What Was The Sino-Soviet Split In The Cold War Case Study

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A. Plan of the Investigation

This investigation seeks to evaluate the circumstances that led to the Sino-Soviet “split”

during the Cold War. The main body of this investigation will assess the political and ideological

relations, national interests, as well as varying views of regimes between China (PRC) and the

Soviet Union (USSR). The split devastated the international communist movement while laying

down the path that would later spark relations between China and the United States in 1971. Two

sources, Sino-Soviet Crisis Politics: A Study of Political Change and Communication by Richard

Wich, and The Sino-Soviet Territorial Dispute written by Tai Sung An, will be evaluated

throughout this investigation for their origins,
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Meanwhile, another major cause of the Sino-Soviet split were the disagreements that

arose from the emergence of the Cultural Revolution in China in 1966. Mao started this social-

political movement as a means of purging political rivals from Communist China. The goal of

the Cultural Revolution5 was to preserve the Communist ideology by ridding the society of

capitalist and traditional relics and elements. Sacred statues of the Buddha had their faces

destroyed whereas traditional Chinese books were burned in massive piles. From 1958 to 1961,

China embarked on a disastrous program to improve steel production known as the Great Leap

Forward6. However, the program was a failure, striking famine and death among millions of

civilians. By implementing the revolution, Mao signified his return to power after his plan’s

disastrous failure.

The Cultural Revolution strained the Sino-Soviet relationship, particularly the political

relations between China and Russia as the debate on Maoism vs. Marxism-Leninism7 further

4 2, Soon

5 99, An

6 156,
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C. Evaluation of Sources

The Sino-Soviet Crisis Politics: A Study of Political Change and Communication, by

Richard Wich, provides a concise account of the causes that led to the eventual Sino-Soviet split

while analyzing the policies and relations involved in the event of the crisis. This origins of this

source can be traced to when it was published in 1980 by the Council of East Asian Studies at

Harvard University – its publication date straying not too far from the date of the actual events.

The purpose of the academic’s book may have been to analyze the changes in the political

landscape that preluded the split, such as border disputes and differing views. The value of this

source is that the author is an academic with a strong background in Foreign Studies as well as

Asian studies. Therefore, his facts may be more biased due to his specialization in regions such

as Asia. However, the limitation of this source is that the references in this book have been

retrieved from several other sources, meaning that it consists of primarily secondhand

7 303,

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