What is détente? List three key events within détente that lessened the
tensions between the US and USSR (successes of détente)
Why did the USSR & US support détente?
What were the reasons for improved East-West relations in Europe?
What was the Helsinki Agreement? How did US/USSR respond to this?
List three events that led to the collapse of détente (failures of détente)
How did the Cold War change once Reagan was elected in 1980?
THINKER: Review the US intervention in Central America map (pg.159).
What is the common theme of US involvement in the region? Do you think
US involvement contradicts US Cold War goals? The US accused the USSR
of being expansionist and trying to spread their influence… what
extent were we doing the same thing?
1. Who competed for power following Mao’s death?
2. How did Hua Guofeng rule China? Was he effective?
3. Explain Deng’s economic policies, including the Four
4. Describe the causes/effects of Tiananmen Square protests.
5. THINKER: The rule of Deng Xiaoping is one of the main
causes of Sino-American détente. What about Deng, or his
policies, caused the US government to be more willing to
open relations with China?
Cold War thermometer: From hostility (1949-1970) to détente (1970-present)
Background of Sino-American Relations
• WWII: US aided GMD
against Japan (some aide
to CCP)
• CCW: US aided GMD
against CCP
• Post-CCW: US recognized
ROC as legitimate China &
blocked PRC in UN
• Other contributing factors
to tension: Korea, Japan,
Tibet, nuclear weapons
Sino-American Hostility: 1949-1970
• The following events contributed to hostility between
China & the US………
• 1950’s
– Tibet (1950)
– Korea (1950-1953)
– Taiwan (1954 & 1958)
• 1960’s
– Vietnam
– Decolonization
– Cultural Revolution
The 14th Dalai Lama: “The US supported the
Tibetan movement, not because they cared
about Tibetan independence, but as part of
their worldwide efforts to destabilize all
communist governments”
***Korean War caused a HUGE change in Cold War relationships:
US containment policy expands to Asia
US supported Taiwan (Sino-American hostilities)
Stalin made China pay (Sino-Soviet hostilities)
PRC economy weakened, but popularity of Mao strengthened
• “On the Chinese mainland 600 million people are ruled by the
Chinese Communist Party. That party came to power by
violence, and, so far, has lived by violence. It retains power not
by the will of the Chinese people, but by massive, forcible
repression. It fought the United Nations in Korea; it supported
the Communist War in Indo-China; it took Tibet by force. It
does not disguise its expansionist ambitions. It is bitterly
hateful of the United States, which it considers a principal
obstacle in the way of its path of conquest. As regards China,
we have abstained from any act to encourage the Communist
regime – morally, politically, or materially. Thus: we have not
extended diplomatic recognition to the Chinese Communist
regime. We have opposed seating in the United Nations. We
have not traded with Communist China or sanctioned cultural
exchanges with it.”
• U.S. State Department Bulletin, 15 July 1953
What claims
does the U.S.
make about
Chinese actions?
Taiwan was of vital importance to the PRC:
• “Two Chinas” was unacceptable!!!
• Any improvement in relations could only
be possible if Taiwan was no longer
• After Taiwan, the US
now considered China
an expansionist threat,
so they pursued the
Trade embargo with PRC
Obstruction of PRC in UN
Economic/military aide to Taiwan
Aide program for entire region
(Domino Theory)
– SEATO created as containment bloc
Sino-American Relations: 1960’s
• The Sino-American Cold War
reached new heights in the
1960’s because of:
• McCarthyism
• JFK’S policy of “containment
& isolation” of China”
• US gov used failures of GLF to
highlight failures of Marxism
& the PRC’s willingness to
sacrifice millions of its own in
pursuit of communism
Vietnam War
• Based on this song,
what do you think was
the opinion of the
Chinese public towards
American involvement
in Vietnam?
• Read the lyrics to this Chinese
children’s song:
There is an evil spirit:
His name is Johnson.
His mouth is all sweetness,
But he has a wolf’s heart.
He bombs Vietnam cities
And hates the people.
Chinese and Vietnamese are one family:
We will certainly not agree to this!
I wear a red scarf and join the
demonstrations with Daddy.
With small throat but large voice I
U.S. pirates get out, get out, get out!
• PRC supported
movements in developing countries to
replace USSR as the world leader of
• Also to end Western imperialism:
– China said US was the “key problem to
world peace”
– US said they did not seek to overthrow
PRC, but objected to their funding of
global revolutions
• US saw the threat from China as
– Did not have the resources to make a
difference in the developing world
– Had nuclear weapons but no way to
deliver them
Cultural Revolution
• GLF & CultRev led to
collapse in PRC’s ability
to conduct foreign
• US felt it was a clear
demonstration of outof-control fanaticism of
Maoist leadership,
which lacked stability
• PRC feared possible
“regime change” by
either US or USSR
Sino-American Détente: 1970-1990
• The following events contributed to détente
between China & the US………
• 1970’s
– Vietnam
– United Nations
– Soviet Union
• 1980’s
– Post-Mao economic reforms
Why were the 1970’s the right time for
• US support vs. Chinese support
• “Once the Soviet Union could no longer
count on permanent hostility between
• Change in political philosophy of
the world’s most powerful and most
US Admin:
populous nations. . . The scope for
– Now understood that
Soviet stubbornness would narrow and
communist movements were
perhaps even evaporate. Soviet leaders
not as “monolithic” as they
would have to hedge their bets because
once thought
a threatening posture might intensify
Sino-American cooperation. In the
– Nixon suggested the US would
conditions of the late 1960’s, improved
now “deal with countries on
Sino-American relations became a key
the basis of their actions and
to the Nixon Administration’s Soviet
not on abstract ideology.”
strategy.” (Henry Kissinger)
Ping Pong
• Secret talks between
Kissinger & Zhou
Enlai (1971)
• Nixon visits Mao
– Established joint
agreement to
improve relations
What did each of the
powers gain from
Nixon becomes the first US president
to visit China!!!
• Zhou asked a British journalist: “why shouldn’t we
negotiate with President Nixon? In the past we
talked with Jiang Jieshi.”
Sino-American Rapprochement & it’s
effects on the Cold War
• PRC’s influence on the Cold War
grew with nuclear status, SinoSoviet Split & Sino-American
– Now a “tri-polar” conflict
• Other factors of “cooling”
tensions in 1980’s:
– Mao’s death
– Removal of anti-American Gang
of Four
– Modernization initiatives of
Deng Xiaoping
• Modern relations (post-1992)
• Read about China post-Mao
• Complete the orange note sheet
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