Diplomacy: Tales of the South Pacific

Tales of the South Pacific

Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze last week became the first top Soviet diplomat to visit Thailand, Australia and Indonesia in 25 years. The foray was another step in Mikhail Gorbachev's policy, announced last July in Vladivostok, of making the Soviet Union a major political and economic force in the Pacific.

In Australia, Shevardnadze sought to remove "reefs of apprehension and suspicion" about Soviet activity in the South Pacific by insisting that his country seeks only normal diplomatic and commercial relations. Despite his avowed desire for peace and stability, Southeast Asian nations expressed concern over Soviet support of Hanoi, which invaded Kampuchea...