Indochina Relations: Learning from History,
DEPARTMENT OF STATE WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF EXTERNAL RESEARCH
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The predominant assumption about future Indochina relationships is that Vietnam will maintain a controlling influence. The reasons for this expectation spring primarily from the vast disparities between Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea in population, military mobilization, economic development, education, and political dynamism. The record of leadership by Vietnamese in the anti-colonial resistance wars against France and the United States, and the preeminent role of Vietnamese in organizing the communist party in Vietnam and its satellite parties in Laos and Kampuchea leave no doubt that Vietnam has reason to feel that it deserves a preeminent position in relation to its neighbors in what the French designated as Indochina. Thus a projection of the recent political history of the Indochina states would reasonably arrive at the prediction that the Vietnamese communists will feel themselves qualified, even destined, to continue leading their party partners of the national liberation war into the postwar era of socialist transformation. Struggle of various sorts has been the fate and glory of the Vietnamese communist leadership for five decades, and they have no reason to abandon their superior role in the economic and social revolutions yet to be won at home.
- Government and Political Science