Although the writing had been on the (literal) wall since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the collapse of the Soviet Union was only made official in December 1991 though the Belavezha Accords, which announced that “the USSR, as a subject of international law and a geopolitical reality, is ceasing its existence.” With that, the Soviet Union was no more and the Cold War was over, removing the single largest impetus driving foreign policy decisions around the world.
To mark the 30th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, The Diplomat has gathered five experts to explore the legacy of the USSR and the impact of its collapse on China, India, Japan, the Koreas, and Vietnam. Whether allies or enemies of the Soviet Union, each of these states underwent their own major economic, political, and diplomatic transformations in the years after the USSR was dissolved. In ways both obvious and subtle, the Soviet legacy remains relevant across Asia.
With contributions from:
- Kawashima Shin, a professor at the University of Tokyo specializing in modern Chinese diplomatic history.
- Swapna Kona Nayudu, an associate at the Harvard University Asia Center and an associate at the National University of Singapore’s Asia Research Institute.
- James D.J. Brown, an associate professor of Political Science at Temple University, Japan Campus.
- Se Young Jang, an assistant professor of Korean Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands.
- Khang Vu, a doctoral student in the Political Science Department at Boston College.