chapter  10
24 Pages

Asia in turmoil: nationalism, revolution and the rise of the Cold War, 1945–53

However, this tendency for Asian peoples to gain greater control over their own destiny was to be compromised by another development, namely the arrival of the Cold War in the region. The establishment of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 meant not only that China was now united under a strong centralized state, but that it was ruled by a communist government with close political and military ties to the Soviet Union. Fearing that such a regime posed


a danger to its economic and strategic interests in the region, the United States reacted to this apparent threat by introducing a policy of containment similar to that which already existed in Europe. Thus, from 1949, East and South-East Asia became the second most important battleground in the global Cold War.