East Asia 1955: End of Soviet Influence in China
The Korean War was effectively ended with a formal ceasefire in 1953. With the immediate threat from the West over, the People's Republic began to move away from its dependence on the Soviet Union. In 1954, it terminated the Soviet concessions in Xinjiang and in October 1955 the USSR returned full control of Port Arthur/Dairen to China.
28 Apr 1952 End of occupation of Japan▲
The Treaty of San Francisco went into effect, officially ending the Allied occupation of Japan and in principle restoring Japanese sovereignty. However the treaty contained amendments allowing the United States to intervene in Japanese domestic quarrels, restricting Japan’s independence. These amendments were deleted when the treaty was revised in 1960. The US continued to maintain control of the island chains of Okinawa and Iwo Jima until 1968 and Okinawa until 1972.
27 Jul 1953 Korean Armistice Agreement▲
On 27 July 1953 at 10am, Nam Il, representing the Korean People’s Army and the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, and William K. Harrison Jr., representing the United Nations Command, signed the Korean Armistice Agreement, ending hostilities in the Korean War. The armistice established the Korean Demilitarized Zone—a 4 km-wide fortified buffer zone between North and South Korea which would effectively replace the 38th parallel as the boundary between the two nations.
13 Mar–7 May 1954 Battle of Dien Bien Phu▲
Viet Minh forces, using masses of artillery transported across difficult terrain, bombarded the heavily defended French outpost at Dien Bien Phu in remote northwest Vietnam. Unable to successfully counterattack and able to be supplied only by air, the French garrison held its ground in an almost two-month siege before being forced to surrender. The loss of Dien Bien Phu and its 20,000 defenders resulted in the resignation of the French government and the French withdrawal from Indochina.
21 Jul 1954 Partition of Vietnam▲
By the terms of the Geneva Conference ending the First Indochina War, Vietnam was partitioned into two zones—a Viet Minh controlled zone in the north and a zone controlled by the State of Vietnam in the south. The zones were separated by a provisional military demarcation line roughly following the 17th parallel, with a 4.8 km demilitarized zone on each side of this line. The partition was meant to be temporary until nationwide elections could be held to unify the country under a common government.
11 Oct 1955 Return of Dairen▲
Having agreed to transfer the port to the People’s Republic of China without compensation in 1950, Soviet troops left Dairen (formerly Port Arthur, now Lüshun).