Rise of China

Asian Economic Powers

East Asia 2014.0618

Rise of China

Chimerica, Asian Tigers, Dragon Economies (18 June 2014)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

Gorbachev's reforms led to the collapse of the Soviet Union and a decade of stagnation in Russia, but China's more gradual road to capitalism after the death of Mao proved more successful. By 2011, aided by the restoration of Hong Kong and Macau in the 1990s, it had overtaken Japan economically and seemed poised to return to its old role as the dominant power in Asia.

Main Events

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

On the morning of 25 December 1991, in a nationally televised speech, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, declaring the office extinct and ceding all its powers to Russian president Boris Yeltsin. At 7:32 pm that night, the Soviet flag was lowered for the last time in Moscow and the Russian tricolor raised in its place, symbolically marking the end to the Soviet Union and the independence of the eleven remaining Soviet republics.

Asian financial crisis

Starting in Thailand with the collapse of the Thai baht, a financial crisis spreads across the 'tiger' economies of East and Southeast Asia. The biggest impact is on Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand, but Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines are also deeply affected. The crisis ends about a decade of growth in the region and puts pressure on the economies of the Pacific Rim.

Hong Kong returned to China

Great Britain transfers sovereignty over Hong Kong to People's Republic of China

East Timorese crisis

After 78.5 percent of voters choose independence from Indonesia in the East Timorese independence referendum of 30 August 1999, violence erupts in East Timor. Anti-independence paramilitary groups attack people and set fires in the capital of Dili, prompting foreigners to flee the country and tens of thousands of East Timorese to take to the mountains. In response to Western condemnation of the violence, Indonesia agrees to withdraw its troops from East Timor and accept an international peacekeeping force in its stead.

Macau returned to China

Portugal transfers sovereignty over Macau to People's Republic of China

Subprime mortgage crisis in the US

North Korean nuclear tests succeed

Democratic People's Republic of Korea detonates a nuclear device underground, making its first successful nuclear test

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