Free «Sino-Soviet Dispute» Essay
In terms of geopolitics, China was the main strategic partner of Soviet Union in the 1960s. It is not surprising at all because political isolation of Communist states urged them to stick together and unite in formal or informal unions. China and Soviet Union were the largest and most influential ones, so their cooperation was aimed to reinforce each other’s potential on the world political arena. However, it should be taken into account that there were significant cultural differences, which could not help affecting the relations. Besides, short-sighted political ambitions of both sides contributed to the split.
Experts agree that the ground for the split was prepared in the 1940s though stared working a decade later. This disagreement was based on the aspect of ideology and political behavior of China,that did not meet Soviet expectations. Thus, during the World War II China ignored some of Stalin instructions, and it was especially obvious after the war when Mao Zedong took power from the political opponents, which Stalin expected to cooperate with as the main authorities of China. Although at first China seemed to follow the guidelines of Moscow in developing of its economic and political structure, it occurred to Mao later that he would suggests his own unique way to China, not repetition of what Soviet Union was doing. Of course, such independence did not appeal to Soviet union, and it was especially jealous of the idea of direct implementation of communism without passing through transitional stages.
When Stalin died, a new perspective seemed to open to mutual relationship but it appeared not to be the case. While Mao was an ardent believer in Communism and a hardcore leader of Stalin type, a new Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev is known for his more progressive policy. First of all, he believed that Cold War between socialist and capitalist countries was not necessary at all, so he paid an unprecedented visit to the United States. Mao was suspicious that ideologically the two countries were moving in different directions. Besides, he was shocked at Khrushchev’s decision to condemn the cult of Stalin and his crimes against humanity,while Mao was a supporter of Stalin’s methods.
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Apart from a friendly visit to America, which irritated Mao, the USSR stopped helping China with weapon development and refused to support Sino-Indian war because of hope for cooperation with India. These actions did not start the conflict directly but prepared the ground for further escalation. Mao was an ambitious leader and he was tired of playing supporting roles on the international political arena. He was eager to demonstrate to the United States that China was an independent player, and that it could be influential enough to play against the Soviet Union. There were several demands that China placed on the Big Brother: control over Mongolia and lost territories, opportunity to produce nuclear weapon, and elimination of unequal position of the two partners. "It is the immediate task of China to regain all our lost territories, including Outer Mongolia, which should become part of the Chinese Federation."( Reasons behing the Sino-Soviet Split). The step that the USSR took is calling back its specialists working in China, for which their placed responsibility on Mao. Almost all joint programs were over, as the two countries had to experience the crisis of cooperation and trust.
To describe the causes in a more detail, Cultural Revolution in China should be mentioned. In fact, this beautiful term was coined to cover the real essence of the phenomenon that it dealt with: Mao’s desire to clean the country of political enemies and establish absolute power of Stalin type. Eventually, as Mao’s political enemies belonged to the sphere of influence of both the United States and Soviet Union, this meant that Mao was openly ousting his companions out of his house. Of course, as it meant the loss of political influence, the USSR could not easily put up with the situation and started confrontation. Further on, it is an issue with demarcation of borders that sparkles the whole conflict at its full potential. Chinese unsatisfied demands to return the territory which was taken over to Russia played a significant role in escalating the conflict. Finally, it should be mentioned that Soviet Union and China competed for influence in different regions of the world, sponsoring opposing sides, which eventually lead to conflict of interests and desire to win game.
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To conclude, there were several reasons that caused split between the USSR and China, which included cultural, political and ideological issues. Mao was the one who was not satisfied with the state of affairs and hence took measures to break any type of dependence on Soviet Union and establish his authoritarian regime in China independently. Other reason include border dispute, Mongolia belonging and inequality of partnership.
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