A Study Of South East Asian Politics Through The 20th Century Politics Politics

1923 words - 8 pages

Question 1
Asian Politics
The Cold War had a major influence on the politics of Asia in the 20th Century. I will discuss three ways in which this was the case by illustrating my answer with specific examples, such as the influence of the cold war on the Korean peninsula, Vietnam and Japan. I will also discuss in what ways the Cold war has influenced not only 20th Century politics but also its influence is still present in the 21st Century politics. To understand the Cold war’s influence we must look at the context of the Cold war itself, the Cold war emerged some time after the second world war, after the allies, US, USSR and the Peoples Republic of China. Co-operated in fighting the axis powers. After the war it was assumed that since the US and the USSR worked together international relations would improve, however the relationship of these two powers took a different path. The Cold war was the period of hostile relations between the USSR and the US, between the soviet bloc and the western powers after the second world war. This period of relations dominated global politics in the 20th and 21st Century. The reason for this hostility was due to their vastly conflicting beliefs and ideology, capitalist and communism. Also in the context of post world war two global politics, both states had the largest military powers which formed the foundation of a global power struggle with both sides fighting for the upper hand. In a Neorealist view it could be said that both countries saw each other as a security threat and a rising power, this bi polar power struggle strongly influenced the politics of Southeast Asia.
One way in which the Cold War had a major influence on Asia in the 20th century was the Korean war. Korea was invaded and ruled by Japan until the end of the second world war. The red Army occupied the northern part of the Korean peninsula and the U.S. forces afterwards moved into the south. The 38th parallel was established as the boundary between Soviet and American occupation zones, as the U.S. did not want the USSR further occupying the Korean peninsula and the USSR similarly did not want the U.S to occupy more. Both of the super powers saw this as a temporary boarder. Two separate governments started forming in the north and Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the south Republic of Korea(ROK). These two governments claimed to be the legitimate government, This hostility reached its peak when North Korean forces invaded the ROK. North Korea was supported by the USSR and the PRC. The USSR supported the north as it was a state within the communist world, to spread the communist ideology and to dominate the U.S.’s influence in Southeast Asia. China also supported the DPRK this was to support the communist ideology but also as a security measure, as China did not want the U.S. to occupy land so close to them. This would be a huge security threat for China. Therefore both of these powers supported North Korea w...


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