The San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Regional Conflicts

The Cold War legacies1

Authored by: Kimie Hara

Routledge Handbook of Memory and Reconciliation in East Asia

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415835138
eBook ISBN: 9780203740323
Adobe ISBN: 9781135009212


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The emergence of the Cold War was a process in which the character of Soviet-US relations was transformed from cooperation to confrontation. With respect to the international order in East Asia, the Yalta blueprint was transformed into the “San Francisco System.” The US-UK-USSR Yalta Agreement of February 1945 became the basis for the post–World War II order in Europe. Following a series of East-West tensions, notably the communization of Eastern Europe and the division of Germany, the Yalta System was consolidated in Europe, and the status quo received international recognition in the 1975 Helsinki Accord. By the early 1990s, however, the Yalta System had collapsed, accompanied by significant changes such as the democratization of Eastern Europe, the independence of the Baltic States, the reunification of Germany, and the demise of the Soviet Union. Since then, many have viewed “collapse of the Yalta System” as synonymous with the “end of the Cold War.”

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