Japan’s aggression in Asia• In the years prior to WWII, Japan had beenaggressively expanding its influence by takingcolonial possessions in China, Korea, andother parts of Asia.• Ultimately this expansion got them involved inWWII• However, Japan’s defeat in WWII left theseareas seeking independence and self rule.
The Policy of containment• The Cold War conflict betweenthe US and USSR became evidentquickly after WWII.• Under the Truman Doctrine, theUS had adopted the policy ofcontainment vowing to stop theexpansion of communism. Theybelieved if they allowedcommunist revolutions tosucceed, the USSR’s influencewould spread around the world.• Japan’s defeat in WWII meantthat new governments would beformed in Asia, and the US policyof containment might be put tothe test.
Conflict in China• Early in the 20th century, China hadrejected its Imperial rule and endedmonarchy.• Two new groups emerged in China:The Nationalists and theCommunists, both initially worked asallies to improve China, but laterbecame enemies.• The Nationalists advocated awestern style democracy and drew alot of support from urban areas inChina. They established agovernment known as the Republicof China.• The Nationalists were led by ageneral named Chiang Kai-Shek, andwould be supported by Britain andthe United States.Chiang Kai-shek
Communists in China• The USSR had tried to supportcommunism in China since 1920.• In 1921,A Chinese communist partywould develop under a man namedMao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong).• Mao’s communists drew theirsupport mainly from rural peasants,and became rivals with theNationalists in China.• Under Mao, the communistadvocated a new revolution thatwould place China under communistcontrol.• The communists and nationalistsstruggled for decades for control ofChina.Mao Tse-Tung
After WWII: Chinese Civil War• After WWII and the defeat ofJapan, a civil war erupted inChina between Chiang’s forcesand Mao’s Red Army.• The US provided $2 Billion of aidto the Nationalists giving them ahuge advantage in an attempt tostop the spread of Communism.• However, Mao’s army receivedaid from the USSR and was morepopular with the people. It wasable to defeat the Nationalistforces and force their retreat tothe island of Taiwan.
• The Nationalists under ChiangKai-Shek established a newgovernment on the Island ofTaiwan.• Mao’s communists nowcontrolled the mainland andestablished a new Communistgovernment known as thePeople’s Republic of China.• China remains divided alongthese lines today, and presentsa conflict as with mainlandcommunist China insisting thatthey will one day reunite withTaiwan under one communistgovernment..A Divided ChinaMainland China becamecommunist after theChinese Civil War.
China Reforms• The USSR gave support to China’smainland communist government,however China would not allow itselfto be a “puppet” of the USSR.• After the death of Mao, a new leaderDeng Xiaoping took control of China.Deng reformed China’s economy tobe a market economy whereindividuals could own their ownbusinesses. This has created greateconomic gains for the country.• However, the Communist partyretains political control of the countryand there is no democracy andindividual rights are limited.China technically remainsunder communist control,but its people now enjoythe fruits of a capitalistmarket economy.
Post War Korea• Korea had been ruled by Japanbefore WWII and sought a newgovernment after Japan’s defeat inWWII.• The Korean peninsula was splitinto a communist northern half(supported by the USSR) and acapitalist southern half (supportedby the US).• The two sides fought an armedconflict for control of thepeninsula.
The Korean War• US forces had almost retakenthe peninsula when CommunistChina intervened to help theNorth. They helped push the USback to the 38th parallel. Astalemate developed whereKorea was divided into 2separate countries.• The division of Korea continuesto this day and tensions are highbetween the two countries withthe US continuing to supportthe south.S. Korean troops at the DMZ (a2.5 mile border dividing thecountry)
French Indochina• During the years of imperialism,France had gained control of anarea known as Indochina in SEAsia. Indochina provided rawmaterials such as iron andrubber.• However, during WWII Japan hadexpanded into the area and takencontrol of French Indochina.• After WWII, France wanted toregain control of its colony. Indochina included Laos,Vietnam, and Cambodia
Resistance in Vietnam• Vietnam was the most valuable part ofIndochina and France was determinedto keep it.• However, an independence movementhad begun in Vietnam under a mannamed Ho Chi Minh.• Ho Chi Minh was a communist but hadfought hard to help drive the Japaneseout of the country, now he faced thetask of fighting the French for hiscountry’s independence. In 1954 hehad succeeded in establishing acommunist government in NorthVietnam, while the south remainedcapitalist.Ho Chi Minh was a highlyeducated man who ledVietnam’s resistance
Trouble in S. Vietnam• Unfortunately for the US, thegovernment in S. Vietnamlacked popular support, asthe ruler in place acted as adictator.• Meanwhile a group ofcommunists in S. Vietnamknown as the VietCong, started to gain supportamong the peasants.• Many members of the VietCong were trained soldiersfrom N. Vietnam and theyused guerilla attacks againstthe S. Vietnamesegovernment.The government the US supportedwas oppressive of a number ofgroups. Here a Buddhist monkburns himself alive in protest of thegovernment.
America enters Vietnam• The US could not stand idlyand allow S. Vietnam tobecome communist as well.• In keeping with the theory ofcontainment, the US begancommitting troops to S.Vietnam, and began bombingruns against N. Vietnam. Thisdid nothing to help thepopularity of S. Vietnam’sgovernment.• Despite being the bestequipped army in the worldthe US had trouble fighting theVietnamese and their guerillaarmy.An American Napalm strike inVietnam. Despite these attacks, the N.Vietnamese continued to resist.
The Vietnam War• With a difficult enemy to engage,and a lack of support amongstboth the Vietnamese andAmerican people the USeventually decided to withdrawits troops from the country.• The US continued to supply S.Vietnam’s government.However, in 1975 the N.Vietnamese overran the South’sdefenses and took control of thecountry.• Vietnam was now united againand under a communistgovernment, which it still istoday. The US had failed in itsobjective of stoppingcommunism’s spread.