Factors that led to the breakdown of Sino-Soviet relations

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This is a summary of the factors that led to the breakdown of the Sino-Soviet relations, with evidence to support and dispute the factor in question.

Factor 1: Ideological differences

  • Difference between Russian communism and Mao's communism is particularly clear in Mao's Great Leap Forward. Mao argued it was far superior to the Soviet industry based communism as it was based on the creative power of the Chinese peasants.
  • In 1963 the Soviet Communist Party open letter said China had left the true path of communism
  • Mao said Russia had re-established capitalism

Could argue it wasn't due to ideological differences because...

  • They had differing ideologies when Stalin was alive, suggesting it wasn't ideology, but personalities that caused the Sino-Soviet split

Factor 2: National Interests

  • Disputes over Taiwan. When the US allied with Taiwan, it caused the Soviets to back out. Khrushchev didn't want to stop his pursuit of peaceful coexistence with the West, despite Mao desperately wanting support as he wanted to 'fully liberate China'.
  • Border disputes over Mongolia- Russians refused to give China any concessions in Mongolia
  • Ussuri river war
  • Mao's fear of the Brezhnev doctrine following the invasion of Czechoslovakia

Could argue it wasn't…

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