting between Kim Il-sung and Sihanouk on 10 April 1986, in Pyongyang, Kim Il-Sung reassured Sihanouk that North Korea would continue to regard him as the legitimate head of state of Kampuchea.[64] By 1987, Democratic Kampuchea still held its membership at the UN General Assembly, even though it lacked four criteria of statehood: people, territory, government, and supreme authority within the borders of a country.[77] In spite of those limitations, forces of the three armed factions within the CGDK continued to fight the Vietnamese to achieve their objective of "bring[ing] about the implementation of the International Conference on Cambodia and other relevant UN General Assembly resolutions".[81]

When the Vietnamese leaders launched their invasion of Kampuchea to remove the Khmer Rouge government in 1978, they did not expect a negative reaction from the international community. However, the events that followed the invasion showed that they had severely miscalculated international sympathies toward their cause. Instead of backing Vietnam, most United Nations member countries denounced the Vietnamese use of force against Kampuchea, and even moved to revive the battered Khmer Rouge organisation that had once governed the country with such brutality.[82] Thus, Kampuchea became more than just a military problem for Vietnam, quickly evolving into an economic and diplomatic problem in the international arena. Throughout the decade in which Vietnam occupied neighbouring Kampuchea, the Vietnamese Government, and the PRK government which it installed, were placed on the periphery of the international community.[83]

The international community's political stance towards Kampuchea had a severe impact on the Vietnamese economy, which was already wrecked by decades of continuous conflicts. The United States, which already had sanctions in place against Vietnam, convinced other countries of the United Nations to deprive Vietnam and the People's Republic of Kampuchea of much-needed funds by denying them membership to major international organisations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.[84] In 1979 Japan stepped up the pressure by suspending all economic aid to Vietnam, and warned Vietnamese leaders that economic aid would only resume when Vietnam amended its policies towards Kampuchea, the Sino-Soviet rivalry and the problem of the boat people.[85] Sweden, which was considered the staunchest supporter of Vietnam in the West, also considered reducing its commitments to the communist country as virtually every other country cancelled its aid.The international community's political stance towards Kampuchea had a severe impact on the Vietnamese economy, which was already wrecked by decades of continuous conflicts. The United States, which already had sanctions in place against Vietnam, convinced other countries of the United Nations to deprive Vietnam and the People's Republic of Kampuchea of much-needed funds by denying them membership to major international organisations such as the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund.[84] In 1979 Japan stepped up the pressure by suspending all economic aid to Vietnam, and warned Vietnamese leaders that economic aid would only resume when Vietnam amended its policies towards Kampuchea, the Sino-Soviet rivalry and the problem of the boat people.[85] Sweden, which was considered the staunchest supporter of Vietnam in the West, also considered reducing its commitments to the communist country as virtually every other country cancelled its aid.[83]

In addition to external pressure, domestic policies implemented by the Vietnamese Government since 1975 had proven to be largely ineffective in stimulating the country's economic growth. By building on the Soviet model of central economic planning, Vietnam placed most emphasis on the development of heavy industries, while production in agriculture and light manufacturing sectors stagnated.[86] Furthermore, attempts to nationalise the economy of southern Vietnam after reunification only resulted in chaos, as economic output was driven down by dislocation of the general population. In addition to those failed economic policies, Vietnam maintained the fifth-largest armed forces in the world, with 1.26 million regular soldiers under arms, 180,000 of whom were stationed in Cambodia in 1984.[87][88] Consequently, the Vietnamese Government had to spend one-third of its budget on the military and the campaign in Kampuchea, despite receiving US$1.2 billion in military aid annually from the Soviet Union, thus further hampering Vietnam's economic rebuilding efforts.[86]

In response to international pressure, and to avoid engaging in a debilitating conflict with various local armed resistance groups, Vietnam began withdrawing its military forces from Kampuchea as early as 1982. But the withdrawal process lacked international verification, so foreign observers simply dismissed Vietnam's movement of troops as mere rotations.[89] In 1984, in order to disengage from Kampuchea, Vietnam unveiled a five-phase strategy known as the K5 Plan. The plan was authored by General Le Duc Anh, who had led the Vietnamese campaign in Kampuchea. The first phase required the Vietnamese military to capture the bases of armed groups in western Kampuchea and along the border with Thailand. The following phases included sealing off the border with Thailand, destroying local resistance groups, providing security for the population, and building up the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Armed Forces.[82] Foreign observers believed that the Vietnamese Army completed the first phase of the K5 Plan during the dry season offensive of 1984–85, when the base camps of several anti-Vietnamese resistance groups were overrun. Afterwards, the majority of ten Vietnamese divisions were assigned to operations on the frontiers, with the remainder staying in major provinces to protect the local population and to train the Kampuchean armed forces.[82]

By 1985, international isolation and economic hardships had forced Vietnam to rely more and more on the Soviet Union for help. During the Chinese invasion in February 1979, the Soviet Union provided US$1.4 billion worth of military aid to Vietnam, a figure that peaked at US$1.7 billion in the period between 1981 and 1985.[90] Then, to help Vietnam implement its third Five Year Plan (1981–1985), the Soviet Union provided a sum of US$5.4 billion to the Vietnamese Government for its expenditures; economic aid ultimately reached US$1.8 billion annually. The Soviet Union also provided 90% of Vietnam's demand for raw materials and 70% of its grain imports.[90] Even though the figures suggest the Soviet Union was a reliable ally, privately S

By 1985, international isolation and economic hardships had forced Vietnam to rely more and more on the Soviet Union for help. During the Chinese invasion in February 1979, the Soviet Union provided US$1.4 billion worth of military aid to Vietnam, a figure that peaked at US$1.7 billion in the period between 1981 and 1985.[90] Then, to help Vietnam implement its third Five Year Plan (1981–1985), the Soviet Union provided a sum of US$5.4 billion to the Vietnamese Government for its expenditures; economic aid ultimately reached US$1.8 billion annually. The Soviet Union also provided 90% of Vietnam's demand for raw materials and 70% of its grain imports.[90] Even though the figures suggest the Soviet Union was a reliable ally, privately Soviet leaders were dissatisfied with Hanoi's handling of the stalemate in Kampuchea and resented the burden of their aid program to Vietnam as their own country was undergoing economic reforms.[90] In 1986, the Soviet Government announced that it would reduce aid to friendly nations; for Vietnam, those reductions meant the loss of 20% of its economic aid and one-third of its military aid.[91]

To reengage with the international community, and to deal with the economic challenges brought by the changes in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Vietnamese leaders decided to embark on a series of reforms. At the 6th National Party Congress in December 1986, newly appointed General Secretary of the VCP Nguyen Van Linh introduced a major reform known as Đổi Mới, the Vietnamese term for "renovation", in order to fix Vietnam's economic problems.[92] However, Vietnamese leaders concluded that Vietnam's dire economic situation came as a result of the international isolation which followed its invasion of Kampuchea in 1978, and that for Đổi Mới to be successful it needed radical changes in defence and foreign policy.[93] Subsequently, in June 1987, the Vietnamese Politburo adopted a new defence strategy in Resolution No. 2, calling for the complete withdrawal of Vietnamese soldiers from international duties, a reduction in the size of the army through a discharge of 600,000 soldiers and the establishment of a set ratio for military expenditures.[94]

Then, on 13 May 1988, the Vietnamese Politburo adopted Resolution No. 13 on foreign policy, which aimed to achieve diversification and multilateralisation of Vietnam's foreign relations. Its main objectives were to end the embargoes imposed by UN members, integrate Vietnam with the regional and international community, and ultimately attract foreign investment and development aid.[93] As part of this change, Vietnam ceased to regard the United States as a long-term foe and China as an imminent and dangerous enemy. In addition, official Vietnamese propaganda stopped labeling ASEAN as a "NATO-type" organisation.[92] To implement the new reforms, Vietnam, with support from the Soviet Union, started transferring several years' worth of military equipment to the KPRAF, which numbered more than 70,000 sol

Then, on 13 May 1988, the Vietnamese Politburo adopted Resolution No. 13 on foreign policy, which aimed to achieve diversification and multilateralisation of Vietnam's foreign relations. Its main objectives were to end the embargoes imposed by UN members, integrate Vietnam with the regional and international community, and ultimately attract foreign investment and development aid.[93] As part of this change, Vietnam ceased to regard the United States as a long-term foe and China as an imminent and dangerous enemy. In addition, official Vietnamese propaganda stopped labeling ASEAN as a "NATO-type" organisation.[92] To implement the new reforms, Vietnam, with support from the Soviet Union, started transferring several years' worth of military equipment to the KPRAF, which numbered more than 70,000 soldiers. The Vietnamese Ministry of Defense's International Relations Department then advised its Kampuchean counterparts to only use the available equipment to maintain their current level of operations, and not to engage in major operations which could exhaust those supplies.[89]

In 1988, Vietnam was estimated to have about 100,000 troops in Kampuchea, but, sensing that a diplomatic settlement was within reach, the Vietnamese Government began withdrawing forces in earnest. Between April and July 1989, 24,000 Vietnamese soldiers returned home. Then, between 21 and 26 September 1989, after suffering 15,000 soldiers killed and another 30,000 wounded during the 10-year occupation,[82] Vietnam's commitment to Kampuchea was officially over, when the remaining 26,000 Vietnamese soldiers were pulled out.[89] However, armed resistance groups opposed to the Vietnamese-installed PRK government claimed that Vietnamese troops were still operating on Kampuchean soil long after September 1989. For example, non-communist groups engaging in land-grab operations in western Kampuchea after the withdrawal reported clashes with elite Vietnamese Special Forces near Tamar Puok along Route 69.[95] Then, in March 1991, Vietnamese units were reported to have re-entered Kampot Province to defeat a Khmer Rouge offensive.[95] Despite such claims, on 23 October 1991, the Vietnamese Government signed the Paris Peace Agreement, which aimed to restore peace in Kampuchea.[95]

On 14 January 1985, Hun Sen was appointed Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Kampuchea and began peace talks with the factions of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea. Between 2–4 December 1987, Hun Sen met with Sihanouk at Fère-en-Tardenois in France to discuss the future of Kampuchea. Further talks occurred between 20–21 January 1988, and Hun Sen offered Sihanouk a position within the Kampuchean Government on the condition that he returned to Kampuchea straight away.[96] However, Sihanouk did not accept the offer, even as preparations were made in Phnom Penh to receive him. Despite that failure, Hun Sen's Kampuchean Government was able to persuade Cheng Heng and In Tam, both ministers in Lon Nol's government, to return to Kampuchea.[96] In the first major step towards restoring peace in Kampuchea, representatives of the CGDK and the PRK met for the first time at the First Jakarta Informal Meeting on 25 July 1988. In that meeting, Sihanouk proposed a three-stage plan, which called for a cease-fire, a UN peacekeeping force to supervise the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops and the integration of all Kampuchean armed factions into a single army.[97]

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach urged all parties involved to separate Kampuchean problems into internal and external aspects. Therefore, to begin the process of restoring peace, the Vietnamese delegation proposed a two-stage plan that began with internal discussions among the Kampuchean factions, followed by a roundtable discussion with all involved countries. The Vietnamese proposal won out at the meeting, but no agreements were reached.[97] At the Second Jakarta Meeting, on 19 February 1989, Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans forwarded the Cambodian Peace Plan to bring about a ceasefire, a peacekeeping force and the establishment of a national unity government to maintain Kampuchea's sovereignty until elections were held.[96] To facilitate a peace agreement on the eve of the Vietnamese withdrawal, between 29–30 April 1989, Hun Sen convened a meeting of the National Assembly to adopt a new constitution, and the country was renamed the State of Cambodia to reflect the state of ambiguity of the country's sovereignty.[98] Furthermore, Buddhism was re-established as the state religion, and citizens were guaranteed the right to hold private property.[98]

In the meantime, however, peace talks between the warring factions continued, with the First Paris Peace Conference on Cambodia held in Par

Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach urged all parties involved to separate Kampuchean problems into internal and external aspects. Therefore, to begin the process of restoring peace, the Vietnamese delegation proposed a two-stage plan that began with internal discussions among the Kampuchean factions, followed by a roundtable discussion with all involved countries. The Vietnamese proposal won out at the meeting, but no agreements were reached.[97] At the Second Jakarta Meeting, on 19 February 1989, Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans forwarded the Cambodian Peace Plan to bring about a ceasefire, a peacekeeping force and the establishment of a national unity government to maintain Kampuchea's sovereignty until elections were held.[96] To facilitate a peace agreement on the eve of the Vietnamese withdrawal, between 29–30 April 1989, Hun Sen convened a meeting of the National Assembly to adopt a new constitution, and the country was renamed the State of Cambodia to reflect the state of ambiguity of the country's sovereignty.[98] Furthermore, Buddhism was re-established as the state religion, and citizens were guaranteed the right to hold private property.[98]

In the meantime, however, peace talks between the warring factions continued, with the First Paris Peace Conference on Cambodia held in Paris in 1989. On 26 February 1990, following the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops, the Third Jakarta Informal Meeting was held, at which the Supreme National Council was established to safeguard Cambodian sovereignty. Initially, the Supreme National Council was to have 12 members, with three seats allocated to each faction of the CGDK, and three to the pro-Vietnam Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party.[98] However, Hun Sen objected to the proposed arrangement, calling instead for each faction of the CGDK to be given two seats for a total of six, and the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party to have six seats. In 1991 the Supreme National Council began representing Cambodia at the UN General Assembly. Then, in a bold move, Hun Sen renamed the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party as the Cambodian People's Party in an effort to portray his party as a democratic institution and renounce its revolutionary struggle.[99]

On 23 October 1991, the Cambodian factions of the Supreme National Council, along with Vietnam and 15 member nations of the International Peace Conference on Cambodia, signed the Paris Peace Agreement. For the Cambodian people, two decades of continuous warfare and 13 years of civil war seemed to be over, although an atmosphere of uneasiness amongst the leaders of the Cambodian factions remained.[100] In order to include the Khmer Rouge in the agreement, the major powers agreed to avoid using the word "genocide" to describe the actions of the Government of Democratic Kampuchea in the period between 1975 and 1979. As a result, Hun Sen criticised the Paris Agreement as being far from perfect, as it failed to remind the Cambodian people of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge government.[100] Nonetheless, the Paris Agreement established the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), in accordance with the UN Security Council's Resolution 745,[101] and gave UNTAC a broad mandate to supervise main policies and administration works until a Cambodian government was democratically elected.[102]

On 14 November 1991, Sihanouk returned to Cambodia to participate in the elections, followed by Son Senn, a Khmer Rouge official, who arrived a few days later to set up the organisation's electoral campaign office in Phnom Penh.[100] On 27 November 1991, Khieu Samphan also returned to Cambodia on a flight from Bangkok; initially he had expected his arrival to be uneventful, but as soon as Khieu Samphan's flight landed at Pochentong Airport, he was met by an angry crowd which shouted insults and abuse at him. As Khieu Samphan was driven into the city, another crowd lined the route towards his office and threw objects at his car.[103] As soon as he arrived at his office, Khieu Samphan entered and immediately telephoned the Chinese Government to save him. Shortly afterwards, an angry mob forced its way into the building, chased Khieu Samphan up the second floor and tried to hang him from a ceiling fan. Eventually, Khieu Samphan was able to escape from the building by a ladder with his face bloodied, and was immediately taken to Pochentong Airport, where he flew out of Cambodia. With the departure of Khieu Samphan, the Khmer Rouge's participation in the election seemed doubtful.[104]

In March 1992, the start of the UNTAC mission in Cambodia was marked by the arrival of 22,000 UN peacekeepers, which included troops from 22 countries, 6,000 officials, 3,500 police and 1,700 civilian employees and electoral volunteers.[101] The mission was led by Yasushi Akashi.[105] In June 1992, the Khmer Rouge formally established the National Union Party of Kampuchea, and announced that it would not register to participate in the upcoming elections. Furthermore, the Khmer Rouge also refused to disarm its forces in accordance with the Paris agreement.[106] Then, to prevent ethnic Vietnamese from taking part in the elections, the Khmer Rouge started massacring Vietnamese civilian communities, causing hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese to flee Cambodia.[107] Towards the end of 1992, Khmer Rouge forces advanced into Kampong Thom in order to gain a strategic foothold, before UN peacekeeping forces were fully deployed there. In the months leading up to the elections, several UN military patrols were attacked as they entered Khmer Rouge-held territory.[108]

Despite ongoing threats from the Khmer Rouge during the elections, on 28 May 1993, FUNCINPEC won 45.47 percent of the vote, against 38.23 percent for the Cambodian People's Party.[109] Though clearly defeated, Hun Sen refused to accept the results of the election, so his Defense Minister, Sin Song, announced the secession of the eastern provinces of Cambodia, which had supported the Cambodian People's Party. Prince Norodom Ranariddh, leader of FUNCINPEC and son of Sihanouk, agreed to form a coalition government with the Cambodian People's Party so the country would not break up. On 21 September 1993, the Cambodian Constituent Assembly approved a new Constitution and Ranariddh became First Prime Minister. He appointed Hun Sen as the Second Prime Minister.[110] On 23 September 1993, the constitutional monarchy was restored with Norodom Sihanouk as the head of state.[111] In July 1994, the Cambodian Government outlawed the Khmer Rouge for its continuous violations of the Paris Agreement. Most significantly, the Cambodian Government also specifically recognised the genocide and atrocities which occurred under Democratic Kampuchea.[112] By 1998, the Khmer Rouge was completely dissolved.[113]

The military occupation of Kampuchea had profound consequences for Vietnamese foreign policy. Since gaining independence in 1954, the Vietnamese communist perspective on foreign policy had been dominated by the need to maintain a world order of two camps, communist and non-communist.[114] Indeed, the treaties of friendship that Vietnam signed with the Soviet Union, Laos and the People's Republic of Kampuchea were consistent with that view. However, the ideological motivations of the Vietnamese communist leadership were proven to be limited and heavily flawed, as demonstrated by the 1979 condemnation of Vietnam after ousting the Khmer Rouge government.[115] In the years that followed, the Vietnamese Government was left isolated from the world and its efforts to rebuild the country were handicapped by the lack of aid from the capitalist Western nations. Furthermore, the presence of Vietnamese military forces in Cambodia became an obstacle which prevented the normalisation of diplomatic ties with China, the United States and the member nations of ASEAN.[114]

In light of the decline experienced by the Soviet Union and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, the Vietnamese Government began repairing diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries as part of a greater effort to rejuvenate Vietnam's shattered economy. Since its invasion in 1979, China had placed sustained pressure on the northern borders of Vietnam, with th

In light of the decline experienced by the Soviet Union and the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, the Vietnamese Government began repairing diplomatic relations with neighbouring countries as part of a greater effort to rejuvenate Vietnam's shattered economy. Since its invasion in 1979, China had placed sustained pressure on the northern borders of Vietnam, with the province of Ha Tuyen regularly shelled by Chinese artillery. In September 1985, Chinese bombardment of Ha Tuyen reached a peak when 2,000 rounds were fired.[116] To reduce the state of hostility along the border region, and ultimately normalise relations with China, the Vietnamese Government dropped all hostile references to China at the 6th National Party Congress in December 1986, and also adopted the Đổi Mới policy.[117] In August 1990, as the Cambodian Peace Plan, authored by Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, was being endorsed by the UN Security Council, both China and Vietnam moved towards accommodation.[118]

Early in September 1990, Vietnamese Prime Minister Đỗ Mười, general secretary Nguyen Van Linh and former Prime Minister Pham Van Dong travelled to Chengdu, China, where they held a secret meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin. On 17 September 1990, General Võ Nguyên Giáp also made a trip to China and thanked the Chinese Government for its past assistance.[118] Despite outward signs of improvement in Vietnam's diplomatic relations with China, Vietnamese leaders were reluctant to endorse any peace plan which could weaken their client government in Phnom Penh. However, as the four Cambodian factions reached an agreement on the power-sharing arrangement outlined at the Third Jakarta Informal Meeting in February 1990, Vietnam and China rapidly moved to re-establish formal diplomatic relations. In November 1991, newly elected Vietnamese Prime Minister Võ Văn Kiệt travelled to Beijing and met his Chinese counterpart, Li Peng, and they issued an 11-point communiqué re-establishing diplomatic ties between the two countries after 10 years without formal relations.[119]

The end of the Cambodian conflict also brought an end to the ASEAN-imposed trade and aid embargo which had been in place since 1979. In January 1990, Thai Prime Minister Chatichai Choonhavan publicly voiced his support for Vietnam, and the rest of Indochina, to gain admission into ASEAN.[120] In the period between late 1991 and early 1992, Vietnam restored relations with several member nations of ASEAN. As a result, between 1991 and 1994, investments from ASEAN countries made up 15 percent of direct foreign investment in Vietnam.[121] Aside from the obvious economic benefits, ASEAN also provided a peaceful environment that guaranteed Vietnam's national security against foreign threats in the post-Cold War era, when Soviet aid was no longer available.[122] Thus, on 28 July 1995, Vietnam officially became the seventh member of ASEAN, after leading ASEAN officials invited Vietnam to join at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok in 1994.[123] Then, in August 1995, the U.S. Liaison Office in Hanoi was upgraded to Embassy status, after U.S. President Bill Clinton announced a formal normalisation of diplomatic relations with Vietnam on 11 July 1995, thereby ending Vietnam's isolation from the United States.[123]

Cambodia and Vietnam's forest cover underwent drastic reductions following the end of the Khmer Rouge government.[124] The fall of Khmer Rouge was attributed to Vietnamese troops overthrowing the government and the occupation of Phnom Penh, establishing the People's Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) in 1978.[125] With lack of international support by the end of the Cold War, the Khmer Rouge struggled to rebuild itself.[124] In an attempt to increase revenue and regain power, they established themselves along the Thailand-Cambodia border in northwestern Cambodia to focus on exploiting Cambodia's natural resources including timber and rubies.[124] With 15% of total global tropical forests, Southeast Asia is a leader in timber production.[126] This initiative quickly became an race between political factions, as the PRK adopted Khmer Rouge extraction efforts.[124]

From 1969 to 1995, Cambodia's forest cover shrank from 73% to 30–35%.[124] Similarly, Vietnam lost nearly three million hectares of forest cover from 1976 to 1995.[124] Similarly, Vietnam lost nearly three million hectares of forest cover from 1976 to 1995.[127] In 1992, Khmer Rouge became internationally isolated.[124] The United Nations Security Council banned all exports of Cambodian timber in November of that year.[128] Efforts to create a neutral electoral environment led to the establishment of the United Nations Transitional Authority (UNTAC) in Cambodia.[129] The move was implemented in January 1993.[130] In the same year, the Vietnamese issued a logging ban, driving the Khmer Rouge to logging illegally.[127] Illicit exports from Cambodia to Vietnam was worth US$130 million each year.[127]

Thailand was the largest violator of UNTAC.[128] The Thai government at the time insisted that Cambodian imported timber must have a certificate of origin approved by the governmental authorities in Phnom Penh.[124] These certificates cost US$35 for each cubic metre of timber from Khmer Rouge operating areas.[124] This forced the Khmer Rouge to increase prices. They learned to speak Thai and sold timber illegally to Thai timber operators, earning them over US$10 million monthly.[128] Global Witness, an international human rights and environmental non-governmental organization (NGO) based in London,[131] recognized these timber guerillas when they identified mass Cambodian exports.[128] They subsequently lobbied for an amendment to the US Foreign Operations Act.[124] The act was passed. It stated that US assistance would no longer be given to any country cooperating militarily with the Khmer Rouge.[124] Thailand closed its borders with Cambodia the next day.[124]

Japan was the second largest offender of UNTAC, purchasing 8,000 cubic metres of timber from Cambodia.[128] There were 46 other identified offenders[128] including the Koreas, Singapore, and Taiwan.[130] After timber is produced by Cambodia or the greater Southeast Asia region, these "offender" countries re-process the logs which are subsequently transferred to North America, the Middle East, and Africa for sale.[130]

PRK eventually offered the Khmer Rouge re-integration into Cambodia's national armed forces as well as reconciliation between the two parties.[128] In August 1996, the regional command of Khmer Rouge travelled back to Phnom Penh.[124] Pol Pot, the former Prime Minister of the Democratic Kampuchea,[132] and his lieutenants stayed in the northern region to continue attempts at generating revenue from the extraction of natural resources.[124] However, the group became irrelevant due to a lack of support.[127] By 1998, Khmer Rouge had dissolved completely.[124]

In 2010, the Royal Government of Cambodia set out a forest management plan called the National Forest Programme (NFP) in order to manage Cambodia's forest industry effectively in the long-term.[133] A number of donors had been in support of the United Nations Programme on Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (UN-REDD).[134] UN-REDD itself contributed over US$3 million.[135] The project has also been financed by the United Nations Development Programme through Target for Resource Assignment from the Core (UNDP-TRAC)[136] with US$500,000,[135] the United Nations Development Programme through Sustainable Forest Management (UNDP-SFM)[137] with US$250,000, the United Nations Development Programme through Conservation Areas through Landscape Management (UNDP-CALM)[138] with US$150,000,[135] and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with US$300,000.[135]

The Department of Forestry and Wildlife and the Cambodia Tree Seed Project was in collaborative support of developing the Royal Government of Cambodia's NFP.[139] NFP's objective is to contribute optimally to poverty alleviation and macro-economic growth through sustainable forest management and conservation with active stakeholder participation, particularly in rural areas.[133]

Cambodian people continue to have diverse opinions of the outcome of the war.[140][141] Some Cambodians have perceived Vietnam as their savior for fighting and toppling the brutal Khmer Rouge government, and for helping Cambodia even while being sanctioned.[142] On the other hand, Cambodian hardliners have perceived the war as a Vietnamese imperialist conquest; this view has, since 2010, developed into the rampant rise of Cambodian nationalism and anti-Vietnamese sentiment, which led to the killing of some Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia.[143]

The rampant rise of anti-Vietnamese sentiment in Cambodia was fostered by historical grievances that existed before the 1978 war. For Cambodian nationalists, the trauma of previous Vietnamese incursions and occupation since the 17th century gave impetus to their increasing hostility against the Vietnamese.[144] On the other hand, and ironically, China, the previous backer of the Khmer Rouge, was venerated as a new ally, which strengthened Cambodia–China relations in response to fears of possible Vietnamese intervention.[145] This resulted in Cambodia quietly supporting China in the South China Sea dispute.

On the Vietnamese side, both the communist government and anti-communists regarded the war as a righteous liberation of Cambodia from genocide, though some objected due to the previous alliance between the Khmer Rouge and the Vietcong, and has shown its distrust toward Cambodians over the growing Cambodian–Chinese relationship.[146]

The reaction to the war in Cambodia also varied across the world. While strong negative reaction against the Vietnamese occupation in the 1980s placed Vietnam in sanctions, since 2000, views sympathetic to Vietnam's cause has increased dramatically in number, owing to growing Vietnamese relations with the Western world and its good reputation abroad, including former adversaries except China and a number of Cambodian nationalist groups, with more acknowledgement of Vietnam's goodwill for Cambodians, though not without controversies and opposition.[147]