End of the Cold War

Asian Economic Powers

East Asia 1989.1109

End of the Cold War

Chimerica, Asian Tigers, Dragon Economies (9 November 1989)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

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.

Main Events

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.

Independence of Brunei

Brunei becomes independent of Great Britain

Mikhail Gorbachev becomes General Secretary of the Communist Party and effective leader of the Soviet Union

First democratic elections held in the Soviet Union to elect the Congress of People's Deputies

Vietnam withdraws from Cambodia

Vietnam withdraws its troops from Cambodia, ending the Cambodian-Vietnamese War

Crackdown in Tiananmen Square

Chinese People's Liberation Army suppresses protestors in Tiananmen Square

About this map