By T. Smith
British overseas coverage in the direction of Vietnam illustrates the evolution of Britain's place inside of global 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 eu imperial spheres inside southeast Asia.
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Additional info for Britain and the Origins of the Vietnam War: UK Policy in Indo-China, 1943–50
The situation appeared to be locked in a stalemate requiring resolution at a higher level. Churchill ﬁnally seemed to want to resolve the dispute. He asked Eden ‘had we not better talk this over in Cairo with Mountbatten’? Yet, aware of Roosevelt’s likely reaction to the proposals, Churchill appeared reluctant to act. He advised Eden to ‘draft a telegram to the President at your leisure’. Churchill would have to approve any draft and did not intend to do so in the near future. 112 Hollis wrote to Churchill advising that the COS recommended that Churchill ask Roosevelt to agree to the French mission and participation in the war in the Far East.
The Potsdam Conference was about to throw Britain into greater involvement in the Indo-China issue with the potential boundary change from China Theatre to SEAC and the possibility of Allied liberation duties. 2 Liberation, July 1945–March 1946 The Potsdam Conference charged Britain with ALF duties in Southern French Indo-China. It would be a mistake to blame the British ALF Commander, Major-General Gracey, for the complex nature of the events that unfolded during these duties in Saigon. Britain did not unilaterally restore the French in Indo-China.
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.