For Southeast Asia, as for the West, the end of the Cold War was a seminal event. The region had been a major Cold War battleground. Communism was a clear and present danger to the survival of regimes and, in the case of Cambodia, to the very existence of a people and culture. Marxism left its mark in the three wars and failed economies of Indochina; in the mid-1960s upheaval in Indonesia; as a contribution to societal disruption in Burma, Malaya, and the Philippines; and, even to a degree, in the militarization of some Southeast Asian polities. The collapse of Soviet power meant the withdrawal of the Russian Pacific Fleet back to port and the end of subventions to the Vietnamese economy. In 1989, the Vietnamese army ended its occupation of Cambodia. In the Philippines, the communist New People's Army began to ebb. The Khmer Rouge became politically isolated and ineffective in the early-1990s. Thus, for the first time, the Southeast Asian countries faced no major security threats from within or without the region.
Asian Perspectives on the Challenges of China: Papers from the Asia-Pacific Symposium, March 7 and 8, 2000, p.39-48