chapter  60
3 Pages

South-East Asia

Before the 1939-45 war the only independent nation in South-East Asia was Thailand (then called Siam). The rest of the region was under European or American rule: French in Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia); Dutch in the East Indies (now Indonesia); British in Burma, Malaya and northern Borneo; American in the Philippines. The Japanese moved into Indochina in 1940 and overran the whole region in 1941-2 (58). In 1945 the Dutch were unable to regain full control of Indonesia, which later became independent (64). The United States gave independence to the Philippines in 1946; Britain gave it to Burma in 1948 and to Malaya in 1957 (53, 63, 67). In Vietnam the French faced a communist-led independence movement which, for some time, had the support of both the USSR and China (61).