Political map of East Asia and the Western Pacific 09 November 1989 (End of the Cold War): Despite the communist gains (Fall of Saigon), 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 (Japanese post-war economic miracle). The new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, responded to this and other challenges with huge political (Glasnost) and economic reforms (Perestroika), ending the backing of communist regimes worldwide. Losing Soviet support, Vietnam withdrew from Cambodia in 1989 (Cambodian-Vietnamese War).