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Designing Social Inquiry
Research Proposal
“Sino-Soviet Split”
• WHY did the Sino-Soviet
split occur and how it
affected the international
world order?
• Sub-question: Why USSR
despite their plight during the
Cold War succumbed to
Chinese provocations?
• On 1 October 1949, Communist Party
Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the
establishment of the People's Republic of
• 1950 Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and
Mutual Assistance
• 1949-1957 Sino-Soviet relations appeared
in perfect harmony. Mao: “The socialist
camp must have one head, and that head
can only be the USSR.”
Sino-Soviet Split
• 1953 Stalin death, Khrushchev leadership
• 1958~ mutual criticism and hostility between Mao and
• 1959 USSR cancels Sino-Soviet Agreement on atomic
• 1960 USSR withdraws all economic aid and advisers from
• 1965 USSR develops policy of trying to isolate China in
international affairs
• 1969 Heavy fighting at Damansky Island on the Ussuri River
when Chinese troops attack Soviet border guards
• 1971 US table team visited China at invitation of its
government (Ping-Pong diplomacy)
• 1972 Nixon visits Beijing
• Overall, the Sino-Soviet confrontation,
which reached its peak in 1969, paved the
way to a profound transformation in the
international political system.
• Mao had begun to turn his interests to
other Asian, African, and Latin American
countries to develop newer, stronger
alliances and further the PRC’s economic
and ideological redevelopment
• “the beginning of the end..”
Existing theories
• Ideological difference
• National Interests
• Economic factors
• Constructivism
• Human factor
• Bad leadership
• Qualitative
• aim to gather an in-depth understanding
of human behavior and the reasons that
govern such behavior.
• Interviews, descriptive and case studies
• IV: Khrushchev policy making
• DV: Sino-Soviet relationship
Literature Review
• The Sino-Soviet Split:
Cold War in the Communist World
by Lorenz M. Lüthi
• Two Suns in the Heavens: The SinoSoviet Struggle for Supremacy, 19621967
by Sergey Radchenko
• Khrushchev: The Man and His Era
by William Taubman