To what extent was the sino-soviet split caused by the personalities of the leaders essay

Topics: Soviet Union, Communism, Cold War Pages: 4 (1249 words) Published: January 21, 2015
To what extent was the Sino-soviet split caused by the personalities of the leaders? Ideological differences appear to play an important role in the Sino-Soviet Split but the geopolitical view that national security interests were of paramount importance is more convincing. The language of ideology was used by Communist leaders to disguise national interests and the friendly relationship between the powers deteriorated only when ideological differences threatened national security. However lesser factors also contributed to the Sino Soviet Split, such as the personality clash between Mao and Khrushchev and each country’s domestic policies. Some historians have emphasised the role of personality factors because the ascent of Khrushchev led to more hostile relations between the superpowers than there has been during the friendlier interlude of the Stalin years. Mao had great respect for Stalin, regarding him as the guiding head of the world revolutionary movement and was happy to present China as a junior partner to the Soviet Union. An official report from the CCP presented to Stalin in 1949 stated that the CCP would “submit and will resolutely carry out the decisions of the Soviet Communist Party”. However Mao regarded Stalin’s successor as an inferior. Their personal tensions are emphasised in Khrushchev’s memories but these retrospective sources may well be tainted by the split itself causes Khrushchev to regard Mao with hostility, meaning that it is difficult to separate cause and effect. It seems that the personal tensions between Mao and Khrushchev, however destructive they were to Sino-Soviet relations, were brought about by national interests. It has also been argued that the role of national security was integral in the Sino-Soviet split. Both countries essentially followed traditional foreign policies, aiming to bolster national security and to expand their country’s influence, as demonstrated by Stalin’s demand that China pay for military assistance...
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