Russia and China: Controlled Conflict

Courtesy Reuters

It is now eleven years since an ideological dispute between the Chinese and Soviet communist parties burst into the open on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Lenin's birth, and almost eight years since the pattern of world affairs became definitely "triangular" with the open break between the two leading communist powers. Since then, the view of some Western dogmatists that personal rivalry between Khrushchev and Mao Tse-tung for the control of "world communism" was the only cause of the rift was plainly refuted as it continued after Khrushchev's fall; but at the opposite extreme, forecasts about tension between the two communist giants building up steadily toward nuclear war appear hardly more plausible at the present time. What events have tended to show so far is rather the persistence of controlled conflict between Moscow and Peking, with the ups and downs of crisis and relative détente familiar from

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