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Worse Than a MonolithAlliance Politics and Problems of Coercive Diplomacy in Asia$
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Thomas J. Christensen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691142609

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691142609.001.0001

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From Escalation in Vietnam to Sino-American Rapprochement, 1964–72

From Escalation in Vietnam to Sino-American Rapprochement, 1964–72

(p.181) Chapter 6 From Escalation in Vietnam to Sino-American Rapprochement, 1964–72
Worse Than a Monolith

Thomas J. Christensen

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how Sino-Soviet tensions served the United States' regional and global interests and facilitated rapprochement between Washington and Beijing during the period 1964–1972. The competition between the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China for the loyalties of the Vietnamese communists would begin in earnest following U.S. escalation in the Vietnam War from late 1964 to early 1965. Ho Chi Minh was able to exploit Chinese and Soviet jealousies of one another to gain maximum support for his revolutionary goals in South Vietnam. From 1965 until early 1968 the rivalry between Beijing and Moscow also served to scuttle multiple Soviet-inspired proposals for peace talks between the Vietnamese communists and the United States. The chapter shows how the intensifying disillusionment and competition between the Soviets and the Chinese rendered the containment of communism through coercive diplomacy more difficult for the United States, particularly in Indochina.

Keywords:   peace talks, United States, Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, Vietnam War, Ho Chi Minh, communism, coercive diplomacy, Indochina, Sino-Soviet tensions

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