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The Sino-Soviet Split

The Sino-Soviet Split. Sino-Soviet Split.

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The Sino-Soviet Split

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  1. The Sino-Soviet Split

  2. Sino-Soviet Split • In the immediate years after the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed, the Soviet Union became its closest ally, united in Communism. The Soviets offered equipment and skilled labor to help industrialize and modernize the PRC. Eventually, the Chinese realised that the help that they were actually receiving from the Soviets was much less than what they had anticipated. Other factors such as differing policies in various areas also appeared. • The Sino- Soviet split was a major diplomatic and occasionally military conflict between the PRC and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), beginning in the late 1950s, reaching a peak in 1960-1969 and continuing in various ways until the late 1980s. • It led to a parallel split in the international Communist movement, although it may have had as much to do with Chinese and Soviet national interests as with the two countries' respective communist ideologies. http://www.ibiblio.org/chinesehistory/contents/03pol/c05s04.html#Sino-%20Soviet%20Split

  3. General Differences: Geo-political and historical differences between Chinese and Russian Revolutions • The different levels of development of the productive forces was a main difference in the two Revolutions. • In 1956-1960, the USSR was at a stage of development in which productive forces were no longer able to develop an economy in isolation from the world’s economy, while China was at an earlier stage in their construction of a planned economy. • The dominant role of the peasantry in the Chinese revolution, as opposed to the Russian Revolution. • The working class was the leading force in both cases, but the Russian Revolution was made in the cities, and was taken out to the countryside; whereas the Chinese Revolution was made in the countryside, and brought in from the countryside to the cities. • The different perspective in relation to imperialism. • The USSR now felt slightly less threatened, both internally and externally, and would not shun trade with the West, while the Chinese felt more immediately threatened by imperialism perceived and real. http://home.mira.net/~andy/bs/bs3-1.htm

  4. Partners in Communism: Early Sino-Soviet Relations 1949: PRC and USSR signed the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance, which stated, according to a summary on the website of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “The Two Contracting Parties undertake to carry out jointly all necessary measures within their power to prevent a repetition of aggression and breach of the peace by Japan or any other State which might directly or indirectly join with Japan in acts of aggression. Should either with Japan and thus find itself in a state of war, the other Contracting Party shall immediately extend military and other assistance with all the means at its disposal. Neither of the Contracting Parties shall enter into any alliance directed against the other Party, or participate in any coalition or in any action or measures directed against the other Party. The two contracting Parties undertake shall consul together on all important international questions involving the common interests of the soviet Union and China, with a view to strengthening peace and universal security. The two Contracting Parties undertake, in a spirit of friendship and cooperation and in accordance with the principles of equal rights, mutual interests, mutual respect for State sovereignty and territorial integrity, and non-intervention in the domestic affairs of other Party, to develop and strengthen the economic and cultural ties between the soviet Union and China, to render each other all possible economic assistance and to effect the necessary economic cooperation.” The Treaty remained in place for 30 years after it was signed on February 14, 1950, voiding an earlier 1945 treaty that did not put such a strong emphasis on partnership. http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/ziliao/3602/3604/t18011.htm

  5. Policy Splits: Stalin’s Death and Krushchev’s new policy • PRC and USSR policy was already divided over economic development; Mao was a proponent of agricultural growth whereas Stalin (and his experts sent to China) emphasized heavy industry • Upon Stalin’s death in 1953, Nikita Krushchev’s new policies furthered and overshadowed that divide: • Krushchev feared nuclear war with the USA far more than Stalin had, and thus was anxious to reach détente • The PRC accused the USSR of “revisionism”, of perverting the original goals of their shared communism, betraying the Marxist principles of spreading communism, and of “selling out” to the USA Ross, Stewart. (1988). China Since 1945. Hove: Wayland

  6. First Quarrels • Both nations were reluctant to split entirely, and maintained their friendly relations as much as possible throughout the early 1960s • For example: a memorandum on a conversation between the USSR Ambassador to the PRC, Chervonenko S.V., and Deng Xiaoping, General Secretary of the CC CCP: “Returning to the meeting in Paris, Deng Xiaoping said that the issue of developing a [Chinese] movement in support of N.S. Khrushchev's statement was being examined in the CC CCP. On May 18, the leaders of social organizations in the PRC will make statements in the press on this issue, and two to three days thereafter, when the circumstances become clearer, further steps will be taken in this direction. Our common position consists, he said, of exposing the imperialists and of explaining the correctness of the position of the countries in the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union. Deng Xiaoping asked me to convey a warm greeting to comrade N.S. Khrushchev and to all of the members of the Presidium of the CC CPSU on behalf of comrades Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and all of the leaders of the CC CCP. The Americans are closing ranks against us, he said, but their closing of ranks is insecure. Our solidarity, and the solidarity of the countries of the socialist camp, is inviolable, since it is founded on a unity of ideas and goals.” The biggest splits came over the USSR’s desire for a nuclear nonproliferation treaty with the USA, along with such things as USSR support (or lack thereof) for China’s interest in North Korea, or the USSR’s wish for the PRC to support their initiatives in Cuba. (See Appendix A) Cold War International History Project Memorandum

  7. The Possibilty of War • The possiblity of war between China and the Soviet Union became apparent when both countries began sending military forces to the Sino-Soviet border. • This began in 1968, when there was a significant increase in Soviet deployment, from 12 half-strength divisions and 200 airplanes (1961), to 25 divisions, 1,200 aircraft and 120 medium-range missiles. • This led to the Sino-Soviet Border Conflict in 1969 • Important because the movement of Soviet troops to the Sino-Soviet border decreased the threat of a Soviet invasion of Central Europe http://www.reference.com/search?r=13&q=Sino-Soviet%20border%20conflict

  8. The Sino-Soviet Border Conflict • A series of armed clashes between the USSR and the PRC along the Sino-Soviet border in 1969 • 658 000 Soviet troops against 814 000 Chinese troops • March 2, 1969 - Soviet patrol vs. Chinese forces: • Both sides claimed the other was the aggressor, and published propaganda stating that they had fewer losses than the other side • USSR responded by attacking Manchuria and storming Zhenbao Island • After several more clashes, both sides prepared for nuclear confrontation http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/prc-soviet.htm http://www.reference.com/search?r=13&q=Sino-Soviet%20border%20conflict

  9. China Stops being a Soviet Puppet: Relations between USA and PRC • The Sino-Soviet Split opened the possibility for separate negotiations with China by the West • 1971 - The UN recognizes the PRC, and transfers Security Council authority • 1972 - Nixon goes to China • Nixon and Mao made efforts • to negotiate normalization of US-China relations • US recognized the need to resolve the Taiwan issue by peaceful means, and this was agreed to by China • 1979 - US formally recognizes PRC, and breaks off relations with Taiwan http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-214058/Richard-M-Nixon

  10. Sino-Soviet Relations and Vietnam • Following Mao’s invitation to Nixon, the Vietnam Workers Party became more sympathetic to the USSR • USSR wanted to back North Vietnam to show strong Communism in South-East Asia, and encircle China • In order to support North Vietnam in the Vietnam War, USSR wanted to send weapons. • This would require going through China. • To everyone’s surprise, China allowed this. http://www.reference.com/search?q=Sino-Vietnamese%20War

  11. Long-Term Effects of the Split Splitting of Communist Parties around the World Significant reduction of Soviet influence in South-East Asia gave critics of Communism a counterexample to Marx’s development theory “Although tension in Sino-Soviet relations was so great that many Western scholars referred to it as a "split," the 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty continued to exist.” • The split between the USSR and the PRC resulted in internal conflict within international communist parties over communist ideology • This resulted in creation of Maoist Communist Parties (Marxist-Leninist Parties), and Stalinist Communist Parties (Communist Parties) • The overall effect of this was reducing the influence of Communist organizations in other countries by focusing on internal conflicts rather than the overthrow of Capitalism - Bruce Elleman, “Sino-Soviet Relations and the February 1979 Sino-Vietnamese Conflict” http://www.marxists.org/glossary/events/s/i.htm

  12. For More Information, see… • The Cold War International History Project; a project documenting the Cold War from all possible perspectives, with a virtual archive that is organized into sections tracing all events through primary sources such as telegrams and conversations. The initiative was formed under the auspices of the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars. • Sino-Soviet Relations • Sino-Soviet Split The UN Documentation Centre; an online repository for all resolutions, documents, reports, etc. which the UN has ever published. Often organized by committee and/or year. Link

  13. Dear Comrade Krushchev! I am of the opinion that neither a nonproliferation treaty nor any other understandings of serious international importance can be concluded without consulting the Communist Party of China or in spite of the People’s Republic of China. If we continue further down such a path, it will inevitably lead to the division of the socialist camp and to fierce factional struggles within the international communist movement and within the communist and workers’ parties in individual countries. We already see today what great damage arose in this regard from the fact that the Moscow Treaty ... was concluded without consulting the Communist Party of China. Undoubtedly, such a consultation would not have led the People’s Republic of China to alter its stance on achieving the production of its own atomic bomb. However, it might have been that as a result of such a consultation, the Moscow Treaty would have applied only to the states participating in the negotiations. Because the treaty was concluded for all states, this led to an angry reaction on the part of the Communist Party of China, which interpreted the treaty as an effort to isolate the People’s Republic of China both among the socialist states and in the international arena. In the running debate with the Communist Party of China, we should not permit the debate to lead to a split of the socialist camp into two factions. There cannot be two socialist camps. It must remain one despite all the internal differences. A split of the socialist camp would alter in a fundamental way the world balance of forces between socialism and imperialism to the benefit of the latter. Despite its smaller productive potential, the socialist camp has predominated and may still have the advantage over imperialism thanks only to its unity. All the basic principles of our policy, our tactics and strategy in the struggle with imperialism over peace and peaceful coexistence of states, for disarmament, for the victory of socialism on a world scale, rest upon the unity of the socialist camp. We must be fully aware of this fact. We must be aware of the consequences that would arise from a split in the socialist camp. …In the name of maintaining the unity of the socialist camp, we must reach an understanding with the Communist Party of China. The socialist camp numbers over one billion people. Let’s not forget that for even a moment, and let’s appreciate the importance of the fact that the Chinese are almost two-thirds of this population. Without the People’s Republic of China, nothing can be achieved in terms of the socialist camp’s international policy. We should seek a compromise and move towards the conclusion of a compromise in the debate with the Communist Party of China and the People's Republic of China. In this situation, the People’s Republic of China can insure its influence over decision making with regard to various international questions only through the socialist camp, or speaking more precisely, through the Soviet Union, from whom it demands that it consult with [China] on its political initiatives in the international arena and in its relations with the imperialist states. When it turned out that the Soviet Union did not always consider it proper to take into account the reservations of the People’s Republic of China in its policy, there began to grow in the Communist Party of China a rebellion against the CPSU, which after the conclusion of the Moscow Treaty ... spilled out in the forms known to us now. Yes, as I see the matter, the Communist Party of China has already decided upon even a split in the socialist camp and the international communist movement, unless the Soviet Union agrees to coordinate its policy in the international arena with the People’s Republic of China. …An understanding with the Chinese Communist Party on the basis of a sensible compromise is thus necessary from every point of view. I assume that if the Soviet Union will consult with and gain the approval of the People’s Republic of China for its more important political initiatives in the international arena, the Chinese Communist Party will desist from its propaganda and attacks against the CPSU and that a closer point of view can be achieved with regard to a number of controversial questions. It will not be possible to achieve a full unity of views. Ideological differences will remain for a long time, but they should be kept within limits that will not tear apart the unity of the socialist camp. am not outlining a platform here for an understanding with the Communist Party of China. It can be worked out later. The most important thing is to move towards a halt in public and direct ideological polemics even if everyone maintains for a certain time their own views on controversial issues. We must voice our views in a positive form, without polemics with other parties, and even more without attacking other parties, whether by direct or indirect means. The likelihood exists that over time the differences will diminish or become outdated, and this will permit a return to ideological unity. With communist greetings, W. Gomulka Appendix A: Letter from Gomulka to Krushchev, outlining the Soviet interpretation of relations with the PRC. 10/08/1963 Cold War International History Project

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