Cambodia in 2012 mourned the death of its revered former King Norodom Sihanouk. The government was criticized for land conflicts and the deterioration of political liberties. Otherwise, the country enjoyed strong economic growth and basked in the international spotlight as Association of Southeast Asian Nations chair. Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party further consolidated its power, sidelining opposition parties and coopting disgruntled workers and farmers.
Cambodia's economy in 2011 recovered from the global economic downturn with a rise in garment exports. Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People's Party further consolidated power via the exercise of rule by law and patronage politics. Relations with Thailand returned to normal; ties with China strengthened with increased assistance and trade. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal proceeded amid allegations of political interference by the Cambodian government, making the further expansion of indictments unlikely.
With its first internationally endorsed local election in decades, first rotational chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and financial assistance pledged from donor countries and multilateral institutions, Cambodia made significant progress in 2002. Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party swept to victory in local elections, but for the first time it will have to share power at the local level. The Royalist FUNCINPEC Party underwent further decline and infighting. Cambodia received $615 million in financial pledges from international donors, and economic growth increased by a modest 4.5%% to 5%%. In February, the United Nations withdrew from negotiations for a trial of surviving leaders of Pol Pot's regime in the 1970s, but late in the year the possibility of further discussions emerged.