Asia Pacific 1989: End of the Cold War
Despite the communist gains, the 1970s was an era of unprecedented economic growth for the capitalist nations of East Asia, with Japan surpassing the Soviet Union to become the world's second largest economy by the early 1980s. The new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, responded to this and other challenges with huge political and economic reforms, ending the backing of communist regimes worldwide. Losing Soviet support, Vietnam withdrew from Cambodia in 1989.
12 Jul 1979 Kiribati Independence▲
The Gilbert Islands becomes independent from the United Kingdom as the Independent and Sovereign Republic of Kiribati ("Kiribati" is the Gilbertese rendition of "Gilberts"), under 29 year old President Ieremia Tabai. Following this, the United States gives up its claims to 14 islands of the Line and Phoenix chains in the 1979 Treaty of Tarawa.
1 Jan 1984 Independence of Brunei▲
Brunei becomes independent of Great Britain
11 Mar 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev▲
Following the deaths in quick succession of Supreme Leaders Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, and Konstantin Chernenko, the Politburo appointed its youngest member, Mikhail Gorbachev, as the new General Secretary.
26 Mar–25 May 1989 Soviet legislative election▲
First democratic elections held in the Soviet Union to elect the Congress of People's Deputies
Apr–26 Sep 1989 Vietnam withdraws from Cambodia▲
Vietnam withdraws its troops from Cambodia, ending the Cambodian-Vietnamese War
21 May–9 Jun 1989 Crackdown in Tiananmen Square▲
Chinese People's Liberation Army suppresses protestors in Tiananmen Square