By Nicholas Tarling
This distinctive and unique research throws new mild at the evolution of British coverage in Southeast Asia within the turbulent postwar interval. huge archival learn and insightful research of British coverage exhibit that Southeast Asia was once perceived as a quarter together with jointly cooperating new states, instead of a fragmented mass. A significant other quantity to Tarling's Britain, Southeast Asia and the Onset of the Pacific struggle (CUP, 1996), this e-book is a big contribution to the diplomatic and political heritage of Southeast Asia.
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Furthermore, 'both our short-term and our long-term interests lie in the willing cooperation of a genuinely friendly Siamese Government'. An effective rice scheme required its collaboration. Future trade depended on Siamese goodwill. Britain had to rely, too, 'on the cooperation of a stable and friendly Siamese Government in measures for the defence of South-East Asia'. An agreement with a friendly government would not be like an armistice involving unconditional surrender. It would have not only to liquidate the war, but to provide a framework for cooperation after it.
Over Indo-China they were divided, and their decision was not made easier by the legacy of the French and divisions among the Vietnamese. France had been unwilling to deal with THE RETURN OF THE FRENCH TO INDO-CHINA 39 moderates, and that had helped to tie the nationalist cause to the communist cause. With the communists, Japan could have nothing to do, but they were able to strengthen themselves in the countryside. The Japanese did not take up the cause of the Nguyen pretender Cuong De. The emperor Bao Dai's chances were limited by the attitude of Ngo Dinh Diem.
One difference was, of course, that until the discovery of large oil reserves it was of far less economic value. British political intervention had been reluctant, and might quite likely not have occurred but for the initiative of James Brooke. The British government established a colony only on the island of Labuan. The Brooke raj in Sarawak, the remnant of the sultanate of Brunei, and the state of North Borneo, administered by a chartered company under grants from the Sultans of Brunei and Sulu of 1878, were given protection under agreements made in 1888.