Collateral Damage: Sino-Soviet Rivalry and the Termination of the Sino-Vietnamese Alliance

Kobo ebook | February 11, 2011

byNicholas Khoo

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Although the Chinese and the Vietnamese were Cold War allies in wars against the French and the Americans, their alliance collapsed and they ultimately fought a war against each other in 1979. More than thirty years later the fundamental cause of the alliance's termination remains contested among historians, international relations theorists, and Asian studies specialists. Nicholas Khoo brings fresh perspective to this debate.

Using Chinese-language materials released since the end of the Cold War, Khoo revises existing explanations for the termination of China's alliance with Vietnam, arguing that Vietnamese cooperation with China's Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union, was the necessary and sufficient cause for the alliance's termination. He finds alternative explanations to be less persuasive. These emphasize nonmaterial causes, such as ideology and culture, or reference issues within the Sino-Vietnamese relationship, such as land and border disputes, Vietnam's treatment of its ethnic Chinese minority, and Vietnam's attempt to establish a sphere of influence over Cambodia and Laos.

Khoo also adds to the debate over the relevance of realist theory in interpreting China's international behavior during both the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. While others see China as a social state driven by nonmaterial processes, Khoo makes the case for viewing China as a quintessential neorealist state. From this perspective, the focus of neorealist theory on security threats from materially stronger powers explains China's foreign policy not only toward the Soviet Union but also in relation to its Vietnamese allies.

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Although the Chinese and the Vietnamese were Cold War allies in wars against the French and the Americans, their alliance collapsed and they ultimately fought a war against each other in 1979. More than thirty years later the fundamental cause of the alliance's termination remains contested among historians, international relations the...

Nicholas Khoo is a lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. He received a Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2006 and an MA from Johns Hopkins University in 1998. He specializes in Chinese foreign policy, the international relations of Asia, the international politics of the Cold War, and internat...
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:February 11, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231521634

ISBN - 13:9780231521635

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1. China's Cold War Alliance with Vietnam: Historical and Theoretical Significance
2. Breaking the Ring of Encirclement: Sino-Soviet Alliance Termination and the Chinese Communists' Vietnam Policy, 1964--1968
3. A War on Two Fronts: The Sino-Soviet Conflict During the Vietnam War and the Betrayal Thesis, 1968--1973
4. The Politics of Victory: Sino-Soviet Relations and the Road to Vietnamese Unification, 1973--1975
5. The End of an "Indestructible Friendship": Soviet Resurgence and the Termination of the Sino-Vietnamese Alliance, 1975--1979
6. When Allies Become Enemies
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

Nicholas Khoo has performed a great service in offering a cogent and persuasive argument on the causes of the demise of the Sino-Vietnames alliance during the later decades of the Cold War.