The Sino-Soviet Split _ US-China Relations

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					                       The Sino-Soviet Split & US-China Relations
    1.   Jan 1957: from Speech to Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by Mao Zedong

[Let me] also talk about Sino-Soviet relations. In my view, bickering will continue. [We shall] never
pretend that the Communist parties will not bicker. Is there a place in the world where bickering
does not exist? Marxism itself is a bickering-ism, and is all about contradiction and struggle… Under
the pressure of circumstance, those in the Soviet Union who still want to practise big-power
chauvinism will inevitably encounter difficulties. To persuade them remains our current policy and
requires us to engage in direct dialogue with them. The last time our delegation visited the Soviet
Union, [we] openly talked about some [controversial] issues. I told Comrade Zhou Enlai over the
phone that, as those people are blinded by lust for gain, the best way to deal with them is to give
them a tongue-lashing.

    2. Jul 1958: from Mao’s comments to the Soviet Ambassador to China

There exists no crisis situation between you and me. Our relationship can be described as nine out of
ten fingers of yours and ours are quite the same with only one finger differing…
It appears that [we] will have to withdraw [our] navy’s request for nuclear-powered submarines…
The Soviet advisors [at Chinese naval headquarters] assert that, now that the Soviet nuclear
submarines have been developed, we can obtain [them] simply by sending a telegram [to Moscow].
Well, your navy’s nuclear submarines are [top] secret advanced technology. The Chinese people are
careless in handling things. If we were provided with them, we might put you to trouble. The Soviet
comrades have won victory for forty years, and are thus rich in experience. It has only been eight
years since our victory and we have little experience. You therefore raised the question of joint
ownership and operation… You never trust the Chinese! You only trust the Russians! [To you] the
Russians are the first-class [people] whereas the Chinese are among the inferior who are dumb and
careless. Therefore [you] came up with the joint ownership and operation proposition. Well, if [you]
want joint ownership and operation, how about have them all – let us turn into joint ownership and
operation our army, navy, air force, industry, agriculture, culture, education. Can we do this? Or,
[you] may have all of China’s more than ten thousand kilometres of coastline and let us only
maintain a guerrilla force. With a few atomic bombs you think you are in a position to control us…
You [Russians] have never had faith in the Chinese people, and Stalin was among the worst. The
Chinese [Communists] were regarded as a second Tito; [the Chinese people] were considered a
backward nation. You [Russians] have often stated that the Europeans looked down upon the
Russians. I believe that some Russians look down upon the Chinese people.
At the most critical juncture, Stalin did not allow us to carry out our revolution and opposed our
carrying out the revolution. He made a huge mistake on this issue.

    3. From negotiations Between CPSU and CCP Delegations (September 1960)

CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) Delegation: Suslov (leader), Kozlov, Kuusinen, Pospelov,
Ponomarev, Andropov, Il'ichev, Konstantinov, Grishin, Chervonenko

CCP Delegation: Deng (leader), Peng Zhen, Chen Boda, Kang Sheng, Yang Shangkun, Hu Qiaomu, Liao
Chengzhi, Wu Xiuquan, Liu Xiao

The next accusation by Deng: We are also very puzzled by the following fact. Following his meeting
with Comrade Khrushchev and several other leading figures in the USSR, Comrade Ho Chi Minh
made a stop-over in Beijing on his way home and reported the following news: During the
conversation with him and other Vietnamese, Comrade Khrushchev stated that enormous efforts
were being spent in China to restore the gravesite of Genghis-khan and that this smelled of "yellow

peril." ... Whereas it is usually stated in your country that it was primarily the Europeans who had to
suffer from the attack by Genghis-khan, it was actually the Chinese who suffered the most from the
Ponomarev: One should strike his grave, not celebrate him.
Pospelov: Why do they celebrate him as a progressive figure? Many nations had to suffer under his
Peng Zhen: How could we interfere in the internal affairs of the Mongolians who want to restore the
gravesite of their ancestors [?] You, for example, like Peter I. You intended to erect a monument in
Port Arthur to three Russian generals-Kuropatkin, Alekseev, and Makarov, who had led an
aggression against China.

[Following further discussion of the Gengis-Khan topic]
Deng: [W]hy… did Comrade Khrushchev speak with such esteem about Eisenhower?
Suslov: One cannot mix up matters of principle with the diplomacy of the struggle.
Deng: Comrade Suslov, do not jump to conclusions too easily. You are not used to listening to others.
Under such conditions it is difficult for us to finish our discussion. There is no state of equality. We
would like to ask you, however, on whom you can count when difficulties will arise? On Eisenhower,
on Nehru [Indian Prime Minister] or the likes, or on a fraternal socialist country, on China?
Kozlov: There is no such question for us.
Deng: It would be perfect if such questions did not exist. But in reality such facts exist, and they
cause concern.
Kozlov: Then you yourself want a decline in our relations. You yourself are pushing this line. We state
that there is no such question, but you maintain that it exists nevertheless. We declare in the name
of our country, in the name of our people that we will defend you in case of an attack with all means
[available to us]; but you doubt this.
Deng: I ask you that your actions meet your recent statements.
Suslov: This statement is offensive to us.
Deng: I declare in the name of our party, in the name of the entire Chinese people, and fully aware
of the responsibility, that regardless of all the[se] circumstances and the attacks on the Chinese
people, the People's Republic of China and our party will take the side of the socialist countries in all
Suslov: Did we not act this way when there was a difficult situation in the GDR in 1955 [1953?], did
we not take full responsibility when we dealt a blow to the counterrevolution in Hungary?
Deng: But during the Chinese-Indian border conflict you did not act that way.
Suslov: But you were not threatened by a dangerous aggressor.
Deng: You unilaterally withdrew your experts from China, you transferred the ideological differences
to the sphere of international-state relations, and I do not agree that India did not threaten China.
You declared that you took a neutral position in the question of the Sino-Indian conflict. It is news to
us that a fraternal socialist country can take a neutral position in the conflict with bourgeois India
with regard to another socialist country.

    4. Extract from a letter from Khrushchev to Kennedy in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile
       Crisis, 30 October 1962

We have eliminated a serious crisis. But in order to foresee and forestall appearance of a new
crisis in future which might be impossible to cope with everything in our relations capable of
generating a new crisis should be erased now. It would seem that now we possess
thermonuclear weapons, rocket weapons, submarine fleet and other means the situation obliges
all states, every state to adhere to such norms of conduct which will not generate conflicts, to
say nothing of wars…

There would remain many unsettled matters in the world but the main thing after that – and I
would like to tell you about it – is the question of China. It is anomalous that China is not having
her seat in the UN… When China participated in the creation of the UN and when it was made a
permanent member of the Security Council, then it was one China. And that one China exists
now… It is impossible to come to an agreement on disarmament without China. There are
countries with population of half a million and even less which are members of the UN and have
voice in this international organisation… China has 650 million people and does not have such

    5. Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to North Korea Vasily Moskovsky
       and North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Song Ch’ol 3 Jan 1963

In the evening the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pak Song Ch’ol held the New Year’s dinner, to
which ambassadors and charges d’affaires [other representatives of countries] and their wives
were invited. From the Korean side, the minister, his deputies, and heads of departments were
present at the reception.

[In his speech Pak Song Ch’ol] went into lengthy and broad propaganda regarding the necessity
of strengthening friendship with the peoples of the Soviet Union and China, [and] the friendship
of all socialist countries with them [Soviet Union and China]. In order to defeat imperialism, he
said, we must [display] cohesion, we must strengthen unity.

After the first toast, permeated by insincere babbling about unity, the minister, his deputies, and
the Chinese charge d’affaires, who was sitting right in front of me, pronounced another 4-5
toasts for unity. With this, the Korean comrades tried to play [the role of] a kind of mediator
between countries that did not have unity between themselves.

Having listened to all of these calls for unity, I asked the minister what could explain [the fact]
that all his deputies and the Chinese charge d’affaires are calling for unity all evening. Has the
unity between the DPRK [North Korea] and the USSR been broken, what’s the matter here? The
minister started explaining to me again that it is necessary to strengthen the cohesion of all
countries of the socialist camp… I said that the Soviet people are building communism. You, the
Korean and the Chinese comrades, also drew socialism and communism on your banner. This
means that we have one goal, and we are united. However, despite the fact that [we have] one
goal, the roads to this goal have become different for some time. There are two roads to achieve
this goal – the first is the bloody road, the second is the peaceful [road], but with intensified class

All the Soviet people stand on the second road, but the Albanian leaders and some Chinese
comrades prefer the first road. Our people believe in the decision of their party and we will
follow only the road of peaceful co-existence. We do not have one opinion with the Albanian and
the Chinese comrades on this question, and it is very bad that they were afraid for a long time to
tell us openly about this, but played a bad game, directed at the sabotage of the unity of the
socialist camp.

I noted further that the second question, regarding which much has been said today, is the
question of unity on [the basis of] principles of Marxism-Leninism. I was listening for a long time
and with attention to your statements on this issue, and one gets the impression that someone
among those present [has] retreated from the principles of Marxism-Leninism, and that you want
to direct someone towards the true road, but whom – you do not say…

One can see a dogmatic approach to this teaching from your articles in the newspapers. But,
indeed, V.I. Lenin permitted and even decreed that we use his teaching creatively. What do you
want then, with whom are you fighting in this question – with Lenin? And so you, our dear
Chinese charge d’affairs, are saying today that [you] are for principled unity on the basis of
Marxism-Leninism, [and] you are prepared to get so drunk at this reception as to fall under the
table. To fall under the table and to pull you out of there is not a difficult thing, and it is not the
first time that we will have to pull you out. But to pull you out onto the right Leninist course – this
is a more difficult issue, and in the course of one evening at this reception [this is] simply

Then the Polish ambassador, comrade Dryglyas, remarked that we should speak frankly among
ourselves, that the Poles have a saying, similar to a Russian one, something like “what a sober
man has on his mind, a drunk man has on his tongue.” Today at the New Year’s party, the
Ambassador said, we have had a little to drink, so let’s talk frankly. The minister supported this
proposal [and] suggested that we have another drink and then have a talk.

I said that this saying in no way fits us as communists. If you treat someone [to a drink] in order
to extract something from him [while he is] under influence, then this is an unprofitable method
in relations between communists. As far as I know, we [in the Soviet Union] impose party
sanctions for these methods. Bourgeois diplomats use such methods, but in the circle of
ambassadors of socialist countries, as I see it, comrade minister, this is inappropriate. One should
and must talk about politics only when sober. The minister and the Polish ambassador agreed
with me.

After this I asked to raise a toast to the minister’s wife and to his children. I wished the minister’s
family health and many joys in life and said that the joy for children and for all of us would be, first
of all, peace in the world. The minister’s wife added in response that the happy and joyful life for
her and her children also depend on the unity of the socialist countries. Having noted that I tried
to avoid a political toast, but tried in vain, [I] offered to join my common toast with a political
addition of the minister’s wife, but still to drink to their family’s happiness. Happiness of a friend’s
family, with whom we work on the solution of common problems is a matter of concern for us.
Everyone agreed, felt flattered, and the conversation on political subjects ended at this, though
the tipsy Chinese charge d’affaires went on mumbling to himself something about unity. […]

    6. Negotiations between CCP and CPSU, July 1963

Deng [8 July: part of a five hour long statement]: the 20th Congress of the CPSU put forward
positions … which went against Marxist-Leninism. Especially serious are two issues: the issue of
so-called ‘peaceful transition’ and the issue of the full, groundless denunciation of Stalin under
the pretext of the so called ‘struggle with the cult of personality’… In June 1959 we unilaterally
annulled the agreement on rendering help to China in developing a nuclear industry and in
producing atom bombs. Following this, on 9 September 1959, TASS [the official Soviet news
agency] made an announcement about the incident on the Chinese-Indian border and displayed
bias in favour of the Indian reaction… In November of that year Com[rade] Khrushchev openly
accused China of having acted ‘stupidly’ and ‘regrettably’ in a conversation with a correspondent
of the Indian daily New Age. At the last meeting at Camp David [Sept. 1959] Com Khruschchev
began to preach to the whole world of a ‘world without arms, without armies, without wars’,
made the leader of American imperialism look good in all sorts of different ways, considered
peaceful co-existence the task of all tasks, and propagandized the idea that, supposedly,
American-Soviet friendship decides the fate of humanity. All of this practically signified a sermon

to the effect that the nature of imperialism has already changed, that Marxist-Leninism was
already obsolete…

In October 1962 there was a crisis in the region of the Caribbean Sea. During these events we
consider that you committed two errors: in shipping the missiles to Cuba you indulged in
adventurism, and then, showing confusion in the face of nuclear blackmail from the USA, you

Suslov [responding on 10 July]: again, as in 1960, you are putting in motion the practice, which
has already been condemned by Communist parties, of personal attacks on Com N S
Khrushchev…our recognised leader… [who] has gained unlimited authority for himself in our
party, in the country, and in the whole world through his selfless devotion to Marxism-Leninism
and through his truly titanic struggle to build Communism in the USSR, to preserve peace in the
whole world in defence of the interests of all working people…

We would also like to remind our forgetful Chinese comrades about [Soviet economic
assistance]… 198 modern industrial enterprises… scientific-research institutes… Up until 1959
almost a half of all cast iron was produced, more than half of all steel was smelted, and more
than half of the rolled iron was made in the metallurgical enterprises constructed in China with
the help of the Soviet Union.

    7. From report of discussions between US President Johnson and Soviet premier Kosygin,
       June 1967 (made by Johnson to [ex]president Eisenhower)

He had an obsession with China, and just said we better understand that they are very dangerous
people, and we’d better start talking about their exploding these nuclear weapons.

    8. Extract from the Four Marshals’ Report on the Soviet and Us threats to China, July 1969

The US imperialists and the soviet revisionists are two ‘brands’ of representatives of the
international bourgeoisie class. On the one hand, they both take China as the enemy; on the
other, they take each other as the enemy… [They are not frightened of Chinese aggression,
instead] what scares them most is the prospect that people’s revolutions of all nations, under the
guidance of the invincible Mao Zedong Thought, will send them to the grave… However, it
should be noted that Nixon takes China as a ‘potential threat’, rather than a real threat. For the
US imperialists and the Soviet revisionists, the real threat is the one existing between

The US imperialists do not dare to attack China rashly. The main reasons are as follows: (a) the US
imperialists’ defeats in the Korean War and the Vietnam War have taught them a bitter lesson…
(b) the strategic emphasis of the US imperialists lies in the West… (c) the US imperialists wish to
push Asian countries to the front in a war against China, especially by using Japan [but Japan]
does not dare to take reckless actions, not only because it suffered seriously in the defeat of its
aggression against China, but also because the strength of the new China today is much stronger
than that of the old China…

The Soviet revisionists have made China their main enemy, imposing a more serious threat to our
security than the US imperialists. The Soviet revisionists are creating tensions along the long Sino-
Soviet border, concentrating troops in the border area and making military intrusions.

    9. Report to Nixon from Kissinger after Kissinger’s meeting with Soviet leader Brezhvev,
       May 1973

China will remain the unknown. And it is clear from this conversation that Brezhnev is obsessed
with his China problem. Whether he decides to use force is the major question, but this current
nuclear [arms limitation] project [i.e. SALT treaty with US] could divert him from that course…
[China] could lead to a major crisis in the next 12-18 months. But is it also a point of critical
leverage for us. It may be that sometime late in the summer we might want to arrange with the
Chinese for a visit by Zhou Enlai to the UN in the fall [autumn] and a meeting with you in
Washington. In any event we must look at our contingency planning for the event of Soviet
military actions against China… [Economics is] our second point of leverage… a much broader
economic arrangement with the USSR, one that would tie the USSR to the US as much as any
factor, is possible… you will hold the high cards at the [forthcoming] summit [with Brezhnev]…
your China policy and Soviet economic difficulties are your strong points.

    10. From Chen Jian, Mao’s China and the Cold War (2001)

The great Sino-Soviet split buried the shared consciousness among Communists and Communist
sympathisers all over the world that Communism was a solution to the problems created by the
world-wide process of modernisation. Nothing could be more effective in destroying the moral
foundation of Communism.

[Sources: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 & 9: The Cold War: A history in documents and eyewitness accounts ed. J M Hanhimaki & O A
Westad (Oxford, 2003)
3. SAPMO (former Socialist Unity Party [SED] Archive) JIV 2/202-280, Bd.3; translated by Christian Ostermann. Available
950A62EAEDF546F2&sort=Collection&item=Sino-Soviet Relations
4. AVPRF, fond 0102, opis 19, papka 97, delo 4, listy 8-12 available at
9A09E3275D5151A6&sort=Collection&item=Sino-Soviet Split
10.: S Phillips, A World Divided: Superpower Relations 1944-90 (Pearson, 2009)]