Stalin used to say: "Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden iron": this quote can perfectly apply to the relations that the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union have fostered during the first years of the creation of the People's Republic of China. Indeed, from October 1st 1949, date of the creation of the PRC to July 1960, when Khrushchev called back the Soviet experts who had been sent to help Chinese development and which can be seen as the moment when the Sino-soviet split became "official", the relations between China and the Soviet Union had been quite particular. Although they first seemed to commit into a close relationship their relationship turned into an open split within ten years, the two countries trying to get the best from the other one. During this time, has China been a satellite-State of the Soviet Union or has she been a rival from the beginning?
[...] But it is worth noticing that China often complained about the quality of weapons given by the Soviet Union which did not seen willing to do much for its ally. But the strongest ties between the USSR and the PRC soon became the economic ties: the USSR was the most important trading partner of China before the Great Leap Forward: at the end of the 1950's, trade with the USSR accounted for 40% of the total volume of trade of China. Furthermore, the economic aid provided by it had been very useful to modernize Chinese firms. [...]
[...] As far as political cooperation is concerned, it is worth noticing that the USSR has been the first country to recognize the People's Republic of China on the day after its creation and to break its diplomatic relations with the Nationalist government. One of the most important landmarks in the evolution of Sino-Soviet relations has been the signature of the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and mutual assistance on February 14th Although this treaty may contain some mutual compromise and although China obtained economic aid such as long-term credits to the amount of 300,000,000 US dollars, there is no doubt that it was largely unequal, at the detriment of the Chinese government. [...]
[...] For instance, Khrushchev asked China to support his policy in Budapest in 1956. Because of all these factors, China soon gained its independence and began to be a disturbing partner; we may even say a rival, for the USSR, an evolution that the other communist States did not encounter at that time at the exception may be of Yugoslavia. Indeed, China seemed to have firstly agreed to enter partially the Soviet Bloc only for practical reasons because it needed the Soviet economical help for its reconstruction after having suffered from almost 10 years of war and its diplomatic help to get some recognition on the international stage. [...]
[...] In a nutshell, it is worth noticing that China had to emancipate from Soviet clout to find her place in the international stage, and that in a way, this place was born from the Soviet weakness China and Soviet Russia Henry WEI, by D. VAN NOSTRAND COMPANY, INC Preface p. ix China and Soviet Russia, Henry WEI p264-265. Moscow or Peking? Alexandre Metaxas, by Chatto&Windus p12 http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1949-ccp-program.html: Internet Modern History Sourcebooks website. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitution_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_Pola nd China and Soviet Russia Henry WEI, p 266 Classes of History of International Relations provided by Mme Syliviane Tissot at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille to Second- Year Students during the first semester of the scholar year 2006-2007. [...]
[...] To obtain a complete political independence, China also strived to get the nuclear weapon: it get a nuclear agreement in 1955 but in July 1958 she rejected propositions from Khrushchev for a joint- control over Chinese atomic research and over a new military radar system to be created in China with Soviet aid: China managed to remain out of the Soviet control for what might become one of the main tools of its power and foreign policy. This has made the Soviet Union getting bitter and quite angry, having the feeling that she had done the best she could for her ally, but without getting much in return. To conclude, we may say that China has never been a satellite-state of the USSR, in the sense that, thanks to its particular position and to Mao's skill and willingness to prevent her from falling under the Soviet's domination, she has been able to keep her own links with the external world, to develop an independent economy, to strengthen her military power Even though, for practical reasons, she had to accept to cooperate with the USSR at the beginning, she soon managed to get rid of the Soviet influence and as soon as she felt strong enough to impose herself on the international scene, she had definitely cut her relations with the USSR: in addition to ideological reasons, this is one of the motives of the Sino- Soviet split. [...]
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