The Cold War came to an end in 1989. In Europe, this was symbolized by the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Asia, it was marked by the withdrawal of Vietnam from Cambodia and the signing of an agreement between the Communist Party of Malaysia (CPM) and the Malaysian and Thai governments by which the CPM was dismantled. Although vestiges of the Cold War lingered on in the Korean peninsula and the Taiwan Strait, communism was no longer seen as the threat to the region it had once been. Just as the Cold War was a major factor in the rise of Asia’s first three waves of ‘miracle’ economies, so its demise also had a significant effect. The international context within which the successful Asian economies had achieved their rapid rates of growth changed in very important ways. And these changes, in turn, had an impact on the domestic dynamics that shaped each Asian country’s economic and political life.
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