By T. Smith
British international coverage in the direction of Vietnam illustrates the evolution of Britain's place inside of international geopolitics, 1943-1950. It displays the switch of the Anglo-US courting from equality to dependence, and demonstrates Britain's altering organization with its colonies and with the opposite ecu imperial spheres inside of southeast Asia.
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Additional info for Britain and the Origins of the Vietnam War: UK Policy in Indo-China, 1943–50
However, Britain reacted badly to the trusteeship debate. 254 The Foreign Ofﬁce was openly sympathetic to the Free French cause and feared that the French were blatantly being left out of policy and the decision-making process by the US. The French were convinced of US plots and obstruction against them in many areas during the Second World War. Britain rightly suspected that trusteeship for French Indo-China would be only a ﬁrst step and that Roosevelt would use this precedent to dictate trusteeship to other colonial areas including Hong Kong.
Unfortunately Roosevelt did not have an opportunity to reply as he died the next day. Roosevelt’s death and the ascension of Vice-President Harry Truman to the presidency marked a watershed in US policy and Indo-China in particular. Truman replied to Churchill that Wedemeyer had reported that Mountbatten had agreed to notify Wedemeyer of operations. But Wedemeyer had introduced a new element to the debate that operations could not be actioned until approved by Chiang Kai-Shek, and if SEAC operations could not be integrated with China Theatre plans then Mountbatten would have to withdraw the proposals.
Britain rightly suspected that trusteeship for French Indo-China would be only a ﬁrst step and that Roosevelt would use this precedent to dictate trusteeship to other colonial areas including Hong Kong. Roosevelt had to be careful not to Churchill and Roosevelt, January 1943–July 1945 35 draw the other colonial powers into an alliance with Britain over trusteeship and in Britain Churchill was worried that Indo-China and Foreign Ofﬁce concern for the French would get in the way of his special relationship with Roosevelt.
Britain and the Origins of the Vietnam War: UK Policy in Indo-China, 1943–50 by T. Smith