17 October 1945. On orders from Lt. Col. Murray, Allied Supreme Commander for Cambodia, Japanese troops in Phnom Penh disarm the Green Shirts, a nationalist militia formed three months earlier. The same day, the king’s uncle, Prince Sisowath Monireth, replaces the detained Son Ngoc Thanh as prime minister. Two days later, a new six-man cabinet is sworn in with very few changes in its make-up but with an informal mandate to negotiate with the French.
17 October 1945. Civilian administration is restored under Governor Dorman-Smith in accordance with the British government White Paper for the reconstruction and rule of postwar Burma. During his discussions with Aung San on the country’s post-war governance and plans for an Executive Council, Aung San demands a decisive AFPFL role: 11 of the 15 positions on the council. Negotiations will fail due to a lack of will on the part of Dorman-Smith. The governor also does not recognize the AFPFL as a national mass organization representing the people of Burma.
17 October 1945. Chinese government forces land at Kirun (now Keelung) in northern Taiwan and begin marching towards Taihoku (Taipei) to accept the Japanese surrender. Before its conquest by Ching forces in the 17th century, Taiwan was never part of China. It was also ceded to Japan in 1895 before the fall of this ‘foreign’ dynasty. Nonetheless, both KMT and CCP leaders regard it as an integral part of Chinese territory.
17 October 1945. Ho Chi Minh sends a telegram to President Truman arguing for DRV participation in the UN Advisory Commission for the Far East. He follows up next day with a letter (also addressed to Chiang Kai-shek) arguing the Vietnamese position following the Japanese surrender. The first articulation of the U.S. policy on Indochina for many months is aired on the 20th. Speaking in New York, John Carter Vincent, head of the State Department’s Office of Far Eastern Affairs, declares that the U.S. government does not question French sovereignty. But, he adds, the U.S. will not assist or participate in ‘forceful measures for the reimposition of control.’ With France still facing severe shortag es of transport and equipment, however, the fact is that U.S. ships are transporting French troops, equipment and supplies to Saigon.