This book, first published in 1995, traces the attempt by the British Foreign Office to establish an international regional organisation in South-East Asia which would allow Britain to dominate the region politically, economically and militarily. The author explores the changing emphasis of Britain's regional policies and puts the issues affecting South-East Asia in the post-War period into a wide context. He explores events in the light of the Japanese defeat in the Second World War, the Communist struggle for supremacy of China, the development of Anglo-American relations in Asia and the beginnings of the Cold War.
1. Return to South East Asia 1.1. Wartime Planning and Diplomacy 1.2. The Dilemma of Peace in South East Asia 1.3. ‘Famine Averted’: the Special Commission in Singapore 1.4. Regional Cooperation and Regional Defence 2. Asian Nationalism 2.1. India, Vietnam and the Limits of Colonial Cooperation 2.2. Singapore and the ‘Radiation of British Influence’ 2.3. Regional Competition: India and Australia 2.4. Regional Competition: the United Nations and ENCAFE 2.5. Western Union and South East Asia 3. Communism 3.1. Cold War and Commonwealth 3.2. Enter the Dragon: South East Asia and the Chinese Civil War 3.3. Regional Cooperation and Regional Containment 3.4. The Final Stages of Regional Planning 3.5. To Colombo and Beyond