The Cold War in Asia 1945-1980
Asia was the second battleground of the cold war. To Marxist idealogy , Asia was not a good place for a communist revolution as it was not an industrialised country with a large proletariat. However, neither was russia.
The Chinese Civil War was probably the first sign of the cold war coming to asia. The communist forces, led by Mao had the support of the rural population while the nationalist forces tried to cling on to their decaying powerbase. The civil war actually began in 1927, and ended in 1949, with a truce in world war two when they were fighting the common enemy, imperialist japan. The communists eventually won, due to the support of the populace and better tactics, and the Nationalists fled to the island of Taiwan. America was supporting the nationalists, and , naturally the new communist government was very anti-american, and signed a treaty with the USSR. The US government was widely critisised for not preventing this spread of communism, now the two most populated countries in the world had become communist.
In 1950 the Korean war broke out. There is much similarity to the division of korea to the division of Germany. Russia wanted a communist government, while the US wanted a democratic form of government, and the country was divided at the 38th parralel. These two Korean governments were hostile to each other and on 25th of June 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea and defeated the under equipped South Korean army. In response, the UN voted to intervene in korea. The USSR was protesting about China not having a seat on the security council. A U.S.-dominated United Nations coalition came to the aid of South Korea in responding to an invasion by North Korea, which was aided by the USSR and allied with Communist China; the war ended in a military stalemate and the restoration of the political status quo. Concurrently, the United States was assuming increasing leadership of the Western nations against what were perceived as the expansionist intentions of its former ally, the USSR. As this cold war heated up, it brought the United States into a military confrontation with Communist forces in Korea. The commander of the UN force wanted to push into china and defeat the communists there, but was relieved of command for attempting this.
In the Vietnam War–which lasted from the mid-1950s until 1975–the United States and the southern-based Republic of Vietnam (RVN) opposed the southern-based revolutionary movement known as the Viet Cong and its sponsor, the Communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam (the DRV, or North Vietnam). The war was the second of two major conflicts that spread throughout Indochina, with Vietnam as its focal point. The First Indochina War was a struggle between Vietnamese nationalists and the French colonial regime aided by the United States. In the second war, the United States replaced France as the major contender against northern-based Communists and southern insurgents. Communist victory in 1975 had profound ramifications for the United States; it was not only a setback to the containment of communism in Asia but a shock to American self-confidence.
America struggled to keep communism out of Asia. It did not prevent this, but eventually managed to stabilise other asian countries to prevent the further spread of communism. Treaties such as SEATO and ANZUS also helped this.