By Peter Lowe (auth.)
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Additional resources for Contending with Nationalism and Communism: British Policy Towards Southeast Asia, 1945–65
104 Mountbatten proposed withdrawal of British and Indian forces in three stages, the first two being completed by the end of January 1946. The last British forces departed in March 1946: all concerned in SEAC and in London breathed a collective sigh of relief that British casualties were minimal. Friction had occurred at times in exchanges between the British and French but at least divergence did not become as serious as occurred in Indonesia. British officials had little faith in the ability of the French to achieve a solution.
Politically the main challenges came from the Viet Nam Quoc Dan Dang (VNQDD) and the Indochina Communist Party (ICP). The VNQDD was inspired by the precedent of the Kuomintang in China: it was savagely suppressed by the French following an abortive rising in 1930. The ICP was established in 1930: it replaced several earlier ephemeral organisations. 87 Ho Chi Minh was the man destined to become world renowned as the leader of the ICP. Ho was born in 1893, the son of a mandarin who had served the royal family in Hue.
54 Their discussion was cordial and Rance assured Aung San that Britain desired rapid progress. 55 Rumours of a communist rising alarmed Rance and Aung San. An attempt to assassinate U Saw was made, which Saw attributed to youth members of AFPFL. A Karen mission visited London to press the case for further concessions. 56 Rance was concerned to keep the AFPFL within the Council in Rangoon. One fundamental issue was whether Burma would remain within the Commonwealth upon securing independence. 59 Attlee made a statement in the House of Commons on 20 December 1946.