(CHINA from MAO to DENG – continued)

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Dispute with the Soviet Union

Mao spoke of China achieving communism sooner than the Soviet Union. He had been displeased in 1956 when Nikita Khrushchev, denounced Stalin. It was an embarrassment, China's Communist Party having praised Stalin. Mao characterized Khrushchev as a "revisionist" – in other words, deviating from Marxism. He saw the Soviet Union as having become a bureaucratic state. Mao's supporters claimed that China was pursuing Marxism and the Soviet Union was not.

Khrushchev was not only trying to develop better relations with the United States, he wished above all to avoid a nuclear war. He opposed China's shelling the islands of Quemoy and Ma-tsu. Mao responded by announcing that what China did regarding Ma-tsu and Quemoy was an internal matte. Khrushchev saw this as stupid because China and the Soviet Union were allies and what China did regarding Quemoy and Matsu could have grave consequences for both powers.


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