Rhetoric, Perspectives, and Reactions of the Soviet Union to US-China Relations

CHAPTER ONE: Introduction

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On the 21st of February 1972, the 37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, landed in Beijing, capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), for what was the beginning of a week-long “journey of peace” – as Nixon described it. This week culminated in the signing of a Joint Communiqué in Shanghai that foreshadowed the establishment of full diplomatic relations on January 1, 1979. A Republican President and “Red Baiter”[1] synonymous with the tides of rabid anti-Communism descended from Air Force One and immediately extended his hand to Premier Zhou Enlai, who eventually brought him to Chairman Mao Zedong. The visit came as a surprise to many Americans, yet the groundwork had been laid since 1955, when the first of 136 ambassador-level meetings was held. “The week that changed the world” – another label ascribed by Nixon to the trip – was a worldwide television sensation and has been documented in countless forms, most interestingly by composer John Adams’ popular 1987 opera, Nixon in China.

The easing of tensions between the U.S. and China following the Sino-Soviet split served as a deterrent against the Soviet Union, which by this point faced adversaries from the East and West. While Nixon’s trip itself indisputably shook the world and continues to inspire comparisons – “if Nixon could go to China, clearly President Barack Obama can negotiate with Iran,” for instance – it is too tempting in an era of media and celebrity-as-deity to ignore the broader dimensions of the Sino-American rapprochement and to fail to analyze it through the lens of key stakeholders. Indeed, a focus on ‘Nixon in China’ overlooks the full amplitude of the rapprochement and its tumultuous trajectory – “from alliance to bitter falling out to violent border clashes to frigid standoff to wary warming.”[2]

This paper focuses on the rhetoric, perspectives and reactions of the Soviet Union – not only its decision makers, but also its most influential academics and writers – in response to developments in the U.S.-China romance. This topic has received extremely little attention relative to the deluge of research on the rapprochement in a variety of fields. It will be argued that the Soviet Union lacked a cogent strategy for managing the normalization of U.S.-China relations. The Soviet Union failed to acknowledge the possibility that the U.S. could seek an easing of tensions with both communist superpowers at the same time, without “colluding with, or accommodating, one at the expense of the other.”[3] The Soviet Union opted to blame the U.S. for the failure of détente instead of using the rapprochement with China as an opportunity to reenergize talks that could have brought an end to the Cold War, while fully engaging Kissinger’s concept of “triangular diplomacy.” Moreover, the USSR fundamentally hyperbolized the military threat posed by the two nations and their allies against Moscow, while failing to recognize the pragmatic, regional – and not maximalist – objectives of the Chinese in normalizing relations with the United States.

 

CHAPTER TWO: The View from Moscow

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“The Strategic Triangle”

The Sino-Soviet-American triangle can be conceptualized as a “romantic triangle,” whereby there is harmony/friendship/accord between one “pivot” player and two “wing” players, but there is animosity/discord between each of the wing players. This is in contrast to the “ménage à trois,” wherein there is symmetrical amity between each player.[4]

The U.S. found itself in the most advantageous position – as the “pivot” in a “romantic triangle.” However, this position requires “inordinate sensitivity and skill” due to the “unequal distribution of benefits and security.”[5] For Kissinger, the “pivot” in so-called Triangular Diplomacy “must avoid the impression that it is ‘using’ either of the contenders against the other.” Rather, the U.S. should maintain closer relations with the Soviets and the Chinese than they have with one another, so as to maximally benefit from the Sino-Soviet rift. As Nixon put it, the opening to China was “not directed against any other nation…any nation can be [America’s] friend without being any other nation’s enemy.”[6] The success of Kissinger’s triangular strategy was a major contributor to the Soviet Union’s failure to reign in the rapprochement between Washington and Beijing.

The Soviet Lens in Context

It is beyond the scope of this paper to analyze Soviet perceptions of itself, the United States, and China, as this requires multi-layered analysis, beginning with the origins of each state. However, it is vital to keep in mind that during the years of the rapprochement, the Soviet Union never wavered from its belief in the eventual overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with not just socialism, but the Soviet Union’s definition of socialism and the simultaneous extension of Moscow’s sphere of influence. The ridiculing of the Chinese socialist system before, during and after the Sino-Soviet split in the mid-1960s makes more sense when China’s ‘truancy’ is understood as a threat to the durability of the ideological hegemony the Soviets attributed onto themselves. Indeed, under the leadership of Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the Soviets saw themselves as transitioning towards “developed socialism,” a more materially and spiritually rich brand than that of the Khrushchev era.[7] Indeed, the ‘new’ Soviet Union perceived itself to be a “coequal of the United States” with a “right to shape the world order.”[8] Mounting evidence in the late 1960s of nuclear parity between the two superpowers helped to cement this belief. That the People’s Republic of China (PRC) rose to become a major player in Cold War geopolitics turned the USSR’s cherished bipolar worldview on its head. China represented a “third force,” which is conveniently consistent with Mao Zedong’s “theory of three worlds.”[9] Furthermore, Mao was seen to have undermined the Soviet system with his brand of “skeleton socialism” and irretrievable nationalism.[10] At the same time, the Soviets knew the United States was constantly seeking opportunities to thwart Soviet power and influence. The looming Sino-American rapprochement was therefore seen as a veritable disaster in the making.

The View From Moscow: Pre-1969 to 1982

Chi Su defines five discrete, chronological stages through which she analyzes Soviet evaluations of the U.S.-China rapprochement. This paper is organized around these five stages, but will include additional information and analysis that has come to light since 1983, when Su’s article was written. For instance, in 2011 the Cold War International History Project released a major working paper on its project collecting archival sources from the “Interkit,” an organization set up by the Kremlin in 1967 to oversee Soviet and Warsaw Pact analysis and policy initiatives in regards to China.

The first stage identified by Su was from 1969 to July 1971, up until Kissinger’s first secret trip to the PRC. The second stage spans July 1971 until late 1973, during which Nixon made his iconic visit to the PRC while the USSR sought obsessively to monitor the rapprochement. During the third stage, from late 1973 to May 1978, this fervor subsided while the U.S. and China attended to domestic crises, including the death of Mao. The fourth stage saw the U.S. working to play the “China card” while the USSR worked to “neutralize the emerging anti-Soviet united front.”[11] The fifth stage began with a visit to China by Defense Secretary Harold Brown in January 1980. During each stage, the Soviet Union tried to understand the dynamics of the Sino-American rapprochement – for instance, which of the two countries was pushing the other toward further normalization.

Stage One: “Moderate Confidence” – Pre-1969 to July 1971

At this stage, the Soviet Union believed it dominated the U.S.-China-USSR triangle and was confident that a Sino-American rapprochement would not be achieved swiftly. A whole host of issues created an impasse and led to the suspension of U.S.-China ambassadorial talks, which had begun in 1955 in Geneva. The two most impassable issues were the Vietnam War – by then in its grim later stages – and U.S. support for Taiwan both in Taipei and at the United Nations. However, the discovery of Kissinger’s secret trip to the PRC attuned the Soviets to intensified threats from the West and the East. It was at this point that the Soviets shifted from a passive to active – though ultimately unsuccessful – strategy to thwart the Sino-U.S. rapprochement. For Moscow, which was involved by this point in deadly border clashes with China, Beijing’s opening to the West was the “last straw that confirmed China’s fundamentally hostile attitude toward the Soviet Union.”[12] The syntax, “Beijing’s opening to the West,” is appropriate here since the Soviets viewed China as “comparatively the more important motivating force” in the U.S.-China romance, with China even willing to compromise on Taiwan – the issue that held back the rapprochement.[13] The U.S. still harboured anxieties about engaging with the PRC, yet the Soviets failed to take this opportunity to “direct Soviet-American détente implicitly, if not explicitly, against China.”[14] This too will be explored further.

China’s goal – much like that of the U.S. – was to “maintain stability on the northern borders” and avoid a full-out conflict with the Soviet Union at the same time as China was engaged in supporting North Vietnam.[15] At that point, China “still viewed the U.S. military threat as equal to the Soviet threat.” In response, Mao directed his staff to strengthen defense capabilities in the northern, northeastern, and northwestern regions. A “Leading Team for Preventing Surprise Attacks from the Enemy” was promptly established.[16] Mao began to realize that China could not “fight on more than one side at a time,” as he told Zhou, and China could only adequately counter one enemy at a time.[17] This was the start of a major shift in Mao’s thinking, priming him to consider a rapprochement with the U.S.

Meanwhile, the ongoing Sino-Soviet split provided an opportunity for Mao to focus on the Soviet threat. Mao’s anxiety reached its peak when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968 under the exigencies of the Brezhnev Doctrine. Premier Zhou Enlai characterized this offensive as “socialist imperialism”[18] while Mao was even more blunt in expressing his fear that the Brezhnev Doctrine would be next used against China.[19] This marked a major shift in the PRC’s threat perception. In short, Beijing now feared Moscow more than Washington, and as such stopped accusing the U.S. of planning to attack mainland China. The U.S. also feared it would be drawn in to a protracted armed conflict in Asia should the Soviets decide to reenact the Czechoslovakia invasion, consistent with the Brezhnev Doctrine.[20] Indeed, it is a mistake to view Sino-Soviet abrasions as separate and independent from the United States. Rather, within the realm of triangular diplomacy, “war between China and the USSR could draw the United States into a regional clash, if Washington feared that such a war infringed on vital U.S. interests in the maintenance of a stable correlation of forces in Eurasia.”[21]

The Sino-Soviet rift further deepened as border flare-ups continued with greater frequency and lethality. After the Soviets annulled military cooperation agreements with China in 1959, tensions at the border between the two communist powers escalated. Most worrying to China was the bolstered presence of Soviet troops along the Sino-Soviet and Sino-Mongolian borders.[22] A staggering 1.18 million troops were stationed in the region east of the Ural Mountains alone.[23] Less than one year after the Czech invasion, Chinese and Soviet troops were fighting one another on the Zhenbao Island, which falls within the Sino-Siberian border region along the Ussuri River. However, blame cannot be attributed to the Soviets in this particular incident, for it was China that initiated the Zhenbao skirmish in an attempt at what Kissinger called “offensive deterrence.”[24] In conversation with Brezhnev, the Polish Communist Leader Wladyslaw Gomulka suggested the flare-up not be seen as an act of war, but rather as “an offer from China to America, a signal that there is no possibility for an understanding between China and the USSR” and a demonstration that China is able to “carry out provocations against the USSR”[25] and would not necessarily require major U.S. military support in opposing the Soviet threat.

The border clashes were followed by Sino-Soviet talks held at the Beijing airport, but these meetings ultimately failed. Realizing they had no hope of negotiating with Mao, the Soviet Union shifted in strategy, pursuing diplomatic campaigns to illustrate the collective interests common to the Soviet and Chinese peoples. Moscow favoured a return to cooperation with Chinese society, most likely to stymie U.S.-China détente and potential military cooperation against the Soviet Union. This strategy collapsed, however, when Moscow learned of Kissinger’s secret trip to China in 1971.

Fearing possible invasion based on the precedent set in Czechoslovakia, or perhaps an attack on Chinese nuclear facilities[26], Mao warned, “We must get ready for war,” and resisted attempts by Soviet leaders to engage with China informally via telephone.[27] It is clear that China overestimated the Soviet threat in this case, though the Soviet military advantage arguably gave the Chinese reason for paranoia that drove them to the point of belligerence. (The Soviet’s failure to recognize its own military superiority had broader implications, which will be discussed later.) While Mao anticipated the worst, the Soviet Union simultaneously harboured similar fears of a Chinese invasion and thus failed to heed Zhou’s demands of removing Soviet troops from its border with China. On both sides, the overestimations of threat were vast and costly. Indeed, the Soviet Deputy Minister of Defense told the Chinese ambassador in 1970 that the Soviet Union “never planned to attack China.”[28] The impact of these and other misinterpretations of reality will be explored later. Too be sure, the paranoia was palpable. A report by Chinese marshals accused the U.S. of “sitting on top of the mountain to watch a fight between two tigers.”[29]

While China prepared for an all-out war with the Soviet Union, the U.S. began to view China as a key player in the “global chessboard.”[30] At the same time, the U.S. – which by then wanted to withdraw its military from Indochina and East Asia – saw an window of opportunity to improve relations with China. That the U.S. pursued limited cooperation with China in the absence of any official normalization of relations “seriously constrained Moscow’s search for solutions to its conflict with Beijing.”[31]

Mao and Zhou were impressed by Nixon’s efforts at home to present Americans with a new understanding of China, most prominently in his Foreign Affairs article, “Asia After Vietnam.”[32] On October 1, 1970, Mao told Edgar Snow, an American journalist on a visit to China, that he would be willing to meet with Nixon in China, whether – as Mao put it – “the talk is successful or not, whether we have a quarrel or not, whether he joins in the talk as a traveller or as a president, any of these would be acceptable.”[33]

What was Moscow to make of all these developments? The Soviets grappled with the rapprochement both behind closed doors and in the (state-controlled) media, the latter accusing the Israeli lobby in Washington (!) of encouraging the rapprochement.[34] Georgi Arbatov, an influential columnist, characterized the Americans – particularly émigrés from other Soviet countries and “belligerent Zionist elements” – as “rabid haters of the Soviet Union” seeking to take full advantage of the Sino-Soviet rift. However, Arbatov expressed hope that the “progressive” segments of the American population would fight to end the cold war while encouraging the White House to take “more constructive positions” on issues close to Moscow’s heart, such as arms control and European security.[35] He did not believe, however, that this would happen. In reacting to Arbatov’s piece, Kissinger “warned against orgies of ‘self-flagellation’” and pledged to be “meticulous” in his execution of triangular diplomacy.[36]

Stage Two: “Excessive Fear” – July 1971 to late 1973

April 1971 brought the famous “Ping Pong Diplomacy” affair, when under Mao’s direction the Chinese Table Tennis Association invited the American team to visit China on its way home from the world championships in Japan. This laid the foundation for countless exchanges between American and Chinese artists, scientists, educators and more. A more cynical perspective on these exchanges portrays Nixon as believing that “the super-power competition could be channeled into political, economic, and cultural spheres, in which Western and communist values could compete for the minds of people worldwide.”[37] In short, this was about much more than just table tennis. All of these developments and contacts were carefully observed by the USSR, which remained incapable of understanding how the striking ideological and geopolitical divides between the U.S. and China could be overcome – or at least ignored – through exchange and dialogue. This proved to be another missed opportunity to further détente.

Henry Kissinger’s secret visit to China in July 1971 was a major disappointment for the USSR, though they remained hopeful that internal dissent within the U.S. would stifle Kissinger’s progress in furthering the rapprochement. However, events in China convinced the Soviets that Beijing’s anti-Soviet agenda was there to stay. For example, Mao may have orchestrated the mysterious death of Lin Biao – then the Vice-Chair of the Communist Party – due to a plane crash in Mongolia in September 1971in light of Lin’s influential opposition to rapprochement with the U.S. This covert action cemented Mao’s resolve to crack down on internal dissent regarding the rapprochement and bolstered the position of Zhou Enlai, premier of the PRC and Lin’s chief rival.

Kissinger told Nixon, “Go to Beijing. It will drive the Russians crazy.” He was right. Nixon’s visit to China – the “week that changed the world,” as Nixon put it – occurred in February 1972, culminating in the Shanghai Communiqué. The significance of Nixon’s extremely public, often operatic visit was that for the first time, the U.S. and China were able to move beyond impassable issues, namely the status of Taiwan. In the Communiqué, the U.S. cleverly acknowledged the “One-China Policy” of the PRC in regards to Taiwan belonging to Beijing without expressing agreement with that position: “The United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a province of China.”[38] This was a fine example of what Kissinger termed “constructive ambiguity,” such that the U.S. balanced its relations with Beijing and Taipei, while reducing the risk of conflict. Many observers felt the U.S. emerged as the loser on this issue, since it was forced to acknowledge China’s position, to affirm that the situation must be resolved “by the Chinese themselves,” and to promise to scale back its military presence in Taiwan. The Communiqué also handled American and Chinese divergences on the war in Vietnam and maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula in a similarly ambiguous fashion.[39] The Communiqué contains an article clearly aimed at the Soviet Union. The article states that neither state “should seek hegemony in the Asia-Pacific region and each is opposed to efforts by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony.” In a further jab at Moscow, the article opposes attempts by countries to “divide the world into spheres of interest.”[40] In a report to Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, Professor Mikhail Sladkovsky said he believed the aforementioned article posed a threat to the Soviet Union. He was also alarmed that China’s portion of the Communiqué “ignored the existence of the socialist world” and made no mention of any commitment to “protect the interests of socialism.”[41] This was just one of many pieces of rapprochement analysis that resulted in a deep suspicion of Beijing on the ideological front. Meanwhile, in 1973 the Soviet “Interkit” analysts discovered that the Chinese had begun to consider the Soviets to be their “Number One Enemy,” and the surrounding discourse became “fearful, even preemptory.”[42]

The significance of Nixon’s visit insofar as this paper is concerned is that the Soviet Union never expected that the U.S. and China would be able to overcome their fundamental divergences on issues like Taiwan. Still, the Soviets downplayed the importance of the summit even after it had ended, arguing that it “did not remove the basic contradictions between the USA and Maoist China.”[43]

Stage Three: “Vigilant Complacency” – Late 1973 to May 1978

This was a period of considerable quiet in terms of Sino-American diplomatic contacts, as China and the US tackled their respective domestic problems, especially the economy. Both sides experienced changes in leadership and other crises that deprived them of “all the domestic conditions necessary for carrying out the delicate rapprochement process.”[44] Jimmy Carter’s entry into the White House also signaled a change in perspective; whereas Kissinger worked to balance triangular diplomacy while leaning ever so slightly toward Beijing, Carter’s administration was more interested in “maintaining an equidistant posture toward the Soviet Union and China than [in] effecting a tilt toward the latter.”[45] The Soviets were aware that Carter’s administration was not – unlike Nixon’s – prepared to allow Soviet-American relations to deteriorate in favour of bolstered ties with the PRC. At the same time, the USSR became increasingly aware of factionalism in Washington, with many decision makers opposing the use of the “China card” in retaliation to the Brezhnev Doctrine. Stage three also includes February 1973, when Mao’s “horizontal line” strategy was proposed – a strategy that would include the United States as well as Japan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Europe, all united in opposition to the Soviet “animal,” as Mao termed it. Yet stage three also includes the deaths of Mao and Zhou in 1976. After Mao’s death, the Soviet Union under Brezhnev – far from finalizing plans to attack China, as the Chinese had feared up until that point – looked for openings to pursue détente with the Chinese (while reserving their drive for expansionism for the Middle East, Africa and Indochina). Soviet efforts included many rounds of condolences in light of Mao’s passing, as well as speeches calling for an end to the “unreasonable and abnormal” Sino-Soviet split.[46] Yet the Chinese rejected the Soviet Union’s overtures – including the condolences to Mao – mostly because the latter had done nothing to scale back its military presence along the Sino-Soviet border.

Stage Four: “Embittered Trepidation” – May 1978 to January 1980

The fourth stage began with a visit to China by Zbigniew Brzezinski, Carter’s National Security Advisor. Carter – confronting global Soviet expansionism with no end in sight – realized the importance of establishing official relations. Zbigniew’s trip was intended to affirm the shared Sino-American objective of opposing “efforts by any other country to establish regional or global hegemony.”[47] This rhetoric affirmed their shared position vis-à-vis the Soviet Union while simultaneously trying – albeit less successfully – to put Chinese nightmares of American hegemony in Asia to rest. Most critically, Brzezinski stressed the importance of achieving full relations and conceded to China’s three main conditions for this to occur; the U.S. committed to annul diplomatic relations with Taiwan, cancel the U.S.-Taiwan defense treaty, and withdraw all military troops from Taiwan.[48] China responded positively to these moves but made “no commitment to refrain from using force to settle the Taiwan issue.”[49] After five years of stagnation, diplomatic talks between the U.S. and China resumed. The U.S. argued that in exchange for its fulfillment of China’s three conditions, China should in turn allow the U.S. to continue supplying Taiwan with defensive weapons.

In response to Zbigniew’s visit, Soviet experts, including senior “Interkit” analysts, redoubled their suspicions of U.S.-China “collusion,” but – in a serious miscalculation – did not believe the relationship would progress since “the American public correctly [understood] the danger of the US being pulled into China’s anti-Soviet policy.”[50] Meanwhile, renewed American vigour in opposition to the Soviet threat and in support of an “anti-Soviet united front”[51] marked the first time the US played the “China card” to further its objectives, in spite of the aforementioned critics of continued realpolitik.  Moscow also feared that the Chinese were playing a complementary “American card.”[52] These anxieties extended to the ideological realm as well, with the Soviets accusing the U.S. and China of resisting “forces fighting for national liberation” and securing “the interests of American imperialism.”[53] Moscow’s fear of an anti-Soviet front deepened even further when Japan entered the scene. This occurred in August 1978 when China and Japan signed a Treaty of Peace and Friendship, which included a clause stating their shared commitment to oppose “hegemony.”[54] China recognized Japan’s potential role as “an incipient ally…to counter Soviet and Indian designs.”[55] Mao put it very simply, saying he would prefer Japan have better relations with the US than with the Soviet Union. Finally, the PRC and the US officially normalized relations on January 1, 1979. A brief period of euphoria was quickly “replaced by [a] realistic evaluation of Chinese capabilities.”[56] The boiling point for Soviet anxiety was reached in regards to the transfer of military technologies to China – not only by the U.S., but also by other NATO countries under pressure from Washington.

Stage Five: “Renewed Hopes” – January 1980 to March 1982

This stage marked the first where it was the U.S. – facing a surge in anti-Soviet sentiment at home – that actively took initiative and encouraged China to confront the Soviet Union, while the China was seen “to be the less enthusiastic partner in the trans-Pacific tango.”[57] The Soviet Union anxiously watched as U.S.-China military cooperation increased, including augmented weapons sales – though this was controversial within the U.S., as the Soviets were well aware.[58] The Soviets were also alarmed to discover that the U.S. was working with China in the Middle East and Indochina, while also sharing defense intelligence. Finally, as an outgrowth of Ping Pong Diplomacy[59], the Soviets observed an explosion in the number of bilateral agreements between the U.S. and China, mostly regarding cooperation in the fields of science and technology. However, the Soviets understood that both countries remained focused primarily on strategic cooperation and this became clear when, in June 1981, the U.S. swiftly abolished a ban against the sale of “offensive weapons” to China. Indeed, with Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, anti-Soviet fervor reached new heights. Also during this period, the Taiwan Problem, as it was known, came to the forefront of the rapprochement discourse; it could not be ignored any longer. At a gathering of Soviet “Sinologists,” experts warned that the PRC was moving towards “nationalist, great power strategic principles” and developing a “hegemonic, anti-Soviet foreign policy.”[60] However, other experts remained hopeful that with the death of Mao, anti-Soviet, pro-“imperialist” sentiments would be reversed. The Head of the Far Eastern Department of the Foreign Ministry noted with some measure of optimism that:

…an increasing number of people realize that the present-day world is not the “Celestial Empire” of the time of the Tang or Qing dynasties, that China is lagging behind some “barbarian” nations by dozens and even hundreds of years, that China must work hard for 50-70 years to carry out the necessary modernizations and pursue a correct policy instead of brainwashing their own people, and that finally, the imperialists will not help China modernize. As China acquires experience in international discourse, the following conviction is becoming widespread: the role of junior partner to imperialism runs counter to the interest and dignity of the Chinese people.[61]

The above quote is merely one expression of the Soviet Union’s perceived opportunity during Stage Five to take advantage of the imbalance between the U.S.’s and China’s will to normalize relations and “play upon the differences between China and the U.S. in order to dislodge itself from the least optimal corner of the triangle.”[62] Yet Moscow ultimately failed to benefit from this opportunity.

 

CHAPTER THREE: Taking Perceptions to the Policy Shop

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Now that the events of the U.S.-China rapprochement have been outlined with a focus on the Soviet perspective, we will discuss Moscow’s policy reactions to their perceptions of the rapprochement – policies that were carried out with a view to thwarting it – or at least minimizing its impact on Soviet interests – wherever possible. The triangular structure outlined earlier forced the Soviet Union to – “like a jilted wife who still hopes to save her marriage” – focus extensively on articulating the superiority of U.S.-Soviet détente over the U.S-China romance.[63] As a result of the triangular arrangement of the 1970s, the USSR was left “the odd-man-out”[64] while facing the “unpleasant prospect of collusion between the world’s most populous and most technologically advanced nations.”[65] Moscow’s reading of the Sino-American rapprochement inspired a plethora of often-misguided policies, which will be analyzed in the pages to follow.

Soviet policy vis-à-vis China after the late 1960s was guided by two factors: hearty distrust of – and desire to “unmask”[66] – Mao’s leadership, and rigid adherence to the Brezhnev Doctrine, which sought to preserve “proletariat internationalism and the unity of the socialist camp.”[67]  Not until 1972 did Brezhnev acknowledge that Sino-Soviet relations could be grounded in “peaceful coexistence” rather than the ideological, anti-imperialist unity he knew was no longer realistically attainable.

Soviet Policies and Associated Shortcomings

1. Détente and Diplomatic Overtures:

In 1962, well before stage one began in 1969, the USSR became very concerned about the possibility of China obtaining nuclear weapons, not only due to the threat they would pose to Moscow but because “the precedent it would set could justify the American imperialist arming of West Germany.”[68] The Soviets joined the campaign for a Limited Nuclear Test Ban treaty, furthering U.S.-Soviet détente while angering the Chinese, who viewed the whole initiative as a conspiracy against Beijing. In a major defeat for China, the test ban treaty was signed on August 5, 1963 and ratified by over 100 countries within a year. As Zhou Enlai declared, “Khrushchev scored a major political victory.”[69] Meanwhile, China continued with its nuclear weapons proliferation in spite of the test ban, and this contributed to Soviet-U.S. détente at the same time as “ideological reconciliation” with Mao became impossible for Khrushchev.[70]

Before discovering Kissinger’s trip, the Soviets did not have a long-term strategy – nor an aggressive one – for thwarting the rapprochement. After 1971, “hysteria” inside and outside the Kremlin prompted a change in strategy, with Brezhnev taking the lead.  Responding in part to fears of Chinese nuclear weaponization, Brezhnev spent a year championing a proposed USSR-U.S. Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War, which was signed in June 1973. The Agreement included a clause that was unmistakably linked to Soviet fears surrounding the rapprochement: “…the two parties ‘shall prevent’ situations whereby actions of third countries [such as China] might produce a nuclear war.”  At the very least, the aim in having the U.S. sign this document was to lower China’s confidence in the United States. China, on the other hand, was skeptical of the Agreement and interpreted it as requiring the two major powers to consult one another concerning the escalation of any conflicts involving them wherein nuclear war might be a possibility. For China, this aspect violated the Shanghai Communiqué by asserting “nuclear world hegemony.”

Before the Soviet Union learned about Kissinger’s secret trip to China in July 1971, they released a set of secret normalization proposals to the PRC and the U.S., separately. Had either side accepted these proposals – which included calls for a nonaggression pact, various summits, cultural exchanges, and trade increases – the Soviets “would have seriously and perhaps irrevocably damaged the prospects of the emerging rapprochement.”[71] However, these proposals were too broad and political, and as such failed during stage one. Some observers believe the nonaggression pact was intended to “reorient the Warsaw pact against China,”[72] but China was not easily fooled, nor did they need to succumb to Soviet pressure in light of their American backers. The Soviets had hoped these proposals would reduce the U.S.-China threat to Moscow and create a channel of communication that would ease tensions.[73] As such, these proposals reflected “a certain degree of sincerity” and “seriousness of…intent.”[74] The Soviets tried less ambitious proposals during stage five – when the USSR faced increasing military cooperation between the U.S. and the PRC – including confidence-building measures. These proposals led to Sino-Soviet meetings in Beijing in 1982.

The Soviets accelerated détente with the United States in response to the rapprochement, falsely believing that the deepening of relations between the U.S. and China was “not inevitable.”[75] Reactions to the announcement in 1971 of Nixon’s planned visit to China mostly targeted the Chinese for their “duplicity,” as blaming China was less costly than blaming the U.S, with whom the Soviets desperately hoped to make advances in détente.[76] The most prominent products of détente – the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, and the Berlin negotiations – were justified in Moscow as a necessary part of the anti-imperialist struggle, one that exploits the weaknesses of the enemy. In addition, the Kremlin blamed the U.S. for betraying détente and at the same time framed détente as reflecting the “real interests” of their respective populations, thus accusing the U.S. of ignoring its citizens and shirking its responsibility to promote “peace and security of nations.”[77] As Brezhnev speechified in 1978, the “current creators of American policy” aligned themselves with the “anti-Soviet rulers of China, who…declare peace and détente to be a fraud, and war to be the single realistic prospect.”[78] This rhetoric was certainly tactical, yet ultimately fell on deaf ears and was insufficient to thwart the Sino-American rapprochement on any level.

Neither were renewed attempts at détente with the PRC, which were mostly aimed at stifling U.S.-China military cooperation and convincing Beijing that Mikhail Gorbachev could help them meet their “Four Modernizations.”[79] Yet the USSR failed to use aid in the way Nixon did as part of a “wedge strategy” to demonstrate the U.S. system’s ability to meet the needs and wants of the Chinese people. Nixon knew that through economic aid “it would soon become apparent that the Soviets could not compete with the West in providing for China’s needs.”[80] Little is known about the substance and impact of Sino-Soviet détente in response to the rapprochement.[81] Still, it is clear that Moscow was misguided in expecting the emboldened Chinese to “be satisfied with a distinctly subordinate position within the communist camp.”[82] In addition, the Soviets failed to make meaningful concessions to China, such as reductions in aid to Vietnam and a withdrawal of troops from the Sino-Soviet border and from Mongolia.

A final diplomatic initiative on the part of Moscow – and a broader one than the nuclear war agreement – was the repeated call for “collective security” in Asia, under the management of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This “Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality” would comprise all states in the region and would serve as an alternative to the exclusivity of the Sino-Soviet-U.S. strategic triangle. The Chinese, with U.S. backing, opposed this concept – which the Soviets promoted as the same time as they were working with Vietnam to jointly dominate Indochina – because they viewed it as part of “an overall containment strategy”[83] and a “transparent vehicle to legitimate a Soviet strategic presence on China’s periphery.”[84] The Soviets maintained the initiative for ten years, through Gorbachev’s term, but had “scant success.”[85]

2. Sabotage of U.S.-China Talks and Relationship-Building:

The Soviets tried to expose America’s “true” intentions to the Chinese, and vice-versa. To the Chinese, they warned of U.S. hopes to secure influence in Southeast Asia following a resolution to the Vietnam War. (Ironically, when the Cold War ended in 1975, it was the Soviet Union that gained the most influence in that region.) They also “stressed the duplicity of U.S. policy and pointed out that, for Washington, China was an object, not a subject, of international relations.”[86] When speaking to the American side, the Soviets noted the “physical limitations of China’s power”[87] and emphasized that the PRC wanted to draw the U.S. into the costly and inextricable task of defending them militarily. The Soviets also warned the U.S. against the sale of arms to China, but the Americans viewed this as highly hypocritical in light of the steady current of arms flowing from the USSR to Fidel Castro’s Cuba.[88]

3. Military buildup in the Far East and vast expansion of Pacific Fleet:

Following Brzezinski’s visit to China in May 1978, the Soviets sought “military-strategic parity” with the U.S. and China and increased – yet again – their military presence along the Sino-Soviet border.[89] It should be noted that augmented military deployments were costly for the Soviets and “diverted enormous resources from civil reconstruction in major Soviet cities.”[90] In another hypocritical move, the Soviets expanded their nuclear arsenal – at the same time as Brezhnev successfully lobbied for the aforementioned Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War, not to mention the test ban treaty and SALT I – to be nearly on par with the United States.[91] Rather than halting the rapprochement, China set out once again to prepare for an all-out war with the Soviet Union, this time with potential U.S. backing.

Here lies the greatest flaw of the Soviet response to rapprochement: the bolstered militarization against a perceived Sino-American “horizontal line” coupled with a vast overestimation of the threat posed by the U.S-China alliance to the Soviet Union. Moscow put on a bullish front – indeed, “Soviet armour and nuclear rocket forces could slice through China’s defenses like a knife through bean curd”[92] – and then was shocked to see the Chinese rejecting attempts at détente and preparing itself for an all-out war. The U.S., too, sprung to action and sped up “its consideration of a potential large-scale Soviet attack on China.”[93] It seems the USSR did not understand its own might or how its bullish tactics would be interpreted. In reality, a Chinese ground invasion of Soviet territory was highly improbable and a reduction in troops would have been a crucial concession in order to tilt China toward the ears of Beijing. Yet Kissinger believes “the Soviet Union was much closer to a preemptive attack than we realized.”[94] In an absence of détente coupled with continued Soviet military buildup, Moscow’s fear of Sino-American military cooperation along Mao’s “horizontal line” appears quite hypocritical. Yet the paranoia was palpable. Soviet Ambassador to Washington, Anatoliy Dobrynin, repeatedly asked for Kissinger’s assurances that China would not be “used” – as the Ambassador put it – in the context of a military threat,[95] to which Kissinger responded, “Anatoliy, do you think I would be this amateurish?”[96]

As the USSR made considerable gains in the Far East, it continued to be suspicious of China while China was understandably anxious in return. The assistance the USSR provided to the Vietnamese in their occupation of the state of Kampuchea left Moscow with strategic gains, namely access to naval and air bases at Cam Ranh Bay and Danang. One month after the USSR-Vietnam Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation was signed on November 1978, the USSR added Afghanistan to its sphere of influence. However, instead of using these gains as leverage to thwart the Sino-American rapprochement, the Soviets merely instilled in China a more palpable feeling of threat than ever before. Rather than drawing Beijing closer to Moscow, these developments – coupled with mounting border tensions –accelerated the rapprochement and strengthened the resolve of the U.S. and China to “work together to commonly deal with [the] bastard.”[97] Less than a year later – on January 1, 1979 – U.S.-China normalization was a done deal.

4. Expansion of Initiatives to Gain Influence in the “Third World”:

The ‘loss’ of China – a “developing country” – to the U.S. prompted the Soviet Union to intensify efforts to gain a foothold in the “Third World” in order to oppose not only American and Chinese “anti-Soviet” initiatives, but to resist any possibility of joint U.S.-China cooperation in Africa and Asia, all while furthering the global struggle against “imperialism.” This led to new treaties in the early 1970s between the USSR and Iraq, India, and Somalia. Other priority countries for Moscow included Syria, South Yemen, Afghanistan, the Palestinian Territories, and small African countries such as Angola.[98] Soviet support for the Northern Vietnamese likely enabled the latter to invade Cambodia in 1978, one month after a Soviet-Vietnamese Treaty of Peace and Friendship was signed. However, the Soviets did not promise Vietnam to invade China on the former’s behalf because the Soviets believed – perhaps erroneously – that they would face U.S. military forces on the Chinese side. In doing so, the USSR “thus signal[ed] to China and the United States its reluctance to increase tensions in Southeast Asia.”[99]

The Soviets did not expect China to take up the same “third world” task with such versatility and success, especially by framing its activity as part of a grand fight against the “hegemony of two superpowers” who were “heading towards their end.”[100] One scholar described it as a “promiscuous courtship of allies…which facilitated [the PRC’s] entry into the United Nations”[101] – another milestone the USSR wanted to avoid. In Moscow, the reaction was again hypocritical. China was accused of putting up a “facade of friendship with African and Asian counties” and the Soviets’ ideological rigidity in response to China-led development of agriculture and light industry led Moscow to argue – unsuccessfully – that China’s initiatives “doom these countries to dependence on developed capitalist countries and…to even greater and greater backwardness.”[102] The Soviets also took the opportunity to – again hypocritically, in light of the Brezhnev Doctrine – “condemn the policy of armed intervention, subversive activity and other forms of interference in African affairs by the governments of NATO headed by the USA.”[103]

The fundamental errors in the Soviet Union’s judgment regarding its response to the Sino-American rapprochement can be traced to a number of critical misperceptions and misinterpretations. In addition to those mentioned above, the Soviets also demonstrated a:

1. Failure to Read the Writing on the Wall:

Throughout the 1960s and 70s, the Soviet Union never fully accepted the notion that a “genuine” rapprochement would materialize and believed erroneously that Beijing’s will to normalize relations with Washington would subside after the death of Mao in 1976.[104] That bilateral recognition became official in 1979 demonstrates the inaccuracy of this prediction.

2. Failure to Recognize China’s Actual Goals for Rapprochement with the U.S.:

China’s goals were not maximalist or ideological, but rather pragmatic. China believed relations with the U.S. could allow her to protect domestic interests surrounding the Vietnam War and the status of Taiwan, while expediting “modernization by means of Western technology,” one of the post-Mao “Four Modernizations.”[105] Meanwhile, the Central Committee in the Kremlin confidently characterized Beijing as aiming to “strengthen its military potential for hegemonic purposes” and to work with the U.S. to “change a global system to the disadvantage of the USSR and the entire socialist commonwealth.”[106] This turned out to be a damaging miscalculation. Zhou put it simply, “We want a relaxation of tensions.”[107] Moscow similarly failed to understand that the U.S. and China had different goals for the rapprochement, the former keenest on ending the war in Vietnam and achieving eventual reconciliation with the Soviet Union in order to end the cold war.

3. Failure to see Beyond the Brezhnev Doctrine and the Struggle to Protect Socialism:

The USSR stubbornly put the cause of ‘saving’ global Marxist Leninism above geopolitical realities and opportunities. Whereas the U.S. under Kissinger embraced triangular diplomacy, the Soviet leadership remained “constrained by ideological imperatives and a belief in the final worldwide victory of socialism.”[108] A prime example was in 1976, when instead of engaging in triangular diplomacy, Moscow formed a new constitution that outlawed cooperation with countries not committed to “socialist internationalism.”[109] To take another example, the Soviets were fundamentally unwilling to “negotiate from a position of formal equality” with China as this would entail recognition of the PRC’s sovereignty. This, in turn, would “undermine the Brezhnev Doctrine,” since the USSR would have effectively renounced its right to interfere in the domestic affairs of the PRC in order to save socialism.[110] This ideologically-based superiority complex dates back to the late 1940s, when “neither Stalin nor his successors were willing to embrace the Chinese leaders as equals, set bloc policy in genuine consultation with them (particularly with respect to East-West relations), or bow to Chinese views on ideological matters.”[111] The result of this attitude was a series of missed opportunities to effectively engage in triangular diplomacy, as well as an initial policy of inaction in the face of rapprochement. After all, the Soviets believed it would not endure once the “hegemonic ambitions of Beijing” became clear to the U.S.[112] By contrast, when Kissinger made his first trip to Peking, his first public words were, “We come together on the basis of equality,” recognizing that “because of it’s achievements, tradition, ideology, and strength, the PRC was entitled to an equal role in all matters affected the peace of Asia and the peace of the world.”[113] Zhou responded, “All things must be done in a reciprocal manner.”[114] Kissinger and, in turn, Nixon understood that an interminable spat over false ideological hierarchies would serve no one’s interests except the Kremlin.

 

CHAPTER FOUR: Conclusion – ‘What If?’ – The Possibility of Triangular Dialogue and Exchange

a

Having examined the Soviet Union’s utter failure to thwart the Sino-American rapprochement and having taken into account the rapprochement’s impact on détente between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, we are left to wonder if there were any possible forums in which the members of the strategic triangle could have met at the same time. Three-way talks might have helped uncover the vast amount of misinterpretation, misinformation, and overestimation that coalesced to delay détente and prolong not only the Sino-Soviet split, but also the cold war in whole. It may be valuable to consider the 136 ambassador-level meetings that occurred between the U.S. and China beginning in 1955. While these talks were too low-level to impact the dynamics of triangular diplomacy or to overcome critical issues such as Taiwan and Vietnam, they did provide “an avenue for negotiation, so that misunderstandings did not escalate into outright conflict.”[115] While the impact of three-way talks is impossible to predict since they did not occur, it is very possible that the cold war – and in particular, the tensions in the Far East – could have been resolved as early as 1970 (before Kissinger’s secret trip) had the three parties been able to correct and manage their misunderstandings about one another’s intentions. Furthermore, the parties would have benefited from a three-way platform building on the success of two-way Ping Pong Diplomacy and subsequent exchanges and bilateral agreements in advancing science, technology and culture.

The subject of Soviet perceptions of – and reactions to – the U.S.-China rapprochement has received scant attention in the vast scholarly literature surrounding the affair. This paper has examined a variety of sources, including recently released documents giving expression to the Kremlin’s developing understanding of the rapprochement as it unfolded. The Soviet Union’s policies enacted in response to the rapprochement have been outlined and analyzed, with a view to understanding why Moscow failed to thwart the precarious romance between China and the U.S. For reasons of space, this paper has not explored the important domestic conditions in the U.S, China and the USSR that propelled the rapprochement and the Soviet reaction. In addition, the interaction between the rapprochement and both the Vietnam War and the Taiwan Crisis were given brief attention even though they are paper-length subjects in themselves.

References

Robert Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (New York: Harper Collins, 2007).

Lowell Dittmer, “The Strategic Triangle: An Elementary Game-Theoretical Analysis,” World Politics 33 (1981): 485-515.

John W. Garver, “The “New Type” of Sino-Soviet Relations,” Asian Survey 29 (1989): 1136-1152

Evelyn Goh, Constructing the U.S. rapprochement with China, 1961-1974: from “red menace” to “tacit ally” (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Mayumi Itoh, The Origin of Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The forgotten architect of Sino-U.S. rapprochement (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011)

Federation of American Scientists. “Agreement Between The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Prevention of Nuclear War” http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/prevent/text/prevent1.htm.

Raymond Leonard Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, (Brookings Institution Press, 1994).

James Hershberg, Sergey Radchenko, Péter Vámos, and David Wolff, “The Interkit Story: A Window into the Final Decades of the Sino-Soviet Relationship,” Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – Cold War International History Project (2011).

Edward C. Keefer, David C. Geyer, Douglas Eugene Selvage, Henry Kissinger, Soviet-American Relations: the Detente Years, 1969-1972 (United States Department of State, 2011).

Henry Kissinger, White House Years (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1979).

Henry Kissinger, On China (Toronto: Penguin, 2012).

Vitaly Kozyrev, “Soviet Policy Toward the United States and China, 1969-1979,” in Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History ed. William C. Kirby et al. (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007).

Steven I. Levine, “Some Thoughts on Sino-Soviet Relations in the 1980s,” International Journal 34, (1979): 649- 667.

Lorenz M. Lüthi, The Sino-Soviet Split: Cold War in the Communist World (Princeton University Press, 2008).

Margaret MacMillan, Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2006).

Richard M. Nixon, “Asia After Vietnam,” Foreign Affairs 40 (1967).

Chi Su, “U.S.-China Relations: Soviet Views and Policies,” Asian Survey  23 (1983): 555-579.

Chris Tudda, A Cold War Turning Point: Nixon and China, 1969-1972 (Louisiana State University Press, 2012)

Taiwan Documents Project. “The Shanghai Communiqué.” http://www.taiwandocuments.org/communique01.htm

M.S. Ukrainstev, “Soviet-Chinese Relations: Problems and Prospects,” PDV 2 (1982)

U.S. Department of State. “U.S.-China Ambassadorial Talks, 1955-1970.” http://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/ChinaTalks

Wang Zhongchun, “The Soviet Factor in Sino-American Normalization, 1969-1979,” in Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History ed. William C. Kirby et al. (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007).

Woodrow Wilson Center Documents:

Cold War International History Project. “Excerpt from Transcript, Meeting of East German leader Erich Honecker and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in Crimea.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=DC4BDC63-5056-9700-03CD05AAD2DDA805&sort=collection&item=US-Soviet%20Relations

Cold War International History Project. “Information from consultative meeting about China July 3-5, 1972 on International Policy and Internal Situation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Under Current Conditions.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=C302B0B0-90AA-6325-1456BD68E2FA3A6E&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

Cold War International History Project. “CC CPSU information on Chinese foreign policy issues.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=0A1758EF-D3B0-4625-5799F765F4A670EF&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

Cold War International History Project. “Speech by L.I. Brezhnev to CPSU CC Politburo, 08 June 1978.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=5034F5A8-96B6-175C-9DD9D17B9F404E16&sort=collection&item=US-Soviet%20Relations


[1] Evelyn Goh, Constructing the U.S. rapprochement with China, 1961-1974: from “red menace” to “tacit ally” (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005): 102.

[2] James Hershberg, Sergey Radchenko, Péter Vámos, and David Wolff, “The Interkit Story: A Window into the Final Decades of the Sino-Soviet Relationship” (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars – Cold War International History Project, 2011): 9.

[3] Vitaly Kozyrev, V. p. , “Soviet Policy Toward the United States and China, 1969-1979,” in Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History ed. William C. Kirby et al. (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007), 279. This book chapter is extremely useful, as it draws upon documents from the CPSU Congresses and the CPSU Central Committee. Kozyrev, V. p. asks a question too few have pondered: “To what extent did the alterations in the system arising from shifts in the roles of the United States and China affect the evolution of Soviet position and political activities?” (p. 256).

[4] Lowell Dittmer, “The Strategic Triangle: An Elementary Game-Theoretical Analysis,” World Politics 33 (1981): 489. See Dittmer’s article for an excellent overview of triangular theories. Conveniently, Dittmer’s theories are expanded upon in this article using the Sino-Soviet-American triangle as a running example.

[5] Ibid. p. 513.

[6] Goh, E. p. 215.

[7] Chi Su, “U.S.-China Relations: Soviet Views and Policies,” Asian Survey  23 (1983): 556.

[8] Su, C. p. 556.

 Kozyrev, V. p.  271-273; The theory of three worlds was unveiled at the UN in 1974. China declared itself to be part of the third world, which was by definition in opposition to the first world, comprised of the United States and the Soviet Union.  The USSR responded to this by convening an “anti-Chinese coalition of Soviet allies and developing countries.” The Soviets also tried to establish such a coalition at the regional level, but “other countries in Asia did not share Moscow’s view of China”[9] – that is, they did not exaggerate the China threat to the extent of the Soviet Union.

[10] Su, C. p. 556

[11] Ibid. 560.

[12] Ibid. p. 562.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid.

[15] Wang Zhongchun, W. p., “Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History,” in Normalization of U.S.-China Relations: An International History ed. William C. Kirby et al. (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007), 149.

[16] Zhongchun, W. p. 153

[17] Ibid. p. 153.

[18] Ibid. p.  151.

[19] Chris Tudda, A Cold War Turning Point: Nixon and China, 1969-1972 (Louisiana State University Press, 2012), 10.

[20] Kozyrev, V. p.  258.

[21] Ibid. 256

[22] Zhongchun, W. p., W. p. 149. Zhongchun, W. p.’s piece is excellent since nearly half of the sources it draws upon were written in Mandarin, thus bringing a tremendous amount of insight to the fore, which non-Chinese speakers could not access independently.

[23] Ibid. p. 150.

[24] Henry Kissinger, On China (Toronto: Penguin, 2012): 217.

[25] Cold War International History Project. Information from consultative meeting about China July 3-5, 1972 on International Policy and Internal Situation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Under Current Conditions.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=C302B0B0-90AA-6325-1456BD68E2FA3A6E&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[26] Zhongchun, W. p. 152

[27] Mao Zedong, speech at the First Session of the Ninth Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, April 28, 1969

[28] Kozyrev, V. p.  262.

[29] Tudda, C. p. 24.

[30] Zhongchun, W. p. 154).

[31] Kozyrev, V. p.  257).

[32] Richard M. Nixon, “Asia After Vietnam,” Foreign Affairs, no. 46 (Oct. 1967)

[33] Zhongchun, W. p. 156

[34] Margaret MacMillan, Nixon in China: The Week That Changed the World (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2006), 282.

[35] Georgi Arbatov 1971 article from the Soviet news agency TASS. Tudda, C. p. 111.

[36] Tudda, C. p. 112.

[37] Kozyrev, V. p.  257.

[38] Taiwan Documents Project. “The Shanghai Communiqué.” http://www.taiwandocuments.org/communique01.htm

[39] Kozyrev, V. p.  263

[40] Ibid. p. 264.

[41] Kozyrev, V. p.  268

[42] Hershberg et al. p. 22.

[43] Cold War International History Project. Information from consultative meeting about China July 3-5, 1972 on International Policy and Internal Situation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Under Current Conditions.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=C302B0B0-90AA-6325-1456BD68E2FA3A6E&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[44] Su, C. p. 563.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Zhongchun, W. p. 165

[47] Ibid. p. 169

[48] Brzezinski, Power and Principle, pp. 207-209.)

[49] Zhongchun, W. p. 169

[50] Hershberg et al. p. 24.

[51] Su, C. p. 564.

[52] Cold War International History Project. “Excerpt from Transcript, Meeting of East German leader Erich Honecker and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in Crimea.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=DC4BDC63-5056-9700-03CD05AAD2DDA805&sort=collection&item=US-Soviet%20Relations

[53] Cold War International History Project. “CC CPSU information on Chinese foreign policy issues.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=0A1758EF-D3B0-4625-5799F765F4A670EF&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[54] Su, C. p. 565.

[55] Ibid.

[56] Ibid.

[57] Ibid. p. 570.

[58] Ibid. p. 567. Opponents to the lifting of the ban – and to playing the “China card” in general – included George F. Kennan, whose 1946 Long Telegram guided Washington at the beginning of the Cold War.

[59] Mayumi Itoh, The Origin of Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The forgotten architect of Sino-U.S. rapprochement (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2011): 148.

[60] Su, C. p. 569.

[61] M.S. Ukrainstev, “Soviet-Chinese Relations: Problems and Prospects,” PDV 2 (1982): 23.

[62] Su, C. p. 570.

[63] Dittmer, L. p. 499.

[64] Ibid. p. 502

[65] Ibid. p. 500.

[66] Hershberg et al. p. 92. Except from “The Protocol Transcript of the Moscow Meeting held on 16-18 May 1973”.

[67] (Kozyrev, V. p.  p. 261

[68] Lorenz M. Lüthi, The Sino-Soviet Split: Cold War in the Communist World (Princeton University Press, 2008): 263.

[69] Ibid. p. 270

[70] Ibid. p. 271

[71] Su p. 571

[72] Lüthi, L.M p. 260.

[73] Steven I. Levine, “Some Thoughts on Sino-Soviet Relations in the 1980s,” International Journal 34, (1979): 665.

[74] Su, C. p. 571

[75] Raymond Leonard Garthoff, Détente and Confrontation: American-Soviet Relations from Nixon to Reagan, (Brookings Institution Press, 1994), 268. From a report by Georgy A. Arbatov, head of the Institute of the USA.

[76] Garthoff 271

[77] Cold War International History Project. “CC CPSU information on Chinese foreign policy issues.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=0A1758EF-D3B0-4625-5799F765F4A670EF&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[79] John W. Garver, “The “New Type” of Sino-Soviet Relations,” Asian Survey 29 (1989): 1151 – see “Supreme Soviet’s appeal to the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress in 1978.”

[80] Goh, E. p. 108.

[81] Tudda, C. p. 205.

[82] Levine, S.I. p. 652

[83] Dittmer, L. p. 503.

[84] Kozyrev, V. p.  278

[85] Levine, S.I. p. 660

[86] Kozyrev, V. p.  280

[87] Dallek, R. p. 331

[88] Dittmer, L. p. 502

[89] MacMillan, M. p. 135. The first buildup occurred between 1965 and 1969, during which ten new divisions were added to the existing 17.

[90] Kozyrev, V. p.  269

[91] Zhongchun, W. p. 157

[92] Levine, S.I. p. 660

[93] Kissinger, H. (2012) p. 218.

[94] Ibid. p. 219.

[95] Edward C. Keefer, David C. Geyer, Douglas Eugene Selvage, Henry Kissinger, Soviet-American Relations: the Detente Years, 1969-1972 (United States Department of State, 2011): 117.

[96] http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB70/doc3.pdf

[97] Goh, E. p. 224.

[98] Kozyrev, V. p.  271

[99] Ibid. p.  282

[100] Cold War International History Project. “Information from consultative meeting about China July 3-5, 1972 on International Policy and Internal Situation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Under Current Conditions.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=C302B0B0-90AA-6325-1456BD68E2FA3A6E&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[101] Dittmer, L. p. 497.

[102] Cold War International History Project. “Information from consultative meeting about China July 3-5, 1972 on International Policy and Internal Situation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) Under Current Conditions.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=C302B0B0-90AA-6325-1456BD68E2FA3A6E&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[104] Tudda, C. p. 11.

[105] Dittmer, L. p. 503.

[106] Hershberg et al. p. 135. Document No. 24: Polish report on meeting in Moscow with Oleg Rakhmanin, February 1985.

[107] Dallek, R. p. 331.

[108] Kozyrev, V. p.  264

[109] Ibid. p.  277

[110] Dittmer, L. p. 502

[111] Levine, S.I. p. 652

[112] Cold War International History Project. “CC CPSU information on Chinese foreign policy issues.” http://legacy.wilsoncenter.org/va2/index.cfm?topic_id=1409&fuseaction=home.document&identifier=0A1758EF-D3B0-4625-5799F765F4A670EF&sort=collection&item=China%20in%20the%20Cold%20War

[113] Robert Dallek, Nixon and Kissinger: Partners in Power (New York: Harper Collins, 2007), 295.

[114] Ibid.

[115] U.S. Department of State. “U.S.-China Ambassadorial Talks, 1955-1970.” http://history.state.gov/milestones/1953-1960/ChinaTalks.

Written by: Adam Moscoe
Written at: University of Ottawa
Written for: Peter Jones, Ph.D.
Date written: November 2012

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