Wen-Qing Ngoei presented on behalf of the Yale MacMillan Center on October 23rd. The following is the Center’s description.
Major studies of American foreign relations treat U.S. failures in Vietnam as the end of both a short-lived American empire and western imperialism in Southeast Asia. Ngoei argues that Vietnam was an exception to the region痴 overall pro-U.S. trajectory after 1945, that British neocolonialism and Southeast Asian anticommunism melded with preexisting local antipathy toward China and the Chinese diaspora to usher the region from formal colonialism to U.S. hegemony. By the 1970s, Southeast Asia痴 anticommunist nationalists had established, with U.S. support, a geostrategic arc of states that contained Vietnam and China.
Wen-Qing Ngoei is assistant professor of history at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. He completed his PhD at Northwestern University and, before joining NTU, did postdoctoral stints at Northwestern and Yale University. Ngoei痴 book, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia (Cornell, 2019), argues that British decolonization intertwined with Southeast Asian anticommunism to shape U.S. policy in the wider region. He has published in Diplomatic History (2017) and his prize-winning essay on the domino theory appears in the Journal of American-East Asian Relations (2014).