Asia after Vietnam

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Asia after Vietnam

Critical Analysis
Richard M. Nixon in his article “Asia after Vietnam” published in October 1967 issue of “Foreign Affairs” magazine and Hofstadter in Shanghai Communiqué of 1972 showed the situation in Asia and intervention of two powers: China a The United States between years 1967 and 1972 to this region. Nixon in his article pointed out on cultural, political, economic situation in non-communist Asia. In the article he implied relationship of Asians toward America and West. He stated that Asian nations are threatened by China’s aggression. Nixon assumed the future role of Japan, China, India and the United States of America. “America is a Pacific power,” Nixon declared, but he recognized that there were sharp limits to how much power post-Vietnam America could project into Asia. “One of the legacies of Vietnam,” he wrote, “almost certainly will be a deep reluctance on the part of the United States to become involved once again in a similar intervention on a similar basis.” This left Asia open to a simply stated threat: “China ambitions”. To deal with this threat Nixon proposed a creation of regional alliance backed by the U.S. and composed of South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, and New Zealand (and perhaps someday, who could tell, “even India”). It should have both economic and military ties. The United States would not be a member, but should stand ready to come to the assistance of any member of the alliance threatened by internal communist uprising or external aggression (Nixon, “Asia after Vietnam”).
Basically, the enemy of such an alliance was China at that time. But in 1972 Shanghai Communiqué presented meeting between the two enemies China and the USA. Hofstadter reviewed USA attitude toward discussed questions. He also commented Chinese objections. He wrote that both sides settled following points: normalization of Sino-United States relations, avoid military collision, none of the presented sides would use any pressure on other nations. The last agreement was not involve the third part without mutual discussion between China and the United States. One of the issues for China was Taiwan question and the basic concern about the “balance of power” in Asia region. Nixon in his article proved to be very well acknowledged about foreign affairs. He had excellent strategic thinking.

He knew that conflict in Asia could be long lasting and tensing.
America already suffered great consequences after interfering in Asian wars. American people were very upset because their relatives were involved in the wars, which had nothing to do with them directly. Nixon agreed that bitter dissension has torn the fabric of American intellectual life, and whatever the outcome of the war the tear may be a long time mending (Nixon, 115). That is why when he started to run his presidential office, he concentrated on Asian conflict. He saw solving of Asian as well as American military problems in constructing strong military power of Asian non-communist countries. Only then free Asian states in cooperation with their Western and the USA allies would be able to isolate Chinese interventions. In “Asia after Vietnam” Nixon made it clear that Americans are not going to deal with China. He stated that “the world cannot be safe until China changes.” He saw the aim of the United States in “introducing such a change”. In 1972, as Nixon observed there were bad relations between Soviet Union and China Nixon saw it as an opportunity to start talks with China. So he did in 1972 in Shanghai Communiqué. Nixon talked to Mao Tse Dong and Chou En-lai. Main issues were about the “containment” strategy as long as at that time both China and the United States were opposed to Soviets. Also political leader discussed the war in Vietnam and made some concessions. Basically it was an issue” Taiwan to Vietnam” as long as China wanted Taiwan and the United States wanted” peace with honor” in Vietnam. Back home in the USA, Nixon gave hope to those who were waiting for their soldiers to come back. He hoped to get American troops out in six months (People and Events). Nixon achieved his goals and made the Chinese play his game. From this point Nixon compared his trip to the moon flights and suggested that a postscript for his journey should be the words on the plaque left on the moon by the first astronauts who landed there: “We came in peace for all mankind.”(New York Times, 2/18 and 2/20/72). Nixon also defined his trip as “the week that changed the world” (PP, 1972, p.379).
It was nothing of the sort. It had brought little in the way of change, even to Asia. The American retreat from mainland Southeast Asia was already under way, indeed almost completed. Nixon’s negotiations with Chou over the Taiwan paragraph in the communiqué, and Kissinger’s oral statement, made it clear the U.S. was not abandoning Taiwan.

The United States specifically reaffirmed its intention to remain in South Korea and Japan, and unstated but understood, in the Philippines. In one sense, Nixon’s China opening was a new chapter in the long history of ever-shifting realignments in the world balance of power. These shifts, so often bewildering, are a constant factor in world politics. Consider that just three decades earlier, the United States was allied with both Nationalist and Communist China against Japan, and with the Soviet Union against Germany, while in 1972 America’s closest allies were Japan and Germany. Nixon had not established diplomatic relations with China (although he did so in all but name, and formal recognition came in 1978, by which time, not incidentally, China was at war with Communist Cambodia and Communist Vietnam), much less entered into a military alliance directed against the Soviets. No provisions had been made for new trade agreements between the United States and China. But such carping should not obscure the reality: the China opening was certainly Nixon’s greatest triumph, and he certainly deserved the credit for it. If the immediate payoff was slight at best, except for disturbing the sleep of the men in Kremlin, the long-term opportunities Nixon had made possible were vast. If in part the trip was self-serving (the television coverage at the beginning of his re-election campaign), it also showed Nixon to be a man of courage, intelligence, and imagination. Sometimes, in world diplomacy, the hardest things to do are those that cry out most for doing.
There were two important areas of the Shanghai agreement. The first concerned the Soviet Union, and it was easily reached. All sentiments were expressed in the final communiqué with a provision that neither nation “should seek hegemony in the Asia Pacific region and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.” As the Chinese were daily accusing the Soviets of seeking hegemony, all the world understood the slightly veiled language.
The second agreement was on Taiwan. The Chinese regarded the presence of American armed forces on the island as an occupation, which was intolerable. So long as the American troops were there, no improvement in U.S.-Chinese relations was possible. For his part, Nixon had been one of Chiang’s foremost American supporters for twenty-three years; he could not simply walk away and casually sacrifice the Nationalist Chinese.

Further, Chiang’s most fervent allies in the United States came from the heart of Nixon’s constituency.
Chou’s paragraph on Taiwan was, considering the strength of his feelings, relatively mild: he stated the Communist claim to be the sole legitimate government of China and that Taiwan was a part of China. He demanded the withdrawal of all American military forces from Taiwan, and expressed his firm opposition to any “two Chinas” formula. “The U.S. side declared: The United States acknowledges that …Taiwan is a part of China”, “It will progressively reduce its forces …on Taiwan as the tension in the area diminishes.”

Name: Pavel Ondrejka
Section:FOOB
Instructor:Phillip Sanchez
Date: 4.December 2000.

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