The Soviet Union and Southeast Asia.
Over the last three decades the Soviet Union has made undeniable progress in establishing itself as a great power with which the countries of Southeast Asia will want to have diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations. It has also succeeded in overcoming the image of a center of world revolution, which equated a Soviet presence with the imminent danger of subversion. The most spectacular Soviet effort--the attempt to establish an intimate relationship with Indonesia in the early 1960s--failed, and the outcome of the subsequent attempt to create special bonds with North Vietnam is yet to be seen. But the Soviets' precarious economy will prevent them from playing a major role in developing Southeast Asia. The prospect of an increasingly dynamic PRC will no doubt force them to forgo costly short-term gains in Southeast Asia and concentrate their efforts on the creation of favorable conditions to counter China's growing strength. 30 pp.