Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic) was part of the kingdom of Lan Xang, established under King Fa Ngum in the 14th century, which also included parts of Thailand and Cambodia. It was dominated by Thailand from the late 18th to the late 19th century, when it was colonized by France and became, along with Vietnam and Cambodia, part of French Indochina until the decisive military victory by the Viet Minh at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. In 1975, the Lao monarchy was ended by the Pathet Lao, who were closely aligned with the Indochinese Communist Party founded by Ho Chi Min in Vietnam. The communist state that was established continues to the present. Laos is a landlocked, mountainous country in southeast ...

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