Southeast Asia in the Coming World

Southeast Asia in the Coming World

Southeast Asia in the Coming World

Southeast Asia in the Coming World

Excerpt

Southeast Asia is an area little known to Americans. We have had warm sentiments for the people who live there. Yet our understanding of them, their culture, their legal systems, and their customs has not been profound. Southeast Asia has not been well known even to the people who live there. They have been mostly oriented to the metropole of some Western power--the Vietnamese to Paris, the Burmese and Malays to London, the Filipinos to Washington, D.C., and the Indonesians to Amsterdam.

Today Southeast Asia is undergoing a new orientation. The independence movements among nations have established new governments in that region. Those governments are confronted with staggering problems; and all of them are experiencing the dangers of the vortex of politics which the Communists generate. The sturdiness of the independence movements, the proven ability of people without prior experience to govern themselves, the increasing awareness among Asians of the dangers of Soviet imperialism--these add up to solid achievements among the peoples of Southeast Asia since the end of World War II. But the area--rich in people and in resources and a prize for the Soviet empire builders-- will long be turbulent and uneasy. It will also need for years to come help and guidance in solving problems as perplexing as those which any Western country has ever known.

We must therefore come to know and understand the region and its people. The ties of language, customs, literature, and blood which we have had with Europe are lacking in the East. It will therefore take great efforts to bridge the gap. The task is one for educators, scientists, businessmen, diplomats, and scholars in all branches of knowledge. The . . .

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