Japan’s aggression in Asia• In the years prior to WWII, Japan had been aggressively expanding its influence by taking colonial possessions in China, Korea, and other parts of Asia.• Ultimately this expansion got them involved in WWII• However, Japan’s defeat in WWII left these areas seeking independence and self rule.
The Policy of containment• The Cold War conflict between the US and USSR became evident quickly after WWII.• Under the Truman Doctrine, the US had adopted the policy of containment vowing to stop the expansion of communism. They believed if they allowed communist revolutions to succeed, the USSR’s influence would spread around the world.• Japan’s defeat in WWII meant that new governments would be formed in Asia, and the US policy of containment might be put to the test.
Conflict in China• Early in the 20th century, China had rejected its Imperial rule and ended monarchy.• Two new groups emerged in China: The Nationalists and the Communists, both initially worked as allies to improve China, but later became enemies.• The Nationalists advocated a western style democracy and drew a lot of support from urban areas in China. They established a government known as the Republic of China.• The Nationalists were led by a general named Chiang Kai-Shek, and would be supported by Britain and the United States. Chiang Kai-shek
Communists in China• The USSR had tried to support communism in China since 1920.• In 1921,A Chinese communist party would develop under a man named Mao Tse-Tung (Mao Zedong).• Mao’s communists drew their support mainly from rural peasants, and became rivals with the Nationalists in China.• Under Mao, the communist advocated a new revolution that would place China under communist control. Mao Tse-Tung• The communists and nationalist struggled for decades for control of China.
After WWII: Chinese Civil War• After WWII and the defeat of Japan, a civil war erupted in China between Chiang’s forces and Mao’s Red Army.• The US provided $2 Billion of aid to the Nationalists giving them a huge advantage in an attempt to stop the spread of Communism.• However, Mao’s army received aid from the USSR and was more popular with the people. It was able to defeat the Nationalist forces and force their retreat to the island of Taiwan.
A Divided China• The Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek established a new government on the Island of Taiwan.• Mao’s communists now controlled the mainland and established a new Communist government known as the People’s Republic of China.• China remains divided along these lines today, and presents a conflict as with mainland communist China insisting that Mainland China they will one day reunite with became communist after the Chinese Civil Taiwan under one communist War. government..
China Reforms• The USSR gave support to China’s mainland communist government, however China would not allow itself to be a “puppet” of the USSR.• After the death of Mao, a new leader Deng Xiaoping took control of China. Deng reformed China’s economy to be a market economy where individuals could own their China technically own businesses. This has created remains under communist control, but great economic gains for the its people now enjoy the country. fruits of a capitalist• However, the Communist party market economy. retains political control of the country and there is no democracy and individual rights are limited.
Post War Korea• Korea had been ruled by Japan before WWII and sought a new government after Japan’s defeat in WWII.• The Korean peninsula was split into a communist northern half (supported by the USSR) and a capitalist southern half (supported by the US).• The two sides fought an armed conflict for control of the peninsula.
The Korean War• US forces had almost retaken the peninsula when Communist China intervened to help the North. They helped push the US back to the 38th parallel. A stalemate developed where Korea was divided into 2 separate countries. S. Korean troops at the DMZ• The division of Korea (a 2.5 mile border dividing the continues to this day and country) tensions are high between the two countries with the US continuing to support the south.
French Indochina• During the years of imperialism, France had gained control of an area known as Indochina in SE Asia. Indochina provided raw materials such as iron and rubber.• However, during WWII Japan had expanded into the area and taken control of French Indochina. Indochina included Laos,• After WWII, France wanted to Vietnam, and Cambodia regain control of its colony.
Resistance in Vietnam• Vietnam was the most valuable part of Indochina and France was determined to keep it.• However, an independence movement had begun in Vietnam under a man named Ho Chi Minh.• Ho Chi Minh was a communist but had fought hard to help drive the Japanese out of the country, now he faced the task of fighting the French Ho Chi Minh was a highly for his country’s independence. In educated man who led 1954 he had succeeded in Vietnam’s resistance establishing a communist government in North Vietnam, while the south remained capitalist.
Trouble in S. Vietnam• Unfortunately for the US, the government in S. Vietnam lacked popular support, as the ruler in place acted as a dictator.• Meanwhile a group of communists in S. Vietnam known as the Viet Cong, started to gain support among the peasants.• Many members of the Viet The government the US supported was oppressive of a Cong were trained soldiers number of groups. Here a from N. Vietnam and they Buddhist monk burns himself used guerilla attacks alive in protest of the against the S. Vietnamese government. government.
America enters Vietnam• The US could not stand idly and allow S. Vietnam to become communist as well.• In keeping with the theory of containment, the US began committing troops to S. Vietnam, and began bombing runs against N. Vietnam. This did nothing to help the popularity of S. Vietnam’s government.• Despite being the best An American Napalm strike in equipped army in the world Vietnam. Despite these attacks, the the US had trouble fighting N. Vietnamese continued to resist. the Vietnamese and their guerilla army.
The Vietnam War• With a difficult enemy to engage, and a lack of support amongst both the Vietnamese and American people the US eventually decided to withdraw its troops from the country.• The US continued to supply S. Vietnam’s government. However, in 1975 the N. Vietnamese overran the South’s defenses and took control of the country.• Vietnam was now united again and under a communist government. The US had failed in its objective of stopping communism’s spread.