Vu Van Thai
January 1968
Foreign Affairs;Jan1968, Vol. 46 Issue 2, p347
This article discusses the significance of finding a solution for the Vietnam War to improve relations among countries in Southeast Asia. The main factors at the root of the Vietnam crisis and the conflicting outside interests, which have raised it to its present intensity, are not Vietnamese alone but are features of the whole region. Everywhere, internal instability creates latent or open conflicts, which the competing interests of the major world powers could escalate into international crises of the Vietnam type. One principal origin of the local tensions is the combination of exacerbated nationalist feelings and unfulfilled expectations. A sense of national identity and patriotic pride have long existed in these lands of ancient culture, but now they have been reinforced by expectations of social and economic betterment springing directly from the struggle against alien colonial rule. Southeast Asia's strategic location gives it political significance far out of proportion to its size, economic resources or populations. It lies between the two worlds of India and China, which comprise half the population of the world. It commands the sea routes between Europe and East Asia and Australia.


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