Sino-Soviet Split


Mao's Moscow Visit


Stalin treated Mao badly, housed him in poor villa with no facilities

Similar foreign policy


Mao's Lean to One Side Speech/Stalin's Two Camps Speech

Treaty of Friendship and Alliance


Signed by Chiang
1. $300m of loans and aid (high interest rate)
2. PRC paid for 20,000 USSR experts
3. Soviet reception of 80,000 Chinese students
4. Ceded Dalian and Lushun ports
5. Ceded Xinjiang mineral rights
Mao came to resent the Treaty and thought it was unfair (1950)

Korean War disagreements

1950 - 1953

Soviets did not commit men, made Chinese pay for weapons supplied. Mao resented high war cost

Stalin dies


Khrushchev's Secret Speech


Ideological speeches


Moscow conference: Mao disagreed with peaceful coexistence; Khrushchev called Great Leap Forward "harebrained"

Krushchev's Beijing visit


Mao put Khrushchev in hotel with no air-conditioning, insisted on holding talks in swimming pool (Khrushchev couldn't swim)



Mao prepared to invade Taiwan, but backed down when USSR refused even moral support

Tibetan Uprising


USSR offered moral support to the Tibetans

Opened USSR-US relations


The political split between the Soviet Union and China began when the relatively harmonious relations between the two countries became acrimonious in 1959 after Khrushchev opened talks with the USA in pursuit of his policy of “peaceful coexistence”.

Khrushchev-Eisenhower meeting: "American Stooge"

Even worse from Mao's point-of-view was Khrushchev's proclamation of the idea of "peaceful coexistence," that the tenet of inevitable armed conflict between the capitalist and communist "camps," a basic tenet of Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism-Maoism, was not inevitable. Khrushchev felt that nuclear weapons had changed the equation, and that because of those weapons, communism and capitalism would avoid armed conflict. Mao felt that Khrushchev was retreating from an active, violent struggle for the triumph of communism.

USSR withdraws Soviet advisors


Romanian Communist Party Congress meeting


Khrushchev and Mao openly insult one another in front of assembled delegates

Moscow Conference


Chinese walk out over Albania, Khrushchev called Mao an Asian Hitler, Mao called Khrushchev a useless old boot



Albania government refused to obey Moscow, USSR withdrew financial support, Mao gave Albanians money and technical aid

Sino-Indian War


Border war between India and China, USSR gave Indians fighter-planes

Cuban Missile Crisis


Mao accused Khrushchev of capitulating to the Americans during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Soviet leader replied that Mao's policies would lead to nuclear war.

Border dispute over Xinjiang


Almost went to war

Power struggle


Nuclear weapons: blueprints, paper tiger
Khrushchev's proposed joint army

Sino-Soviet border conflict


China and USSR oriented nuclear weapons at each other

Fight for influence

1970 - 1979

Over foreign nations (ex: Vietnam)

Afghan War


When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up their client government there, the Chinese saw this as an aggressive move to surround China with Soviet satellite states. As a result, the Chinese allied themselves with the U.S. and Pakistan to support the mujahideen, Afghan guerrilla fighters who successfully opposed the Soviet invasion.

Iran-Iraq War

1980 - 1988

When Saddam Hussein invaded Iran, sparking the Iran-Iraq War of 1980 to 1988, it was the U.S., the Soviets, and the French who backed him. China, North Korea, and Libya aided the Iranians. In every case, though, the Chinese and the U.S.S.R. came down on opposite sides.

Modern/regularized relations


When Mikhail Gorbachev became the Soviet premier in 1985, he sought to regularize relations with China. Gorbachev recalled some of the border guards from the Soviet and Chinese border and reopened trade relations. Beijing was skeptical of Gorbachev's policies of perestroika and glasnost, believing that economic reforms should take place before political reforms.

Nonetheless, the Chinese government welcomed an official state visit from Gorbachev late in May of 1989 and the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. The world press gathered in Beijing to record the moment.

Gorbachev's visit


Nonetheless, the Chinese government welcomed an official state visit from Gorbachev late in May of 1989 and the resumption of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. The world press gathered in Beijing to record the moment.

However, they got more than they bargained for — the Tiananmen Square Protests broke out at the same time, so reporters and photographers from around the world witnessed and recorded the Tiananmen Square Massacre. As a result, Chinese officials were likely too distracted by internal issues to feel smug about the failure of Gorbachev's attempts to save Soviet socialism.

Collapse of the Soviet Union