The Imminent Proto Cold War Standoff in the Western Pacific Rim, 1945-1949

Lunch talk by Kuan-Jen Chen, Postdoc at the Asian Dynamics Initiative and the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen.


While the scholarship on Cold War History is well-trodden, the questions of the outbreak of the Cold War in East Asia, when, how and why, have been controversial. By shifting the historical platform from land to sea, this lunch talk challenges conventional narratives of the origins of the Cold War in East Asia. In this talk, I argue that the perception of threat from Moscow led the US Navy to evolve in a “forward-deployed, offensive and mainland based advance strategic thinking.” America’s naval presence in the Yellow Sea and its headquarters of the Seventh Fleet in Qingdao of North China marked that the tincture of Cold War standoff between Washington and Moscow loomed ahead in the western Pacific rim. The watchtower observing the scene of proto Cold War status in East Asia was not either in the oval office or in the Kremlin Senate, but in the forefront of maritime space where could unveil the US-USSR deadlock behind diplomatic languages. 

Kuan-Jen ChenBio

Dr Kuan-Jen Chen is the ADI-NIAS Postdoctoral Research Fellow. His research focuses on Cold War history, modern East Asian  history, and US foreign policy. Dr Chen is currently finalising his book manuscript: The Making of America’s Maritime Order in Cold War East Asia: Sovereignty, Local Interests, and International Security. Kuan-Jen also published his academic journal articles in English, Chinese, and Japanese.


This is a hybrid event.
Join us in room 4.2.49 at CSS or sign up here to receive Zoom link

Coming lunch talks at NIAS

  • 2 December: Myunghee Lee

The format is 20-30 minutes presentation followed by discussion. Feel free to bring your own lunch.