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James I. MatrayEditor-in-Chief, jmatray@csuchico.edu

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Next January will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that ended direct U.S. military involvement in Vietnam War. Thereafter, most Americans and their political leaders in Washington wanted to forget about Southeast Asia to avoid a repetition of what they had concluded was a disaster. Indeed, two years later in 1975, as North Vietnamese forces laid siege to Saigon, Congress rejected pleas from the Ford administration to appropriate $722 million in aid to the South Vietnam government. Hanoi’s victory opened a new era in the history of Southeast Asia. This theme issue titled “Persistence and Transformation in Southeast Asia: Region, Nation, and Diaspora beyond the U.S. War in Vietnam” presents three articles describing how Southeast Asia’s leaders acted to redefine the region in response to the U.S. retreat. The authors submitted earlier versions of these essays virtually in June 2021 at the annual conference of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. Wen-Qing Ngoei of Singapore Management University deserves praise for organizing this incisive panel. Mark Atwood Lawrence of the University of Texas at Austin served as chair and commentator and Jana K. Lipton of Tulane University delivered a fourth paper for the session which had the title “Southeast Asia after Vietnam: Persistence and Transformation.” As guest editors, Lawrence and Lipton have skillfully guided the process of extensively revising the three papers in this issue. Each volume of the Journal of American-East Asian Relations will have at least one theme issue, but as a bonus, this year’s has two. Peter Mauch of Western Sydney University was guest editor for the other theme issue in 2022 titled “A Guide to Research on World War ii in East Asia: Primary Sources in the British Commonwealth, China, and Japan.” The editor-in-chief welcomes the receipt of proposals for future theme issues.

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