Besides the People's Republic of China, discussed in the previous chapter, communist parties exist throughout the rest of Asia. In some of these nations they have been able to form governments, particularly in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, Mongolia, and Afghanistan. I shall survey these Asian communist parties and governments in this chapter. I will also examine in passing the communist parties of Australia and New Zealand, before addressing the communist parties in the Middle East.
Ho Chi Minh, a revolutionary pseudonym meaning “the Enlightener, ” whose real name was Nguyen Tat Thanh (1890-1969), was the founder of the Indochinese Communist Party. He was born on May 19, 1890, in the village of Kimlien, Annam, in central Vietnam, the son of an official who had resigned from his post in protest over French imperial control of Indochina. Attending school in Hue, Ho went on to teach briefly at a private school in Phan Thiet, became a cook on a French steamship, and then went to sea. Arriving in Paris after World War I using the pseudonym Nguyen Ai Quoc (Nguyen the Patriot), he joined the newly formed French Communist Party in 1920 and was sent to Moscow for advanced training. He was sent to Canton, China, in 1924 to assist a Comintern agent, the Russian-born Mikhail Borodin (1884-1951), a former Chicago schoolteacher. Ho Chi Minh was put in charge of Indochinese affairs. 1 His job