How Far Was the Sino-Soviet Split of the Late 1960s the Result of Ideological Differences Between the Two Communist Powers?

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By the late 1960’s, the relatively recent established relationship between the USSR and China had deteriorated to the extent that disagreements resulted in armed conflicts. It is believed that this is due to the ideological differences between the two nations. The two leaders of the communist states, Mao and Khrushchev, were both in different depths of the Cold War, to such a point where Khrushchev was hoping for peaceful co-existence, while Mao thought of that as a betrayal. On the other hand, there are many other factors with may contribute to the breakdown in relations, such as their individual personalities and the cooperation of the USA. But which factor played the greatest role in the breakdown of Sino-Soviet relations in the late 1960’s? As previously mentioned, the relations between the USSR and China broke down dramatically in the late 1960’s that it eventually lead to small armed skirmishes. A famous example of this occurring was in 1969, and the fight over the Ussuri river. This deterioration of relations was largely fueled by China’s desire to assert itself as a world power, and Russia’s determination to prevent this. Conflicting national interest caused relations between the two powers to deteriorate further, as shown in Russia’s decision to double its army along the Russian and Chinese border following the border disputes. Ideological differences however, were still a source of the conflict, as Mao was very critical of Khrushchev and his return to some capitalist ideas. This suggests that it is more likely that the Sino-Soviet split originate from a personal and mutual dislike between the two Communist leaders because of their difference in ideology. Therefore, although the Sino-Soviet split was not solely the result of ideological differences as national interests and the personalities of Mao and Khrushchev were also to blame, ideology was still a
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