E2 a world Divided: Superpower Relations 1944-1990. Kq3 Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76: alliance to confrontation in Asia and its impact on us policy



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E2 A World Divided: Superpower Relations 1944-1990.
KQ3 Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76: alliance to confrontation in Asia and its impact on US policy.





  • In a Nutshell: Overview of developments in Sino Soviet relations 1949-76 and there impact on American foreign policy.




  • Causes and Analysis of developments: The development of Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76 and there impact on American foreign policy.?

  • Thematic Analysis of Wider context: What do the historians think and how dos this develop my emerging interpretation??




  • Cracking the Puzzle – preparing for assessment?



(I)In a Nutshell: How did Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76 impact on the foreign policy of America?

Content overview

This relates to the complex relationship between the USSR and China and the impact of this on the USA’s relations with both countries. Students should have an understanding of the reasons for the signing of the Soviet-Chinese Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance in February 1950 and the consolidation of the relationship as a result of the outbreak of the Korean War and confrontation between China and the USA over Taiwan. They should be aware of the deterioration of the Soviet-Chinese relations from 1958 and the development of a full scale confrontation by 1969 and the reasons for, and significance of, these developments. The launching of ping pong diplomacy, culminating in Nixon’s visit to China, and the use mad of it by Nixon and Kissinger to achieve leverage with the Soviet leadership, should be appreciated.



Activity 1 – On your marks…..
The timeline makes many brief references to relations between China and USSR in the period Colour code any event which with little explanation, appear to suggest either reasonable relations (green), hostility (yellow) or confrontation (red). Phillips p116-117
Activity 2- Identify the key developments
There is a video series that you should watch as preparation for and during this unit. It is;

a) CNN Cold War. 1 China 1949-75.





(II) Causes and Analysis of developments: The development of Sino-Soviet relations 1949-76 and there impact on American foreign policy?


i) Activity 1; The impact of the emergence of China on the global scene.


a) How did Chinas emergence on the global scene impact on the thinking of the Superpowers 1949-50?
ii) Activity 2; The analysis of China’s impact on Superpower relations 1949-58.

a) Relations between China and the Superpowers?

b) Impact of China on Superpower relations?
iii) Activity 3; The analysis of Chinas impact on Superpower relations 1959-76.

a) Why was there a Sino-Soviet split in 1959?

b) Relations between China and the Superpowers?

c) Impact of China on Superpower relations?




Activity 1 A - How did Chinas emergence on the global scene impact on the thinking of the Superpowers 1949-50?

Using Stewart p144-45 and Lightbody p22-23, explain what they describe as the emergence of China. Summarise the line of argument and include brief quotes to illustrate.









Activity 2 A - Relations between China and the Superpowers 1949-58?


Chinas relationship with Superpowers 1949-58

Describe and explain developments 1949-58

Sino Soviet relations 1949-58

Stewart p144-51, p152-154.

Phillips p118-122.


1 Mao’s visit to Moscow

2 1950 Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance

3 Korea

4 The Taiwan Straits



5 Diplomacy and deterioration 1954-58


Sino American relations 1949-58


Stewart p144, p148-152.


1 Initial US reaction

2 Korea

3 Trade embargo

4 Taiwan Straits






Activity 2 B - Impact of China on Superpower relations 1949-58?


Chinas impact on Superpower relations 1949-58.

Description of event in relation to China

Escalation in Superpower conflict

De-escalation in Superpower conflict

Superpower relations 1



The victory and establishment of the PRC October 1949. Stewart p86-87, p145-47. Phillips p118-120.







Superpower relations 2



The Korean War 1950-53. Stewart p148-151 L p41. Phillips p120-121.







Superpower relations 3




Confronting USA influence in Asia. Stewart p151-52. L p43 Phillips p121-123.










Activity 3 A – Why was there a Sino-Soviet split in 1959?
Using Stewart Lightbody and Phillips investigate the explanations that they give for the emergence of a Sino Soviet split by 1959.










Activity 3 B - Relations between China and the Superpowers 1959-76?


Chinas relationship with Superpowers 1959-76

Describe and explain developments 1959-76

Sino Soviet relations 1959-76

Stewart p144-51, p152-154.

Phillips p118-122.


1 1959 conflicts

2 Kruschevs visit to China


3 Ideological conflict


4 Military deployment/conflict


5 The Ussuri river dispute 1969



Sino American relations 1959-76

Stewart p144, p148-152.





1 Economic interests

2 Ping pong diplomacy


3 Kissingers visit


4 Nixons visit


5 Mutual benefits






Activity 3 C - Impact of China on Superpower relations 1959-76?


Chinas impact on Superpower relations 1959-76.

Description of event in relation to China

Escalation in Superpower conflict

De-escalation in Superpower conflict

Superpower relations 1



Chinas border disputes. Stewart p154-155 and the Vietnam War p155. Lp45.







Superpower relations 2



Fighting between China and Russia on the Ussuri 1969. Stewart p155 L p69 Phillips p128-29







Superpower relations 3



Nixons visit to Beijing Feb 1972. L p69-70 Phillips p131-133







(III) Thematic Analysis of wider context: What do the historians think and how does this develop my emerging interpretation?

i) The extent to which China impacted on the Cold War 1949-76?



ii) Analyse Lightbodys interpretation.

Activity 4 – Divide yourself into two groups. One group should take the position of Americas response to the emergence of China, the other Russias view. Each group should prepare a five minute presentation according to the position you have been asked to take. Each group will be given a set of event cards for the period 1949-76, your group must spin these events according to their interpretation.

In October 1949 the PRC was established and a treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual assistance signed with Russia in February 1950.

In June 1950 North Korean forces invaded the south with Russian and Chinese support.

America continued to support Chinese nationalists and the independence o Taiwan from mainland China.










America continued to view the PRC with disregard, and refused her membership of the UN.

In June 1950 American and UN intervened in the Korean War in support of South Korea.

In July 1953 a truce was signed between North and South in the Korean War which served to reduce tensions between their respective allies.










The South Vietnamese continued to receive support in the 50’s and 60’s from France and America in their dispute with North Viet Communists

After Chinese shelling of Matsu and Quemoy, America signs a mutual defence treaty with Taiwan in December 1954.

In 1959 CIA agents had apparently influenced an uprising in Tibet against Chinese influence.










In 1958 China rejects Russian offers to set up a long wire radio station to control her Pacific fleet and to set up a joint Sino Soviet sub fleet.

In 1959 Krushchev openly criticised the Chinese economic policy of the Great Leap Forward.

In summer 1959 Russia lends support to India, Tibet and Indonesia in disputes with China.










In summer 1960 Russia withdrew all her technicians from China during the Great Leap Forward.

In March 1969 fighting breaks out between Russian and Chinese troops on the Ussuri river, amidst rumours of a Russian strike to take out Chinese nuclear capabilities.

By the late 1960’s development in the Chinese economy (particularly oil) ld to an increase in demand for economic co-operation with America.










In 1971 China invites American table tennis team to Beijing, and was admitted t the UN.

In February 1972 President Nixon visits China with a view to improving further economic trading relation with China.

In 1973 Chin is further reassured by the final withdrawal f American troops from Vietnam.











Activity 5 – Divide





Cracking the Puzzle- Preparing for Assessment


  1. Revisit the living graph. Consider whether the line you previously plotted for nature of relations between the Superpowers in the period 1949-76, accurately reflects you emerging interpretation. If not, adjust it.




  1. Complete Trigger Memory Activity 1949-1976 using your background notes. An explanation on how to complete this is in your guidance booklet.




  1. There are many excellent Cold War websites which can be used to revisit the material covered so far. These include -


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_War
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/suez.htm
http://www.coldwar.org/
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ColdWar.htm
http://www.academicinfo.net/histcold.html
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=topics.home&topic_id=1409
http://www.wilsoncenter.org/coldwarfiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=resources.detail&thisunit=0&resourceid=9
Use these websites to gather contemporary documents for the period.


  1. As a class, design and play a game for the Game Show Presenter Game called the impact of the emergence o China on the Cold War 1949-76.




  1. Revisit the examination criteria and advice on tackling the examination questions given in the guidance booklet.




  1. Apply these techniques to the specimen examination. You may be asked to work individually, in pairs or in groups








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