Reasons for US China Rapprochment

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  • Created on: 07-05-14 20:06
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Previous bad relations:
· 1 October 1949- China declared Communist. Huge loss to
the US, who viewed China as theirs to protect- had spent lots
funding the Nationalists. Refused to see CCP as government
of China and propped up Taiwan, where Nationalists fled, as
China, for example in the UN Security Council.
· Korean War- direct fighting between China and US troops
(under the UN banner) and direct conflict between the two
· 1954 and 1958- Taiwan Straits Crisis. China bombed the two
Nationalist islands Quemoy and Matsu, and the US sent the
7th Fleet to control the Taiwan Straits.
· Nixon, 1960 (Vice President) said that China wanted world
domination. Revelation of US fears- that communism would
spread further.
· Cuba, 1962. Demonstrated Mao's aggression to the US, as he
was critical of Khrushchev's handling of the crisis and had
wanted him to bomb them. Confrontation not co operation
· 1963- China refuses to sign the Test Ban Treaty, as it does
not want to limit its nuclear capabilites
· Vietnam- China supported the Vietminh- aka the
Communists, who the US were fighting against
· Cultural Revolution 1966- China getting rid of everything
So why did it change?
· Both realised they had a common enemy: Russia
· Especially true for China- enemies on all sides which
compromised their security
· Nixon- he is strongly anti communist, but Mao is able to get
along with him as he knows where he stands clearly
· Geopolitical reasons for rapprochement- China wanted to
change relations for Chinese politics
· Several common interests: Russia concerns, Vietnam
(wanted withdrawal) and restoring order in their respective
Concern about the USSR
· USSR and China both had more problems with each other
then either of had with the US. The CIA predicted that there

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· USA's concerns- the Soviet Union has reached strategic
parity- both have the same nuclear capability, and have
achieved Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), which means
they both have the capability to destroy each other.
· China- Fear of nuclear attack. The Ussauri River clashes,
intense border clashes between the USSR and China, worried
China and increased fears of nuclear attack. The Brezhnev
Doctrine also worried them- this allowed Brezhnev to
intervene in any communist countries if it is under threat.…read more


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