Sino-Soviet split

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The Sino-Soviet split refers to the rupture in ideological direction and interpretation of Marxist revolutionary doctrine originally laid out by Vladimir Lenin in 1919 to bring about worldwide workers revolution against the bourgeois and imperialist regimes.

After the death of Stalin in 1954, Mao did not consider Stalin's lieutenants who succeeded him as equals, and showed an increasing willingness to depart from the Moscow-directed worldwide communist revolution declared by Lenin in 1919.

In 1958, Mao broke with the Soviet model and announced a new economic program, the "Great Leap Forward," aimed at rapidly raising industrial and agricultural production. Giant cooperatives (communes) were formed, and "backyard factories" dotted the Chinese landscape. The results were disastrous. Normal market mechanisms were disrupted, agricultural production fell behind, and China's people exhausted themselves producing what turned out to be shoddy, un-salable goods. Within a year, starvation appeared even in fertile agricultural areas. From 1960 to 1961, the combination of poor planning during the Great Leap Forward and bad weather resulted in one of the deadliest famines in human history.

The already strained Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated sharply in 1959, when the Soviets started to restrict the flow of scientific and technological information to China. The dispute escalated, and the Soviets withdrew all of their personnel from China in August 1960. In 1960, the Soviets and the Chinese began to have disputes openly in international forums.

By 1962 when the Cuban Missile Crisis brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war, Beijing ceased entirely taking its strategic foreign policy direction from the reckless Moscow band of Marxists.

See also