The Cold War in East Asia, 1945–1991 studies Asia as a second front in the Cold War, examining how the six powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Japan, and North and South Korea—interacted with one another and forged the conditions that were distinct from the Cold War in Europe. The contributors are among the foremost historians of the new Cold War history, and this book draws on a wide array of newly available archival information in many languages, with particular strength in the use of Russian and Chinese archival material. The Cold War in East Asia shows how as a second front the Cold War in East Asia influenced the shape of the Cold War’s first front—the East-West confrontation centering in Europe—and third front in the developing world.

Each chapter, while focused on particular countries and particular time spans, situates its story within a broad overview. And the volume stresses the uniqueness of the region’s historical experience and explains how it serves as the background to some of the key conflicts in East Asia today.

Tsuyoshi Hasegawa is Professor of History at University of California, Santa Barbara.


A Note on Spelling, Transliteration, and Names

Introduction: East Asia—the Second Significant Front of the Cold War
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa

1. Struggles for Modernity: The Golden Years of the Sino-Soviet Alliance
Odd Arne Westad

2. The Second Front of the Soviet Cold War: Asia in the System of Moscow’s Foreign Policy Priorities, 1945–1956
Ilya V. Gaiduk

3. Reorienting the Cold War: The Implications of China’s Early Cold War Experience, Taking Korea as a Central Test Case
Chen Jian

4. Military Occupation and Empire Building in Cold War Asia: The United States and Korea, 1945–1955
Steven Hugh Lee

5. Kim Il Sung’s Balancing Act between Moscow and Beijing, 1956–1972
Nobuo Shimotomai

6. Chinese Foreign Policy, 1960–1979
Lorenz Lüthi

7. Japan’s Foreign Policy under Détente: Relations with China and the Soviet Union, 1971–1973
Kazuhiko Togo

8. A Strategic Quadrangle: The Superpowers and the Sino-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1977–1978
Tsuyoshi Hasegawa

9. Korea’s Great Divergence: North and South Korea between 1972 and 1987
Gregg Brazinsky

10. Gorbachev’s Policy toward East Asia, 1985–1991
Vladislav Zubok

11. Inertia and Change: Soviet Policy toward Korea,1985–1991
Sergey Radchenko


“The book consists of eleven essays on various aspects of the Cold War in Asia, plus a lengthy and informative introduction by Tsuyoshi Hasegawa.… Together they constitute a remarkable, pioneering work about the Cold War in Asia based on a remarkably broad range of mostly newly available archival materials in Russia, China, Japan, and Korea. This is first-rate international history.… In conclusion, this volume represents major accomplishments. All of the included essays are based on serious research in Asian and Russian primary sources. They deepen our understanding of the inner workings of all the countries involved and are well written.… All in all, the authors deserve our congratulations for putting together such a stimulating group of essays, and Tsuyoshi Hasegawa deserves our gratitude for putting it all together.”—Kenton Clymer, Journal of Northeast Asian History

“A studious and scholarly work from many historians and thinkers.… The Cold War in East Asia, 1945–1991 is a fascinating and scholarly study of the era and its impact that will be felt for many years to come. Highly recommended.”—Midwest Book Review

“This edited volume provides a wealth of new information coming from fresh research in Japanese, American, East European, U.S., and Chinese archival and primary sources. This is an important contribution to the state of the field.”—Christopher Goscha, University of Quebec at Montreal

“There is, clearly, a real need for a book of this sort and it will doubtless be welcomed by scholars in all of those fields, as well as international/diplomatic historians more broadly and area specialists and comparativists in Political Science.”—Robert McMahon, Ohio State University