Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76


Sino-Soviet relations 1949-50

- Mao was the leader of the communist China from 1949-1976 + he greatly respected Stalin. 

The People's Republic of China, 1949 
- 1949: Mao announced the creation of PRC. 
- Communist Russia was the first state to reocnogise Mao's communist government. 
- US, in contrast, was horrified that communism had triumphed in China. 

The Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance, February 1950 
Reasons for the treaty:
- PRC was isolated from the West due to being a communist state 
- The Russian economy needed to be rebuilt, and so Stalin wished to establish a new trading partner. 
Terms of the treaty:
- Formal alliance - USSR would come to China's aid if China was involved in conflict 
- Economic aid given to China - $300 million. 
- Soviet experts helped to set up 141 chinese businesses. 
- The USSR returned the Manchurian railway to China. 
Mongolia remained in Soviet influence and Stalin refused to give aid to conquer Taiwan. 
Six fold increase in Sino-Soviet trade from 1950-56, + by 1956, 60% of Chinese trade was conducted with the USSR.  

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The Consolidation of Sino-Soviet Friendship 1950-4

The Korean War 1950
- Military campaign against South Korea organised by Stalin and North Korea's leader Kim II Sung.
- Negotiations kept secret from Mao. 
- Following the entry of UN troops, Mao anticipated Soviet help under terms of the Treaty. 
- Stalin refused to help as the UN was not a capitalist nation. 

Signifiance of the war 
- The huge cost of the war increased China's dependence on the USSR. 
- For Russia, the war had proved China's worth as an ally. 
- Allowed for two further Sino-Soviet agreements. USSR agreed to give a significant package of aid for China's first Five-Year-Plan, help China build power plants, and increase trade. 

Taiwan Crisis, 1954-1955
- After the Chinese communists had seized the mainland, the Guomindang fled to the island of Taiwan. 
- 1954- Mao decided to shell Guomindang held island of Quemoy. Khrushchev was willing to support China militarily. 
- The US quickly signed a Mutual Defence Treaty 
- In public, Khrushchev supported China, but privately he did not want to jeopardise peaceful co-existence with the US. This deepened Mao's mistrust of Khrushchev. 

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Deterioration of Sino-Soviet Relations, 1954-8

The Great Leap Forward, 1958
- Mao claimed GLF was superior to USSR's Five-Year-Plans. 
- GLF was a rejection of the Soviet model of economic development - GLF was based on enthusiasm of the peasants, not economic expertise. 
- The new policy rejected growing ideological differences between China + Soviet Union. 
- Mao was increasingly convinced that Khrushchev was not a real revolutionary. 
- GLF distanced Mao from the USSR and was a signal of his self-confidence + independence. 

China's national and military interests 
- July 1958, Khrushchev proposed joint Russian-Chinese control over China's nuclear programme. Mao saw this as patronising. 
- September 1958, China began a second bombardment of Taiwan. Khrushchev refused to support this as he feared it could drag USA and USSR into a nuclear war. 
- Second Taiwan Crisis convinced Mao that Khrushchev could not be relied on. Khrushchev believed Mao acted rashly. 

Personalities, 1958 
- Khrush's first visit to China - photo opportunity at swimming pool. Khrush couldn't swim. 

By the end of 1958 - Russia + China remained allies - China needed aid. However, relationship was becoming strained. 

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Sino-Soviet Confrontation, 1959-69

Personal differences + political rivalries 
- Khrush's second visit to CHina - 1959. On arrival, he had no guard of honour or microphone. At their meeting, they openly insulted each other. 
- May 1960 - Chinese beat Russian's to the top of Mount Everest - enhanced by Chinese media. 
- July 1960 - Khrushchev withdrew Russian experts from China. 
- 1963 - Mao publicised Khrushchev's backdown over CMC - humiliating for Khrush. 

Ideological division 
- In 1959, Khrushchev publically criticised Mao's Great Leap Forward. 
- In 1960, Mao responded by calling Khrush a 'revisionist', no longer on the path of communism. 
- Mao was heavily critical of Khrush's pursuit for improved relations with the USA. 
- Khrush's speech, Twentieth Party Congress Feb 1956 made criticisms of Stalin's policies. Mao was deeply offended by Destalinisation. 
- 1961, Khrushchev announced a new doctrine - class struggle was over in Russia. Mao argued this was a betrayal of communism. 
- 1964, Mao described Khrush's communism as 'phoney'. 

Strategic and military issues 
- Sino-Indian Border Conflict of 1962 - Khrush sent $800 million worth of aid to India. 
- Khrush backed Indonesia during the Sino-Indonesian disputes of 1959-62 - sent military aid 

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Sino-Soviet Confrontation, 1959-69 continued...

Sino-Soviet relations after Khrushchev 
- 1964, Khrushchev removed from power and replaced by Brezhnev. 
- 1965 - Mao launched ideological campaign of the Cultural Revolution. USA + USSR = 'global cities' China + Third World = 'global countryside', and the true revolutionaries. 
- March 1966, USSR + China ended diplomatic and trading relations. 

The Ussuri River Dispute, 1969 
4406 kilometre Sino-Soviet border. 
- Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 produced fear of invasion in China. 
- Chinese built up forces on the Sino-Soviet border, Soviets reached by establishing a network of new command centres. This convinced China that USSR was preparing for war. 
- China decided on a policy of 'active defence' - launching a pre-emptive attack. 
- 2nd March 1969 - 300 chinese soldiers crossed the Ussuri River to Damansky Island. 
- Small scale fighting broke out with a massive Soviet counter-attack on March 15th. 
- September 18th crisis was averted as senior ministers from both sies agreed to respect each other's borders. 

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Launching 'Ping-Pong' diplomacy

Chinese motives for Sino-US rapprochement
- Mao was worried about reports of a pre-emptive Soviet nuclear attack. 
- China had very few allies, Mao hoped alliance with USA could be used to confront USSR. 

US motives for rapprochement 
- Nixon hoped China would put pressure on the Vietcong to negotiate in Vietnam. 
- Put pressure on USSR to compromise with the West. 
- Nixon wanted to make up for military failures. 
- Nixon did not want China to become a Russian satellite. 
- Friendship with China would allow the US to focus nuclear arsenal on the USSR. 

Key events 
- 1969, July: Nixon relaxes trade + travel restrictions to China. US recognises the PRC. 
- 1971, April: Mao invites the US ping-pong team to play in an international match in China. 
- 1971, July: Henry Kissinger visits China to prepare for presidental visit the next year 
- 1971, October: USA backs PRC's entry into the UN. 

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Sino-US relations, 1972-1976

Nixon + Kissinger: triangular diplomacy, USA established working relationship with USSR + China. 

Nixon's trip to China, 1972
Two leaders published Shanghai Communique of 28th February 1972:
- acknknowledged substantial disagreement over Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan 
- commited USA + China to peaceful coexistence 
- seek to normalise relationship by 1976 - establishing formal diplomatic links 
- two powers would work together to resist any country that sought to dominate South-East Asia 
- increase cooperation and trade between USA + China

The impact on relations with the USSR 
- Nixon's visit to China shocked USSR. 
- Three months after his visit to China, Nixon attended the Moscow Summit of 1972. Most successful summit of the Cold War to date - triangular diplomacy bearing fruit. 

After Nixon's resignation in 1974, President Ford tried to follow Nixon's approach to China, aiming for normalisation by 1976. 

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