Impacts of the Cold War
After the end of World War II, there was an emergence of the Cold War between the U.S and the Soviet Union. Ironically, towards the end of World War II, the Soviet Union and the United States were allies, who contributed significantly to ending the war. However, they developed philosophical differences and interests, and each aimed to attain supremacy globally, thus leading to the Cold War. Each nation wanted to showcase its superiority through engaging in competitive events, including the development of nuclear weapons, atomic bombs, and other technologies. The Cold War not only impacted the U.S and the Soviet Union but other nations too including China, Vietnam, and Korea.
During the Cold War, several Asian countries, like Vietnam and Korea, were politically influenced by the Cold War. For instance, according to Xia, China adopted the communist philosophy after overthrowing the nationalist government, following the Soviet’s influence. Nevertheless, given that the U.S supported the Chinese Nationalists during the Chinese civil war, the superpower continued backing up the nationalist government in Taiwan, despite being overthrown by China’s communists. The U.S.’ support for Taiwan posed a severe threat to the China Communist Party (CCP), which compelled China to ally with the Soviets by signing the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance on February 14, 1950 (Xia). The military-based Sino-Soviet alliance aimed at cushioning nations upon attack by the U.S. When the Korean War erupted, the Soviet Union offered support to China, such as economic aid. On the other hand, the U.S economically paralyzed the People’s Republic of China (PRP) and blocked its membership in the UN. Later, the Sino-Soviet alliance collapsed after the two nations disagreed on the issues of de-Stalinization and the refusal of the Soviet Union to support China during its conflict with India. Indeed, the Cold War influenced these nations.
In the era of the Cold War, Korea was divided into the Northern and Southern nations. Northern Korea, which was supported by the Soviets, invaded South Korea; the U.S allies resulting to war between the nations. Eventually, the U.S prevented the North Koreans from conquering South Korea. According to Uni. Lu, the Vietnam War, was part of the Cold War and the American struggle against the extension of Communism worldwide. However, the war did not involve a direct confrontation between the U.S and the USSR. China, which was supported by the Soviets, participated actively by aiding the Northern part of Vietnam. On the other hand, the Nationalist government was firmly supported by the U.S military whose troops had expanded from 23,000 to 540,000 (Uni. lu). Uni. lu indicates that the Vietnam War ended in 1975, impacting the country’s economy severely as well as its political system. The Soviet Union successfully influenced some Asian countries like China and Northern Korea to adopt communism.
The Soviet-American rivalry had severe impacts on other countries, including Korea and Vietnam. The tensions between the U.S and China greatly contributed to the continuity of the Korean and the Vietnam War. The China-U.S tensions occurred as a result of philosophical disparities with the U.S supporting nationalism while China communism. The two superpowers’ confrontations caused the division of Korea into Northern and Southern, and Vietnam’s political system, as well as its economy, was negatively affected.
Xia, Yafeng. “The Cold War and the Chinese Foreign Policy.”E International Relations. Jul 16, 2008, https://www.e-ir.info/2008/07/16/the-cold-war-and-china/. 15 Dec 2019.
Uni.lu. “The Vietnam War.” CVCE.EU. 2019, https://www.cvce.eu/en/education/unit-content/-/unit/55c09dcc-a9f2-45e9-b240-eaef64452cae/5ad21c97-4435-4fd0-89ff-b6bddf117bf4