The Prospects for Communist China

By W. W. Rostow. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
SINO-SOVIET RELATIONS: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

I. SUMMARY
In recent decades Moscow has judged its interests best served by an effectively united China antagonistic to the 'imperialist' world but friendly with the Soviet Union. For a quarter of a century before 1949 this was the overriding goal of Russian policy in China, to which even the Chinese Communists had to bow; for Moscow made its ideological interest in China systematically subservient to its security interest when the two were in conflict. The Soviet policy represented one formula for meeting the major Russian objectives of blocking Japan and other powers in Asia while at the same time weakening the over-all position of the United States and the western European countries on the world scene. Both the security and ideological objectives of Moscow were achieved by the Chinese Communist victory of 1949; and it was this convergence which was crystallized in the subsequent negotiation of the Mutual-Aid Pact of 1950, the foundation of the present Sino-Soviet relationship.The more important meanings of this relationship in terms of the interests of the Soviet Union can be outlined as follows:
1. In security terms the Soviet interest in diverting Free World military resources from the Soviet Union and the primary locus of world power in the West is accomplished; and Chinese military dependence on the Soviet Union is a powerful instrument for maintaining Moscow's bargaining position over Peking. The Chinese Communists, on the other hand, are permitted by the military alliance to press harder their expansionist ambitions in Asia; to acquire modern military equipment and the skills to employ it; and to move in the direction of greater long-run freedom of action.

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