1994 年 1994 巻 107 号 p. 11-29,L6
The article deals with the impact of the Vietnam War on the major trends of international relations in the mid-1960s as well as the influence of interactions among the major countries on the war. Charles de Gaulle of France, in his attempt to pursue a more independent policy, played a sigificant role in setting in motion those forces that promoted polycentrism in the Western world. France's recognition of China in January 1964 as well as its efforts to improve relations with the Soviet Union in the mid-1960s was part of de Gaulle's desire to play a more assertive and important role in world politics. The Vietnam war provided him with a unique opportunity to achieve such a goal by acting as a mediator between the United States and the Communist countries. However, France's mediating role was increasingly regarded by Washington policy makers as an obstacle to the U. S. objectives in Vietnam and the free world. Thus de Gaulle's assertion of more independence within the free world. France was not alone in criticizing the expansion of U. S. war efforts as the other Western allies did not consider Vietnam as crucial to their national interests. In this sense, the war contributed to further decentralization within the Western world.
Communist China played the role in the Communist world that France did in the Western world. China's challenge to the Soviet leadership in the international Communist movement contributed to the decentralization of power in the structure of world politics. The Vietnam war contributed to such a trend as the war exacerbated the rivalry between Moscow and Peking. The U. S. escalation of the war ran counter to Washington's expectations as both China and the Soviet Union intensified their assistance to Hanoi but it also wided the conflict between the two communist countries because both of them wanted to increase their influence on Hanoi in their increasingly bitter struggle for leadership in the international Communist movement at the expense of the other. The intensification of the Sino-Soviet conflict put Norht Vietnam's leadership in a very difficult position as they needed their material and political support in winning the war against the United States and South Vietnam. The way out of the difficulty was to maintain an equidistance from Moscow and Peking. Thus the war, the Sino-Soviet conflict, and the subsequent polarization of the Communist world are all closely interrelated.
The war in Vietnam and the U. S. escalation of the war efforts also contributed to ‘freezing’ the U. S. -Soviet detente that had been explored by Nikita Krushchev after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. It was ironic for the United States that, on the one hand, the escalation of the war left no choice for Moscow and Peking but to increase their support to Hanoi and made the U. S. war efforts increasingly costly but, on the other hand, it aggravated the Sino-Soviet conflict to the point where by late 1966 both China and the Soviet Union began to look upon each other as more threatening than the United States. Even though China and the United States considered each other as the major enemy and the U. S. -Soviet relations remained frozen as long as the Vietnam War continued, there emerged signs by late 1966 that began to move Moscow and Peking toward improving relations with Washington. It was the ongoing Vietnam war that kept Moscow and Peking from moving away from assistance to Hanoi as well as from improving relations between Washington, on the one hand, and Peking and Moscow, on the other, throughout the 1960s. The war also contributed to the erosion of the Cold War bipolar structure.