Archives par mot-clé : histoire internationale

Danielle Tan : Chinese Engagement in Laos [ISEAS – Publication en ligne]

[ndlr] Nouvelle publication en ligne sur le Laos de notre collègue Danielle Tan.

Chinese Engagement in Laos: Past, Present, and Uncertain Future

By Danielle Tan

Executive Summary

  • During the colonial period, Laos welcomed the smallest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia, communities that almost disappeared after the communist forces seized power in Laos in 1975.
  • Yet, this landlocked country shares a long history with China and even experienced a Golden Age thanks to the thriving caravan trade between Yunnan and mainland Southeast Asia. The Greater Mekong Subregion programme, launched by the Asian Development Bank, has revitalized these historical trade routes, causing thousands of Chinese migrants to pour onto the new roads of Laos, channelled through the North–South Economic Corridor linking Kunming to Bangkok.
  • The growing link between Laos and China has alarmed many scholars and development workers, both Lao and foreign; some even speak of a Chinese “shadow state” threatening Lao sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • It is necessary to go beyond the image of Laos regularly depicted as a weak state, a victim of globalization, and of China in particular, to consider a less passive posture. The paper argues that China’s growing presence is far from eroding the power of the Lao communist regime. Instead, Chinese engagement allows the Lao state to cope with the challenges of globalization and to maintain its power at the same time.
  • The paper will highlight Chinese engagement in Laos throughout history by emphasizing their recurrent patterns of intermediation. Then, it will describe how Chinese networks have become key partners of the Lao state’s development policies. However, rising uncertainties over the neighbouring communist ally’s economic potential may push China to revise its development strategy in Laos.

“Hanoi and the American War: Two International Histories” review by Geoffrey C. Stewart

[ndlr] Signalé par VSG, un compte-rendu de lecture par Geoffrey C. Stewart des ouvrages de Pierre Asselin (2013) et de Lien Hang T. Nguyen (2012) consacrés au déroulement de la guerre du Viêt-Nam (période 1954-1975).


Hanoi and the AmericanWar: Two International Histories

Geoffrey C. Stewart, Western University

On November 22, 1963, an emergency session of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Workers’ Party (VWP) opened in Hanoi. The session, known as the Ninth Plenum, was held, in part, to determine the best route forward for the party following the coup that had toppled Ngo Dinh Diem’s South Vietnamese government three weeks before. Over the ensuing weeks, the committee members addressed domestic and international concerns of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV), particularly the evolving political situation in the South and the status of the world revolutionary struggle. At the heart of the matter were divisions within the party over the best means to achieve the reunification of Vietnam and the ramifications that the widening Sino-Soviet split might have on this goal. From what can be gleaned from the spotty historical record, the debates were quite contentious.

Ever since Vietnam was divided at the seventeenth parallel following the Geneva Accords of 1954, the VWP had been split over how best to reunify Vietnam. Some advocated a “North-first” strategy, in which efforts would be focused on building a viable socialist base above the demarcation line before embarking on a quest to reunify the nation, by violent means if necessary. Others believed in a “South-first” strategy. They felt that the socialist revolution in the North could be advanced only by eliminating the anticommunist government below the seventeenth parallel. By the Ninth Plenum, this domestic split was threatening the unity of the party. Militant advocates of the “South-first” strategy viewed the moderate position as bankrupt, believing it had done nothing to further the goal of national reunification. Just as problematically, it threatened to cede the direction of the southern revolution to local revolutionaries, who, after eight and a half years of oppression from the southern government without much relief from the North, were becoming less inclined to pursue the party line as dictated by Hanoi.

Lire la suite en ligne (PDF) : Cross-Currents

From: Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review
Volume 3, Number 1, May 2014
pp. 275-285 | 10.1353/ach.2014.0006