Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Cold War, by Nicholas Tarling

By Nicholas Tarling

This targeted and unique examine throws new gentle at the evolution of British coverage in Southeast Asia within the turbulent postwar interval. vast archival study and insightful research of British coverage exhibit that Southeast Asia used to be perceived as a zone inclusive of collectively cooperating new states, instead of a fragmented mass. A better half quantity to Tarling's Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Pacific conflict (CUP, 1996), this ebook is an important contribution to the diplomatic and political background of Southeast Asia.

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The discussions on security arrangements affecting Kra should be broadened to ensure that all security questions were a matter ofjoint agreement between Britain and the US, and to involve France and China also. The US proposed to revive its commercial treaty with Siam, and hoped Siam would treat other nationals on a non-discriminatory basis: it wanted Britain's assurance that its policies were in harmony with these principles. The US ceased to recognise the Bangkok government in January 1942 and regarded Siam as enemy-occupied.

The rice stocks, mainly in government hands, should be acquired, but not at inflated prices that would enrich Siam. Perhaps they should be made available as reparation. 85 Effectively in power since Pibun's resignation in 1944, and sole Regent, Pridi proposed to send to Kandy (the SEAC headquarters) a mission including an ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Direk Chaiyanam. That induced the Far Eastern Department at the Foreign Office to raise once more the question of a political statement to the Siamese.

The desire to give the Chinese community a greater role in the future of Malaya had been strengthened by the belief that it would be the main source of support for the Allied troops. The plan, finally outlined in public on 10 October, was not changed, though the war had ended differently. THE BORNEO TAKE-OVER PROPOSAL 21 The Borneo take-over proposal In respect of what was called British Borneo the British government adopted approaches that bore some comparison with those adopted towards what was called British Malaya.

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