Causes And Elevation Of The Sino Soviet Schism

2545 words - 10 pages

Causes and Elevation of the Sino-Soviet Schism

It can be argued that the most significant effect on foreign policy during the Cold
War, besides the arms race, was the schism and eventually antagonism between the USSR
and China. Some historians have argued that the schism between the USSR continued to
elevate throughout the Cold War. Alvin Z. Rubenstien, in his book "Soviet Foreign Policy
Since World War II" makes the argument that "The Sino-Soviet rift is more complex
today [Rubenstien wrote his book in 1985] than ever before." (Rubenstien, 148) Some
historians argue that the schism has continued to grow long after the end of the 1960's.
Other argue that the schism had reached its climax by 1965, when both nations almost
completely broke off relations with one another. By 1965 the schism between the USSR
and the Soviet Union was complete and it had become a policy between the two nations to
pursue antagonistic policies against one another. (Nogee, 256-61)
After the end of the second World War it was a goal of Stalin and the Soviet
Union to encourage, and even coordinate, the rise of communist regimes in other
countries. (Salisbury, 33-7) But this was not the case in China, where the Soviets were not
able to incite a communist revolution. Instead, Mao Zedong carried out a communist
revolution that was independent of Soviet influence. (Nogee, 199) This, of course,
irritated the Soviets and cause them to oppose the People's Republic of China for about
the first fifteen years of its existence. Many historians feel that this was the first of the
many Sino-Soviet disputes- the mere fact that China was able to engender a communist
regime. (Simmons, 17)
In 1927 the Soviets had unsuccessfully tried to incite a communist revolution in
China, this attempt not only failed but brought the deaths of thousands of Chinese
communists and the expulsion of Soviets from China. After this failure the Soviets refused
to invest anymore time into the Chinese cause. The Soviets even joined the United States
in support of the nationalist (and anticommunist) government "in unifying their country
[China], improving their military and economic conditions." (Warth, 56-9). Even after a
Mao, a communist, had taken power Stalin seemed reluctant to cut ties with the head of
the nationalist government, Chiang Kai-Shek. This reluctance of Stalin's led China to
distrust the motives of the Soviet Union, espicially in the 1950's when the USSR asked
China to help North Korea in the Korean War. (Westard, 36-7)
Some historians claim that the roots of the hostility between the Russian and the
Chinese an be traced back to the thirteenth and fourteenth century when Mongol Tartars
conquered most of Russia. During the nineteenth century Russian tsars conquered large
parts of China and imposed unfair treaties on the Chinese empire. (Salisbury, 48-50) With
this new information in mind, combined with the shaky start of Sino-Soviet relations, it
become...

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