Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: by Matthew Jones

By Matthew Jones

This attention-grabbing research appears on the origins, outbreak and process the Indonesian-Malaysian war of words of 1963-1966, in the context of British and American regulations in South East Asia through the Nineteen Sixties as a complete. Matthew Jones makes use of new archival resources to throw clean gentle on such topics as British Colonial coverage and the production of Malaysia, Anglo-American tensions over the war of words itself, and the international relations of that vital, yet frequently ignored, overseas dispute.

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Additional info for Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States, Indonesia and the Creation of Malaysia

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Faced with a ‘Cyprus situation’ the United Kingdom Government would have difficult decisions to make on whether it should hold on to the base by repression or leave the island. 48 Some officials were even coming to believe that the only long-term answer to the problem of Singapore’s future lay with a drastic scaling-back of the British military presence in South East Asia, obviating the need to maintain the base in its present form. In April 1956, Sir Robert Scott had put forward the notion to the Prime Minister, Anthony Eden, that ‘the main British contribution to the maintenance of Commonwealth and Free World interests in South East and Eastern Asia should take the form of a vigorous peace-time and cold war policy rather than concentrations of forces’.

To add to the fissures within the Indonesian political scene, in 1952 Masjumi split, with the conservative Nahdatul Islam breaking off to form another party, and taking with it much of Masjumi’s base in central and eastern Java. Meanwhile, the PKI, under the leadership of Dipa Nusantara Aidit, was staging a remarkable resurgence after its abortive 1948 rising and building a mass base among the abangan villagers on Java. In the 1955 parliamentary elections none of the main parties managed to achieve a majority, only adding to popular disillusionment with the political process.

See Benedict O. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (London, 1991), 176–7. 14 Conflict and confrontation in South East Asia of the Indonesian archipelago, and maintained that a nascent Papuan self-consciousness should be left to develop free from incorporation in Indonesia (though the Dutch case was hardly helped by the minimal efforts made to develop self-governing institutions or indigenous political parties in West Irian, at least until 1960). 37 The Americans, however, preferred not to break with their European NATO ally on this crucial matter, and as a result it proved more difficult for them to win favour among ruling circles in Jakarta.

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