The Communist Powers Appease the United States

Gareth Porter

in Perils of Dominance

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520239487
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940406 | DOI:
The Communist Powers Appease the United States

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This chapter demonstrates how the Soviet and Chinese governments adjusted their policy to their weakness relative to the United States by acquiescing to the U.S. assertion of its interest in keeping South Vietnam in the American sphere. The Communist powers pursued a conscious policy of appeasement of the United States on Vietnam. Soviet and Chinese diplomacy at Geneva was a prelude to a much longer period of appeasing the United States on Vietnam in the hope of averting direct military conflict with the dominant power. The sharp change in Soviet policy during the first six months after Nikita Khrushchev's ouster marked the transition in global politics from an ostensibly bipolar structure that hid actual triangular dynamics to a fully articulated triangular structure. The Soviet–Chinese strategy of placating the United States achieved the desired objective of eliminating the threat of a potentially uncontrollable conflict over Vietnam.

Keywords: Communist powers; United States; Soviet government; Chinese government; government; Nikita Khrushchev; Soviet policy; Chinese diplomacy

Chapter.  16674 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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