Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962–1967 (review)

Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962–1967 (review) Reviews 369 itdramaticallyexpandstherangeofreadilyaccessibleinformationavailablein English.Owingtothelackofcomparativecategoriesandanorganizationbasedon Chinesenamesandterms,theEncyclopediawillbelessusefultootherscholarsof religionandChina;however,thetextisaverypracticalresourceforspecialistsor forsomeonelookingupthemeaningandsignificanceofatechnicalterm.Ultimately,thisworkisanimportantadditiontothecorpusofresearchmaterialson Daoismforexperiencedandburgeoningscholarsalike. ShawnArthur Shawn Arthur is an assistant professor of religion, specializing in the study of Daoism, diet, and the body. NOTES 1. Surprisingly,thetitleoftheEncyclopediaandsomeoftheinternalsectionheadings utilizetheoutdatedWade-Gilestransliterationmethodtowrite"Taoism,"whiletheremainderof thetextemploysthepinyin"Daoism." 2. WayneProudfoot,Religious Experience(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1985), pp.190­199. SergeyRadchenko.Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962­1967.Stanford,CA:StanfordUniversityPress,2009. 315 pp.Hardcover$65.00,isbn978-0-804-75879-6. TheSino-Sovietsplitinthelate1950sandthe1960swasoneofthemostimportant eventsintheColdWar.Itcrackedthesocialistblocandshiftedtheglobalbalance ofthepower.Nevertheless,thesubjecthasbeenpoorlyunderstood.Thescholarshipismurkyevenonthequestionofwhathappened,largelyowingtothelackof primarysources.ScholarshavedebatedthenatureoftheSino-Sovietsplitfor decadesastheywrestlewiththequestionofwhethertheSino-Sovietsplitwasa quarreloverideologyoraconflictofnationalinterests.Thoughthedebatecontinues,Radchenkoclaimsneithertoprovideanultimateanswernortooffera radicalnewinterpretationontheissue.Hisgoalismodest:Withnewlyaccessible socialistblocarchives,heintendstotakeacloserlookatthecourseofthesplit, andthengoalittlefurthertoexplainwhytheSovietandChineseleadersfailedto understandeachotherbyexploringculturalstereotypesandracismrootedinthe Sino-Sovietrelations. Thebookbeginsin1962andendsin1967,whichRadchenkoadmitsisan arbitrarydecision.Thereisnothingspecialabout1962(p.19);Sino-Sovietfriction © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press 370 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 thatwasrootedmuchearliercontinuedinthisyear.Tohelptheaudiencecomprehendthesubject,Radchenkohastoprovidesomeinsightsintohowthesplit began,whichreturnstothedebateonthenatureofSino-Sovietsplit.Unquestionably,MaoZedongtooktheinitiativetoattacktheSovietUnionasrevisionistswho hadbetrayedtherevolution.Asforwhy,thebooktitlealreadyrevealsRadchenko's inclination.ItwasaboutthepowerstrugglebetweenMaoZedongandSoviet leadersovertheauthorityofthecommunistworldrevolution:"[T]herewasonly enoughroomforonesuninthecommunistheavens"(p.140).Inadditionto personalambition,Maohadothermotivations:Hewantedtoarouserevolutionary spirittocureChina'sdomesticproblems,andheusedideologyasthetoolto underminehisdomesticrival,LiuShaoqi. Afterhisanalysisofthebeginningoftherift,Radchenkomovesintothecore ofthebook,outliningtheseriesofeventsthatunfoldedduringthecourseofthe Sino-Sovietsplit.In1962,Khrushchevwasconfused,upset,andangrybyChina's critiqueofhim.HedidnotunderstandwhattheChineseleadershipwanted,and hetriedonnumerousoccasionstosearchforananswer.Overthenextyear,he madeconciliations,suchasontheSino-Indiaborderconflict,topleasehisChinesecomrades.Chineseleadersfailedtoappreciatehisefforts.Inthesummerof 1963,Chinaevendisseminatedtheir"Twenty-fivePoints"critiqueoftheSoviet Union.KhrushchevwasinfuriatedandbecamesuspiciousofMao'sambition.He thoughtheknewtheproblem:MaowantedasplitwiththeSovietUniondespite Khrushchev'sowngoodwill.Asareply,Khrushchevorderedthedraftofanopen lettertoallSovietcommunists,whichtriggeredaseriesofpolemicexchangesof publicwordbattlesbetweentheSovietUnionandChina.Thiswasthetimethat MaoturnedtotheThirdWorldtowinsupportforhismoralsuperiority,and KhrushchevincreasinglyengagedintheThirdWorldissue.Itwas,unfortunately, alsothetimethattheSino-Sovietbordertalksbegan,whichnaturallyboreno fruit.Insteadtheypavedthewayformoreborderincidentsandclashes. KhrushchevfellinOctober1964andwasreplacedbyBrezhnev.Awindow openedforareappraisalofChinapolicyinthetopSovietranks,andnewSoviet leaderstooktheinitiativetocontactChineseleadershopingforthenormalization ofSino-Sovietrelations.However,Maodidnotwithdrawhisaspirationtobe recognizedasthesoleowneroftheMarxisttruth,insideandoutsideChina (p. 129),and,fortheirpart,BrezhnevandSovietcomradescouldnotamendthe partlyunconsciousSovietstandoftreatingChineseasaninferiorpartner.Theold puzzleremained.Maocontinuedtousetherhetoricofworldrevolutionasthetool toaccusetheSovietUnionofrevisionism.However,theVietnamWarpresenteda challengetoMao.AsconditionsinNorthVietnamsoured,Brezhnevshippeda greatdealofweaponsandadvisorstohelpHoChiMinhandaskedChinatotake jointactions.BrezhnevwantedtoconvinceMaothathetookstrugglesagainst imperialismseriously,afactthatactuallydidnotconcernMaoaccordingto Radchenko'sanalysis.MaowasnotenthusiasticaboutBrezhnev'sproposaland Reviews 371 providedlittlehelpintransitingSovietweaponstoVietnam.ToRadchenko,this caseprovesthatMaoonlypaidlipservicetoworldrevolution,inspiteofhishigh profileontheissue.Inlate1965,forreasonsnotidentifiedinthebook,Moscowfelt arealconcernaboutSino-AmericancollusionandsawtheSino-Sovietallianceas dead.BrezhnevmovedtocontainChina--forexample,signingamutualsecurity treatywithMongolia--althoughforthenexttwoyearsheconsciouslyabstained fromopenpolemicswithBeijing.Thesituationturnedfrombadtoworsewhen theCulturalRevolutiontookplacein1966.TheChineseappearedirrationallymilitant,andincidentssuchasthesiegeoftheSovietembassyoccurred.Moscowat thispointregardedChinaasanenemyandreinforcedtheborderwithChina.The bookendsatthispoint. Ashortsummarycannotdojusticetothebook'srichness.Radchenko's masteryofSovietarchivesisoutstanding.HissourcesrangefromclassifieddiscussionsamongthePolitburototheletterswrittenbythesecretariesintheSoviet embassyinBeijing.HeprovidesaveryfinemonographtoaccountfortheevolutionofSino-Sovietsplit,fromalliance,todétente,tocontainment,andfinallyto brinkmanship.Thisworkshedslightonourunderstandingofwhathappened, particularlyfromtheSovietperspective.Further,Sino-Sovietrelationsdidnotjust involveChinaandtheSovietUnion.RadchenkoskillfullyplacestheSino-Soviet splitwithinthesettingofworldpoliticsandinsightfullyanalyzeshowSino-Soviet relationsinteractedwithotherevents,suchasSino-Indiaconflicts,theCuban missilecrisis,theThirdWorld,andtheVietnamWar. Despiteitsmerits,thebookisnotwithoutdrawbacks.Thewholebookis basedontheassumptionthatMaoZedong,inanattempttopositionhimselfas thesuninthecommunistheavenaswellastoincreasehispowerdomestically,was responsibleforthebreakdown.Whetherornotthiswasthecase,sofararchival evidencetosupportitisconsideredcircumstantial.ThequestionofMao'smotives isadebatethatisriddledwithproblematicgapsinsourcesandsubstantivescholarship,notsomethingthatshouldbeassumedasawidelyacceptedfactthatcanbe takenforgranted.Tothisend,Radchenkofailstojustifyhispresumption.Ifwe accepthispositionthatMaousedSino-Sovietrelationsasatoolforhisdomestic powerstruggle,thenhisdemandsorplansforSino-Sovietrelationsshouldhave changedinaccordancewithChina'srapidlychangeddomesticpoliticsfromthe early1960stotheCulturalRevolution.Forexample,Maoprobablyhaddifferent limitsonhowfarhewaswillingtogoalongtheSino-Sovietsplitasdomestic politicschanged.Butinthebook,China'sclaimsseemedunchanging.Here, scholarscometothequestionofidentifyingChina'sclaimsoraccusationstoward theSoviets,otherthantheiruseofthevagueterm"revisionist."BelievingMaowas motivatedbyaspirationsforpower,RadchenkoregardsChina'saccusationsmerely asarhetorictoolanddoesnotanalyzethem.Afewrepresentativearticleswould haveaddedtoourunderstandingoftheissue.Forexample,inthesummerof1963, Chinareleasedthe"proposalconcerningthegenerallineofthecommunist 372 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 m ovement,"whichlistedtwenty-fivepointsonquestionsofprinciple.Khrushchev, inresponse,orderedthedraftingofthe"OpenLetter."Thelatter,firstofall,wasan unequivocaldefenseofKhrushchev'sde-StalinizationintheTwentiethCongress. ThisletterrevealstousamajorcomponentoftheSino-Sovietsplit,asKhrushchev understoodit.IwishRadchenkowouldhavecomparedthe"Twenty-fivePoints" andthe"OpenLetter"andexpoundedupontheissueofculturaldifferencesand misperceptions. Inaddition,Radchenkolacksspecificityinhisuseofcertainterms.For example,headoptstheterm"revisionist,"asusedbytheChinese,butdoesnot explainthemeaningofit.DidthemeaningseverchangeinMao'sdictionary?In anotherexample,heappliestherevolutionary-realistdichotomytoanalyze KhrushchevandMaoZedong(p.69).Whatdoes"revolutionary-realist"mean? ScholarslikeNigelGould-Davies(1999)havechallengedthiskindofdichotomy, andabriefreviewofthescholarshiponitwouldbeappreciatedbytheaudience. ThebookdoesafinejobinprovidinganaccountofthesplitfromtheSoviet perspective,althoughreadersandscholarsmaynotalwaysagreewithRadchenko's interpretationsofcertainevents,suchasChina'svisionintheVietnamWar.The bookcertainlydeliverswhatitprimarilypromises,acloserlookatthecourseof thesplit.Overall,itprovidesasolidandvaluablestudyofSino-Sovietrelationsin the1960s. XiaojiaHou Xiaojia Hou is an assistant professor of history specializing in modern Chinese history at the University of Colorado Denver. REFERENCE Gould-Davies,Nigel.1999."RethinkingtheRoleofIdeologyinInternationalPoliticsduringthe ColdWar."Journal of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962–1967 (review)

China Review International , Volume 17 (3) – Jun 15, 2010

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-hawai-i-press/two-suns-in-the-heavens-the-sino-soviet-struggle-for-supremacy-1962-MhpVWZcHEV
Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Reviews 369 itdramaticallyexpandstherangeofreadilyaccessibleinformationavailablein English.Owingtothelackofcomparativecategoriesandanorganizationbasedon Chinesenamesandterms,theEncyclopediawillbelessusefultootherscholarsof religionandChina;however,thetextisaverypracticalresourceforspecialistsor forsomeonelookingupthemeaningandsignificanceofatechnicalterm.Ultimately,thisworkisanimportantadditiontothecorpusofresearchmaterialson Daoismforexperiencedandburgeoningscholarsalike. ShawnArthur Shawn Arthur is an assistant professor of religion, specializing in the study of Daoism, diet, and the body. NOTES 1. Surprisingly,thetitleoftheEncyclopediaandsomeoftheinternalsectionheadings utilizetheoutdatedWade-Gilestransliterationmethodtowrite"Taoism,"whiletheremainderof thetextemploysthepinyin"Daoism." 2. WayneProudfoot,Religious Experience(Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress,1985), pp.190­199. SergeyRadchenko.Two Suns in the Heavens: The Sino-Soviet Struggle for Supremacy, 1962­1967.Stanford,CA:StanfordUniversityPress,2009. 315 pp.Hardcover$65.00,isbn978-0-804-75879-6. TheSino-Sovietsplitinthelate1950sandthe1960swasoneofthemostimportant eventsintheColdWar.Itcrackedthesocialistblocandshiftedtheglobalbalance ofthepower.Nevertheless,thesubjecthasbeenpoorlyunderstood.Thescholarshipismurkyevenonthequestionofwhathappened,largelyowingtothelackof primarysources.ScholarshavedebatedthenatureoftheSino-Sovietsplitfor decadesastheywrestlewiththequestionofwhethertheSino-Sovietsplitwasa quarreloverideologyoraconflictofnationalinterests.Thoughthedebatecontinues,Radchenkoclaimsneithertoprovideanultimateanswernortooffera radicalnewinterpretationontheissue.Hisgoalismodest:Withnewlyaccessible socialistblocarchives,heintendstotakeacloserlookatthecourseofthesplit, andthengoalittlefurthertoexplainwhytheSovietandChineseleadersfailedto understandeachotherbyexploringculturalstereotypesandracismrootedinthe Sino-Sovietrelations. Thebookbeginsin1962andendsin1967,whichRadchenkoadmitsisan arbitrarydecision.Thereisnothingspecialabout1962(p.19);Sino-Sovietfriction © 2012 by University of Hawai`i Press 370 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 thatwasrootedmuchearliercontinuedinthisyear.Tohelptheaudiencecomprehendthesubject,Radchenkohastoprovidesomeinsightsintohowthesplit began,whichreturnstothedebateonthenatureofSino-Sovietsplit.Unquestionably,MaoZedongtooktheinitiativetoattacktheSovietUnionasrevisionistswho hadbetrayedtherevolution.Asforwhy,thebooktitlealreadyrevealsRadchenko's inclination.ItwasaboutthepowerstrugglebetweenMaoZedongandSoviet leadersovertheauthorityofthecommunistworldrevolution:"[T]herewasonly enoughroomforonesuninthecommunistheavens"(p.140).Inadditionto personalambition,Maohadothermotivations:Hewantedtoarouserevolutionary spirittocureChina'sdomesticproblems,andheusedideologyasthetoolto underminehisdomesticrival,LiuShaoqi. Afterhisanalysisofthebeginningoftherift,Radchenkomovesintothecore ofthebook,outliningtheseriesofeventsthatunfoldedduringthecourseofthe Sino-Sovietsplit.In1962,Khrushchevwasconfused,upset,andangrybyChina's critiqueofhim.HedidnotunderstandwhattheChineseleadershipwanted,and hetriedonnumerousoccasionstosearchforananswer.Overthenextyear,he madeconciliations,suchasontheSino-Indiaborderconflict,topleasehisChinesecomrades.Chineseleadersfailedtoappreciatehisefforts.Inthesummerof 1963,Chinaevendisseminatedtheir"Twenty-fivePoints"critiqueoftheSoviet Union.KhrushchevwasinfuriatedandbecamesuspiciousofMao'sambition.He thoughtheknewtheproblem:MaowantedasplitwiththeSovietUniondespite Khrushchev'sowngoodwill.Asareply,Khrushchevorderedthedraftofanopen lettertoallSovietcommunists,whichtriggeredaseriesofpolemicexchangesof publicwordbattlesbetweentheSovietUnionandChina.Thiswasthetimethat MaoturnedtotheThirdWorldtowinsupportforhismoralsuperiority,and KhrushchevincreasinglyengagedintheThirdWorldissue.Itwas,unfortunately, alsothetimethattheSino-Sovietbordertalksbegan,whichnaturallyboreno fruit.Insteadtheypavedthewayformoreborderincidentsandclashes. KhrushchevfellinOctober1964andwasreplacedbyBrezhnev.Awindow openedforareappraisalofChinapolicyinthetopSovietranks,andnewSoviet leaderstooktheinitiativetocontactChineseleadershopingforthenormalization ofSino-Sovietrelations.However,Maodidnotwithdrawhisaspirationtobe recognizedasthesoleowneroftheMarxisttruth,insideandoutsideChina (p. 129),and,fortheirpart,BrezhnevandSovietcomradescouldnotamendthe partlyunconsciousSovietstandoftreatingChineseasaninferiorpartner.Theold puzzleremained.Maocontinuedtousetherhetoricofworldrevolutionasthetool toaccusetheSovietUnionofrevisionism.However,theVietnamWarpresenteda challengetoMao.AsconditionsinNorthVietnamsoured,Brezhnevshippeda greatdealofweaponsandadvisorstohelpHoChiMinhandaskedChinatotake jointactions.BrezhnevwantedtoconvinceMaothathetookstrugglesagainst imperialismseriously,afactthatactuallydidnotconcernMaoaccordingto Radchenko'sanalysis.MaowasnotenthusiasticaboutBrezhnev'sproposaland Reviews 371 providedlittlehelpintransitingSovietweaponstoVietnam.ToRadchenko,this caseprovesthatMaoonlypaidlipservicetoworldrevolution,inspiteofhishigh profileontheissue.Inlate1965,forreasonsnotidentifiedinthebook,Moscowfelt arealconcernaboutSino-AmericancollusionandsawtheSino-Sovietallianceas dead.BrezhnevmovedtocontainChina--forexample,signingamutualsecurity treatywithMongolia--althoughforthenexttwoyearsheconsciouslyabstained fromopenpolemicswithBeijing.Thesituationturnedfrombadtoworsewhen theCulturalRevolutiontookplacein1966.TheChineseappearedirrationallymilitant,andincidentssuchasthesiegeoftheSovietembassyoccurred.Moscowat thispointregardedChinaasanenemyandreinforcedtheborderwithChina.The bookendsatthispoint. Ashortsummarycannotdojusticetothebook'srichness.Radchenko's masteryofSovietarchivesisoutstanding.HissourcesrangefromclassifieddiscussionsamongthePolitburototheletterswrittenbythesecretariesintheSoviet embassyinBeijing.HeprovidesaveryfinemonographtoaccountfortheevolutionofSino-Sovietsplit,fromalliance,todétente,tocontainment,andfinallyto brinkmanship.Thisworkshedslightonourunderstandingofwhathappened, particularlyfromtheSovietperspective.Further,Sino-Sovietrelationsdidnotjust involveChinaandtheSovietUnion.RadchenkoskillfullyplacestheSino-Soviet splitwithinthesettingofworldpoliticsandinsightfullyanalyzeshowSino-Soviet relationsinteractedwithotherevents,suchasSino-Indiaconflicts,theCuban missilecrisis,theThirdWorld,andtheVietnamWar. Despiteitsmerits,thebookisnotwithoutdrawbacks.Thewholebookis basedontheassumptionthatMaoZedong,inanattempttopositionhimselfas thesuninthecommunistheavenaswellastoincreasehispowerdomestically,was responsibleforthebreakdown.Whetherornotthiswasthecase,sofararchival evidencetosupportitisconsideredcircumstantial.ThequestionofMao'smotives isadebatethatisriddledwithproblematicgapsinsourcesandsubstantivescholarship,notsomethingthatshouldbeassumedasawidelyacceptedfactthatcanbe takenforgranted.Tothisend,Radchenkofailstojustifyhispresumption.Ifwe accepthispositionthatMaousedSino-Sovietrelationsasatoolforhisdomestic powerstruggle,thenhisdemandsorplansforSino-Sovietrelationsshouldhave changedinaccordancewithChina'srapidlychangeddomesticpoliticsfromthe early1960stotheCulturalRevolution.Forexample,Maoprobablyhaddifferent limitsonhowfarhewaswillingtogoalongtheSino-Sovietsplitasdomestic politicschanged.Butinthebook,China'sclaimsseemedunchanging.Here, scholarscometothequestionofidentifyingChina'sclaimsoraccusationstoward theSoviets,otherthantheiruseofthevagueterm"revisionist."BelievingMaowas motivatedbyaspirationsforpower,RadchenkoregardsChina'saccusationsmerely asarhetorictoolanddoesnotanalyzethem.Afewrepresentativearticleswould haveaddedtoourunderstandingoftheissue.Forexample,inthesummerof1963, Chinareleasedthe"proposalconcerningthegenerallineofthecommunist 372 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.3,2010 m ovement,"whichlistedtwenty-fivepointsonquestionsofprinciple.Khrushchev, inresponse,orderedthedraftingofthe"OpenLetter."Thelatter,firstofall,wasan unequivocaldefenseofKhrushchev'sde-StalinizationintheTwentiethCongress. ThisletterrevealstousamajorcomponentoftheSino-Sovietsplit,asKhrushchev understoodit.IwishRadchenkowouldhavecomparedthe"Twenty-fivePoints" andthe"OpenLetter"andexpoundedupontheissueofculturaldifferencesand misperceptions. Inaddition,Radchenkolacksspecificityinhisuseofcertainterms.For example,headoptstheterm"revisionist,"asusedbytheChinese,butdoesnot explainthemeaningofit.DidthemeaningseverchangeinMao'sdictionary?In anotherexample,heappliestherevolutionary-realistdichotomytoanalyze KhrushchevandMaoZedong(p.69).Whatdoes"revolutionary-realist"mean? ScholarslikeNigelGould-Davies(1999)havechallengedthiskindofdichotomy, andabriefreviewofthescholarshiponitwouldbeappreciatedbytheaudience. ThebookdoesafinejobinprovidinganaccountofthesplitfromtheSoviet perspective,althoughreadersandscholarsmaynotalwaysagreewithRadchenko's interpretationsofcertainevents,suchasChina'svisionintheVietnamWar.The bookcertainlydeliverswhatitprimarilypromises,acloserlookatthecourseof thesplit.Overall,itprovidesasolidandvaluablestudyofSino-Sovietrelationsin the1960s. XiaojiaHou Xiaojia Hou is an assistant professor of history specializing in modern Chinese history at the University of Colorado Denver. REFERENCE Gould-Davies,Nigel.1999."RethinkingtheRoleofIdeologyinInternationalPoliticsduringthe ColdWar."Journal of

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 15, 2010

There are no references for this article.