Since the end of the Korean war, the United States has been attempting to build defenses in Asia that will withstand Communist assaults whether they come in the form of further military aggression, subversion and guerrilla warfare or, under the guise of peace, as economic and political competition.
These efforts failed to prevent the 1954 Geneva settlement of France's lengthy war in Indo-China, an agreement that had serious shortcomings in American eyes.
Washington's policy-makers, have made headway elsewhere, but it is still too early to determine whether they will be successful in achieving the strength, stability, and peace we seek in Asia. Throughout 1955 there has been the continued Chinese Communist threat of renewed hostilities in the Formosa Straits and a possible attack on the island stronghold of the Republic of China, the Chinese government which we continue to recognize and which still holds China's seat in the United Nations. Other unsolved issues heighten tension between the United States and Red China, including Peiping's continued imprisonment of American civilians.
There have been two important developments in United States efforts to deal with the challenges of Asia. One has been the negotiation of new treaties; the other the renewal and broadening of our foreign aid program in the Far East.
The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization--SEATO--is an attempt to repeat the success of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in the Pacific. The SEATO treaty, signed in September 1954, was designed to provide the "united action" that might help prevent another Indo-China. Its drawback was that it failed to win the support of important Asian nations including India, Indonesia and Burma.