Why was Communism much more popular in Indochina than in the rest of Southeast Asia?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,131
SoCal
#1
Why was Communism much more popular in Indochina than in the rest of Southeast Asia?

After all, Communists managed to seize power in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia during the Cold War but not in any other Southeast Asian countries. Indeed, while Communists even managed to bleed and exhaust the U.S. in Vietnam in order to achieve victory there, Communism failed to achieve anywhere near the kind of success that it achieved in Indochina anywhere else in Southeast Asia.

Indeed, what exactly are the reasons for Communism's success in Indochina and lack of success everywhere else in Southeast Asia?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,412
Republika Srpska
#2
Well, Thailand was influenced by the number of anti-Communist Prime Ministers like Plaek, Sarit and Thanom. Also Thailand Communists were not as strong as those in neoghbouring countries. They had insurgencies but not enough to topple the government. Thailand was never colonized and many Communist movements (Maoists, Vietnamese) really came to prominence by fighting foreign occupiers. This couldn't happen in Thailand.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,131
SoCal
#3
Well, Thailand was influenced by the number of anti-Communist Prime Ministers like Plaek, Sarit and Thanom. Also Thailand Communists were not as strong as those in neoghbouring countries. They had insurgencies but not enough to topple the government. Thailand was never colonized and many Communist movements (Maoists, Vietnamese) really came to prominence by fighting foreign occupiers. This couldn't happen in Thailand.
Your point about Communism being an anti-colonialist struggle certainly makes sense considering that Communists were officially anti-imperialism and whatnot. However, in spite of their history of colonialism, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burma didn't become Communist like the countries of Indochina did.

Indeed, what exactly accounts for this discrepancy and variation?
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,412
Republika Srpska
#4
Your point about Communism being an anti-colonialist struggle certainly makes sense considering that Communists were officially anti-imperialism and whatnot. However, in spite of their history of colonialism, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burma didn't become Communist like the countries of Indochina did.

Indeed, what exactly accounts for this discrepancy and variation?
They all had Communist movements which the government fought. Burma was even ruled by a quasi-leftist government under Ne Win. However, the "true" Burmese Communists were often disunited. Similar splits occured in the Philippine Communist ranks. The point is that most Southeast Asian countries had Communist movements and fought against them, but the governments were able to prevail. In many cases, anti-communist leaders would conduct purges of the Communists, like Suharto did in Indonesia.
 
Likes: Futurist
Feb 2016
575
ROK
#5
Another factor is the military arms sent by the two Communist giants. Note that those countries (Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia) are next to or nearby China, making it easier for China and the Soviet Union to support them.
 
Last edited:
Likes: Futurist

Devdas

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
4,716
India
#7
Your point about Communism being an anti-colonialist struggle certainly makes sense considering that Communists were officially anti-imperialism and whatnot. However, in spite of their history of colonialism, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Burma didn't become Communist like the countries of Indochina did.

Indeed, what exactly accounts for this discrepancy and variation?
Burma was decolonized in 1948. Compared to that French wanted to keep their control in Indo-China. Besides, communism flourishes in places where there is discrimination and poverty as its portrayed as an instant solution to human woes.
 
Likes: Futurist