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Cambodia's Ethnic Vietnamese: Minority Rights and Domestic Politics

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The study's main aim is to analyse the situation of the ethnic Vietnamese in Cambodia. Anti-Vietnamese sentiments have been regularly displayed by the Cambodian elite and in the policies of the Cambodian authorities, the roots and effects of these attitudes are explored. The anti-Vietnamese discourse in Cambodia shows that the perceptions of Vietnam as a state, influence the attitudes towards the Vietnamese minority. Discriminatory policies implemented by the Cambodian authorities and attacks instigated by such policies led to the virtual elimination of the Vietnamese minority in the 1970s, when some 420,000 Vietnamese were expelled or fled to Vietnam. In the 1980s ethnic Vietnamese returned to Cambodia while in the 1990s, politically motivated attacks on ethnic Vietnamese were carried out on a number of occasions. These attacks posed a real threat to the Vietnamese community at large.


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