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The obvious contradictions be- is kept there (this author was provided Mao draft one telegram (the Chinese tween these two versions of Mao access to it). The telegram was in Mao's version) but deliver another message Zedong's 2 October 1950 telegram to own handwriting and was longer than (the Russian version) to Stalin via the Stalin have inevitably raised serious the version that was published in Soviet ambassador? questions concerning what really hap- Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao (the
If we put this issue into the context pened in Beijing and between Beijing published version did not include the of the tortuous processes through which and Moscow in October 1950. At a sections about China's requests for So- the CCP leadership reached the decision seminar held at the Woodrow Wilson viet ammunition and military equip- to send troops to Korea, we may find International Center for Scholars in ment). However, the format of this tele- that a major reason for Mao not to disWashington, D.C. on 13 December gram differed from that of many of patch the draft telegram to Stalin could 1995, and in his article in the Winter Mao's other telegrams: while other tele- lie in the fact that the Chinese leader1995/1996 issue of the Cold War Inter- grams usually (but not always) carried ship had not yet reached a consensus national History Project Bulletin, 8 the Mao's office staff's signature indicat- on this issue. Since the outbreak of the Russian scholar Alexandre Y. ing how and when the telegram was Korean War, Mao Zedong had been Mansourov cited the Russian version of dispatched, this telegram does not. 11 carefully considering the question of Mao's telegram to argue that the Chi- So, while it is certain that the Chinese sending troops to Korea. After the nese leaders were reluctant to send version of Mao's telegram is a genuine Inchon landing in mid-September, he troops to Korea, and that they might document, there exist reasonable seemed to have been determined to do have completely backed away from grounds on which to believe that it so. However, according to the materitheir original intention to send troops might not have been dispatched. als now available, the Chinese leaders to Korea early in October 1950. Fur- At the same time, the party archi- did not formally meet to discuss disther, Mansourov questioned the authen- vists in Beijing could not find the Rus- patching troops to Korea until after 1 ticity of Mao's telegram published in sian version of the 2 October 1950 tele- October 1950. The reality was that Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao. gram in Mao's files at CCP Central Ar- many Chinese leaders had different Comparing the styles and contents of chives. This, however, does not mean views on this issue. We now know that the two versions, he pointed out that that the Russian version is not a genu- after receiving Stalin's October 1 telesince the Russian version is a copy of ine document. One explanation of its gram, Mao summoned a Central Secan actual document kept at the Presi- absence in Mao's files might be found retariat meeting the same night. Attenddential Archive in Moscow, it should be in the format of the document: It is not ing the meeting were Mao, Zhu De, Liu regarded as more reliable than the pub- a telegram Mao Zedong directly sent to Shaoqi, and Zhou Enlai. Unable to at
a lished Chinese version, which, he ar- Stalin, but is a message included in tain a consensus on sending troops to gued, could be "unreliable, inaccurate, Roshchin's telegram to the Soviet Korea, the group decided to continue unsent, or perhaps misdated."9 He even leader. Therefore, it is quite possible that to discuss the issue the next day at an stated that one cannot “exclude the pos- Mao verbally delivered the message to enlarged Central Secretariat meeting sibility that the text was altered or fal- Roshchin and authorized the Soviet (attendants would include high-ranking sified by Chinese authorities to present ambassador to convey it to Stalin. Be- military leaders in Beijing). 12 It was
. what they deemed to be a more ideo- cause the message may not have been after this meeting that Mao sent an urlogically or politically correct version in written form in the first place, it may gent telegram to Gao Gang, instructing "
not be so strange that one cannot locate him to travel from the Northeast to Mansourov's casting of doubt on a copy of it at the CCP Central Archives. Beijing immediately. Mao also ordered the authenticity of the Chinese version If the above analysis is correct, one the Northeast Border Defense Army to of Mao's telegram was based on a must further ask a question: Why did prepare to "enter operations [in Korea) simple, yet seemingly reasonable, de
BROTHERS IN ARMS: duction: because the contents of the two THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SINO
According to the materials now versions are drastically different, and
SOVIET ALLIANCE, 1945-1963
available, as well as the recollections because the Russian version appeared
of those who had been involved, we are authentic, something must have been Brothers in Arms: The Rise and Fall of the able to draw a general picture about the seriously wrong with the Chinese verSino-Soviet Alliance, 1945-1963, edited by Odd
enlarged Central Secretariat meeting on Arne Westad (Research Director, Norwegian sion. Nobel Institute), contains a collection of essays
the afternoon of 2 October. Mao Zedong The situation, however, is more by Russian, Chinese, and American scholars (as
emphasized at the meeting that it was complicated. After the exposure of the well as Westad) presenting new evidence from urgent to send troops to Korea, and the Russian version of the telegram, party
Russian and Chinese sources on the development meeting thus decided that Peng Dehuai
and demise of the alliance between Moscow and archivists in Beijing carefully searched
should be asked to command the troops. Beijing in the early years of the Cold War. Mao's documents at CCP Central Ar
For ordering information, contact: Odd Arne
Mao also instructed Zhou Enlai to archives, and confirmed that the original Westad, Norwegian Nobel Institute, range a special plane to pick up Peng in of the Chinese version of Mao's 2 OcDrammensveien 19, 0255 Oslo, Norway, fax:
Xi'an (where Peng was then the mili(+47-22) 430168; e-mail: oaw@nobel, no tober 1950 message did indeed exist and
tary and Party head). However, the
STALIN, MAO, KIM AND KOREAN WAR ORIGINS, 1950:
A RUSSIAN DOCUMENTARY DISCREPANCY
by Dieter Heinzig
meeting failed to yield a unanimous decision to send troops to Korea. It thus decided that an enlarged Politburo meeting would be convened to discuss the issue on October 4.
Evidently, before the Party leadership had reached a final decision, it would have been impossible for Mao to give an affirmative response to Stalin's October 1 request. 15 In actuality, even at the October 4 enlarged Politburo meeting, which would last until October 5, the opinions of the CCP leaders were still deeply divided, with the majority, at one point, strongly opposing sending troops to Korea. The main tendency of the meeting was that "unless absolutely necessary, it was better not to fight the war.
Within this context, it is easier to extrapolate what really happened with the Chinese version of Mao's telegram. It is quite possible that as Mao was willing to send troops to Korea, he personally drafted this telegram after receiving Stalin's October 1 telegram. However, because the opinions of the CCP leadership were still divided on the issue, and because the majority of Party leaders either opposed or had strong reservations about entering the war, Mao did not think it proper to dispatch the telegram. In fact, the Russian version of Mao's message mentions that “many comrades in the CC CPC judge that it is necessary to show caution.” This indicated that the division of opinions among CCP leaders was a reason for Mao to send the message found in Russian archives, but not his personally drafted telegram, to Stalin. Of course, how, exactly, Mao changed his plans regarding the message is a question that might only be illuminated with further research, including the opening of additional archival materials in Moscow and, especially, Beijing.
Now, a question that needs further exploration is: Does Mao's message via Roshchin, as regarded by Roshchin and Stalin at that time, as well as currently interpreted by Mansourov, indicate that Mao was reluctant to send troops to Korea, or that the CCP leadership had changed its original stand on the Korean issue? This question should be answered in relation to Mao Zedong's
There is some evidence that Stalin and Mao, during the latter's stay in Moscow between December 1949 and February 1950, discussed the feasibility of a North Korean war against South Korea (cf. Chen Jian, China's Road to the Korean War. The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation [New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), pp. 85-91). But what we are particularly keen on knowing is whether Stalin informed Mao Zedong about the fact that he, on 30 January 1950, gave North Korean leader Kim Il Sung, although in general terms, the green light for an attack on South Korea (cf. Kathryn Weathersby in the CWIHP Bulletin 5 (Spring 1995), pp. 3, 9).
At last I found strong evidence that he did not. It is contained in Mao's conversation with Soviet Ambassador Pavel Yudin on 31 March 1956, a version of which was published in CWIHP Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), pp. 164-7. In this version, on page 166 a part of Yudin's original record is omitted. It reads as follows (omitted part underlined):
"Important things which, evidently, to some extent strengthened Stalin's belief in the CCP, were your (my) information about the journey to China and the Korean War—the performance of the Chinese People's volunteers, although concerning this question, said Mao Zedong, we were not consulted in a sufficient way. Concerning the Korean question, when I (Mao Zedong) was in Moscow, there was no talk about conquering South Korea, but rather on strengthening North Korea significantly. But afterwards Kim Il Sung was in Moscow, where a certain agreement was reached about which nobody deemed it necessary to consult with me beforehand. It is noteworthy, said Mao Zedong, that, in the Korean War a serious miscalculation took place regarding the possibility of the appearance of international forces on the side of South Korea.”
The source is contained in the documents on the Korean War declassified by the Russian Presidential Archive (APRF) in Moscow which were cited by Kathryn Weathersby in CWIHP Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), p. 30. It is Ciphered telegram; Strictly secret; Taking of copies forbidden; From Beijing; 20. IV. 56 (handwritten); Perechen III no. 63 kopii dokumentov Arkhiva Prezidenta Rossiiskoi Federatsii po teme: "Voina v Koree 1950-1953," p. 157; list of the archival delo: 150; nos. of fond, opis, and delo not given. Before the text quoted above: “On 31 March I visited Comr. Mao Zedong," after “P. Yudin.” The text quoted above is introduced by the handwritten insertion (...), and it ends with the same insertion. Evidently, the text was included in the Presidential Archive's collection as an excerpt as it is the only part of Yudin's record which has to do with the Korean War.
For the CWIHP version of Yudin's record three sources are quoted (see p. 167). One is Problemy Dalnego Vostoka 5 (1994), pp. 101-109. Responsible for this publication are A. Grigorev and T. Zazerskaia. Here no reference whatsoever is made indicating that something was omitted. I did not see the two other (archival) sources quoted in the CWIHP Bulletin. But obviously there is no reference to an omission either, otherwise this would certainly have been indicated in the Bulletin version.
The text quoted above not only adds to our knowledge about the decision-making process during the preparatory phase of the Korean War. In addition, the way the text was discovered shows that Russian censors are still active—not only by withholding documents, but also by offering incomplete documents.
considerations before and after October sad if we stood idly by.”17 Mao finally port, especially air cover for Chinese
: 2, as well as by comparing the contents convinced his comrades of the need to ground forces, from the Soviet Union. of the Chinese and Russian versions of send troops to Korea at the October 5 By analyzing the two versions of Mao's the telegram.
meeting. Once the decision was made, telegram, a common point was that Mao First of all, it should be emphasized the Chinese leaders acted immediately.
the Chinese leaders acted immediately. believed that if China was to enter the that Mao Zedong felt that he was forced (It is unclear whether this decision was war, it must win the war, and win it to make the decision to send troops to taken before or after Mao received quickly. Only a speedy victory would Korea. He fully understood that China's Stalin's response—which strongly solve all of China's difficulties and involvement in the Korean War would urged Chinese intervention in Korea, worries. In order to achieve a rapid vicentail great difficulties. On this point, even at the risk of World War III—to tory, it was necessary that the Soviet his views basically coincided with those his earlier telegram indicating doubt Union, China's main ally, to provide the of his comrades who opposed or had about entering the war.) After the Oc- PRC with adequate military assistance, strong reservations about sending tober 5 meeting, Mao invited Zhou the air support in particular. However, troops to Korea. In actuality, those rea- Enlai, Gao Gang, and Peng Dehuai to Stalin, in his October 1 telegram to sons that Mao listed in the Russian ver- dine with him, and they further dis- Mao, as well as in several other comsion, such as America's technological cussed some of the details. Mao also in- munications with the Chinese leadersuperiority, the danger of an open war structed Peng and Gao to travel to ship before and afterward, failed to with the United States, and the possible Shenyang to convey the Politburo's clarify this crucial issue. Without reachnegative domestic reactions, were all decision to division-level commanders ing clearly-defined and concrete agreereflected in the Chinese version, though of the Northeast Border Defense Army, ments with the Soviets, Mao might have from a different angle. When Mao men- preparing to enter operations in Korea felt that it was better not to give Stalin's tioned in the Russian version that “many by October 15. The next day, Zhou request a direct and positive response. comrades in the CC CPC judge that it Enlai chaired a Central Military Com- This could have been the most imporis necessary to show caution," this does mission meeting, which made concrete tant reason underlying Mao's proposal not mean that he had changed his own arrangements about how the troops to send Zhou Enlai to the USSR to meet determination. A careful comparison of should prepare to enter operations in Stalin. And this also could explain why, the two versions leads to a different con
under the circumstance that the Chinese clusion: Mao did not change his goals It should also be noted that there leadership had already made the decibut rather the tactics he would use to exists no irreconcilable contradiction sion to enter the Korean War, Mao told achieve them. Instead of replying di- between the Chinese leaders' previous Stalin on October 7 that China "would rectly and positively to Stalin's request, agreement to send troops to Korea and not be able to send troops (to Korea) at Mao adopted a more indirect and am- Mao's expression that China would "re- this moment, but would do so after biguous response, so that he would be frain from advancing troops” in the
some time.”21 The key question had
" able to reconcile his own determination Russian version. Scholars who believe now become Soviet air support for Chito enter the war with the disagreements that China had completely changed its nese troops that were to fight in Korea. still existing among other CCP leaders, stand have ignored an important condiwhile at the same time keeping the door tion, that is, every time the Chinese 1 See my paper, “China Was Forced to Enter the for further communication (and bar- leaders mentioned that China would Korean War: Causes and Decision-making Progaining) with Stalin open. This inter- send troops to Korea, they made it clear cess," prepared for “New Evidence on the Cold pretation would explain why the CCP that a crucial precondition for taking War in Asia," international conference sponsored chairman specifically informed Stalin action was that the enemy forces by the Cold War International History Project, in the Russian version that “A final de- crossed the 38th parallel. In Zhou University of Hong Kong, 9-12 January 1996. cision has not been made on this ques- Enlai's meeting with K. M. Pannikar, 2 For Kim's letter to Stalin of 29 September 1950, tion. This is our preliminary telegram.” India's ambassador to China, early in see Cold War International History Project BulIt also explains why he proposed to send the morning of October 3, the Chinese letin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), 110-111; the origiZhou Enlai to consult with Stalin. premier particularly emphasized that if nal is kept in the Archives of the President, Rus
That Mao had not altered his de- the U.S. (not South Korean) troops had sian Federation (APRF), Moscow, fond 45, opis termination to enter the war was most crossed the 38th parallel, China would 1, delo 347, listy 46-49. clearly demonstrated by his attitude at intervene. 19 As of October 2, this
pre- Filippov (Stalin) to Mao Zedong and Zhou the October 4-5 Politburo meeting. Al- condition had not yet materialized. 20
Enlai, 1 October 1950, Cold War International though the majority of CCP leaders at- In addition to the above factors, History Project Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), tending the meeting continued to ex- Mao did not give Stalin a direct and 114. press strong reservations about enter- positive response because he sensed the 4
Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao (Mao ing the Korean War, Mao told them that
need to put more pressure on Stalin. An Zedong's Manuscripts since the Founding of the “all of what you have said is reason- important condition for China to enter People's Republic) (Beijing: Central Press of able, but once another nation, one that a war with the United States was that it Historical Documents, 1987), 539-540. is our neighbor, is in crisis, we'd feel would receive substantial military sup
Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao makes it clear that the text of the telegram published is
Basing his discussion of the meeting on the incomplete. In the original of the telegram, ac- Chinese version of Mao's 2 October 1950 tele- COLD WAR INTERNATIONAL cording to Chen Jian, who based his description gram, Chen Jian, in China's Road to the Korean
HISTORY PROJECT on “interviews with Shi Zhe and Beijing's mili- War (p. 175), asserted that top CCP leaders had
WORKING PAPERS tary researchers with access to Mao's manu- reached general consensus on sending troops to scripts," Mao also asked Stalin to deliver to the Korea at the October 2 meeting, and that Mao #1: Chen Jian, "The Sino-Soviet Alliance Chinese large amounts of military equipment, proposed before the end of the meeting that he and China's Entry into the Korean War” including tanks, heavy artillery, other heavy and would personally send a telegram to Stalin to in
#2: P.J. Simmons, “Archival Research on light weapons, and thousands of trucks, as well form the Soviet leader of the decision. This points
the Cold War Era: A Report from Budapest, as to confirm that the Soviet Union would pro- appears to be in error if the Russian version is
Prague and Warsaw”
#3: James Richter, “Reexamining Soviet vide the Chinese with air support when Chinese correct.
Policy Towards Germany during the Beria troops entered operations in Korea. See Chen Jian, 16 Nie Rongzhen, Nie Rongzhen huiyilu (Nie
Interregnum" China's Road to the Korean War: The Making of Rongzhen's Memoirs ) (Beijing: People's Libera
#4: Vladislav M. Zubok, "Soviet Intellithe Sino-American Confrontation (New York: tion Army Press, 1984), 735.
gence and the Cold War: The 'Small’Com17 Columbia University Press, 1994), 177.
Peng Dehuai, Peng Dehuai zishu (The Auto- mittee of Information, 1952-53” 6 For examples of such citations, see the editor's biographical Note of Peng Dehuai] (Beijing: #5: Hope M. Harrison, “Ulbricht and the note in footnote 30 of Alexandre Y. Mansourov, People's Press, 1981), 472-74.
Concrete ‘Rose': New Archival Evidence "Stalin, Mao, Kim, and China's Decision to En
on the Dynamics of Soviet-East German Re
lations and the Berlin Crisis, 1958-1961" ter the Korean War, September 16-October 15, Strength} (Beijing: Chinese Television and Broad
#6: Vladislav M. Zubok, “Khrushchev and 1950: New Evidence from the Russian Archives," casting Press, 1990), 24; Chen Jian, China's Road
the Berlin Crisis (1958-1962)" Cold War International History Project Bulletin to the Korean War, 185. For Stalin's reply (n.d.,
#7: Mark Bradley and Robert K. Brigham, 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), at 107. probably October 5 or 6) to Mao's earlier tele
“Vietnamese Archives and Scholarship on Telegram, Roshchin to Filippov (Stalin), 3 Oc- gram, see Stalin to Kim Il-Sung, 8 (7) October the Cold War Period: Two Reports” tober 1950, conveying 2 October 1950 message 1950, Cold War International History Project #8: Kathryn Weathersby, “Soviet Aims in from Mao Zedong, Cold War International His- Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), 116-17. Korea and the Origins of the Korean War, tory Project Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), pp. 19 Zhou Enlai waijiao wenxuan (Selected Diplo
1945-1950: New Evidence From Russian 114-115.
Archives" matic Papers of Zhou Enlai] (Beijing: The Cen8
#9: Scott D. Parrish and Mikhail M. For the article and accompanying documents, tral Press of Historical Documents, 1990), 25-27.
20 see Alexandre Y. Mansourov, “Stalin, Mao, Kim,
Narinsky, “New Evidence on the Soviet ReAccording to the intelligence reports the Chi
jection of the Marshall Plan, 1947: Two Reand China's Decision to Enter the Korean War, nese leaders had received by October 2, only
ports" September 16-October 15, 1950: New Evidence South Korean troops had crossed the parallel. As
#10: Norman M. Naimark, "To Know from the Russian Archives," Cold War Interna- late as October 14, when U.S.-South Korean
Everything and To Report Everything Worth tional History Project Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/ troops had broken up the North Korean defense
Knowing’: Building the East German Po1996), 94-119.
line for Pyongyang, Mao, in accordance with the lice State, 1945-1949" 9
Mansourov, “Stalin, Mao, Kim, and China's intelligence reports from the Chinese military, still #11: Christian F. Ostermann, “The United Decision to Enter the Korean War," 107, fn. 30. believed that "it seems that the Americans are yet
States, the East German Uprising of 1953,
and the Limits of Rollback” to decide whether or not and when they would 11
#12: Brian Murray, “Stalin, the Cold War, By comparison, early on the morning of 2 attack Pyongyang ... The American troops are now
and the Division of China: A Multi-ArchiOctober 1950, Mao sent another telegram to Gao still stationed at the (38th) parallel." Jianguo yilai
val Mystery" Gang and Deng Hua which carries the record of Mao Zedong wengao, 1: 559-61.
#13: Vladimir 0. Pechatnov, “The Big Three when it was dispatched (2:00 am) and the signa
See Cold War International History Project After World War II: New Documents on ture of Yang Shangkun, director of CCP Central Bulletin 6-7 (Winter 1995/1996), 116.
Soviet Thinking about Post-War Relations Administrative Office, to witness its dispatch. For
with the United States and Great Britain” the text of the telegram, see Jianguo yilai Mao Shen Zhihua is director of Center for #14: Ruud van Dijk, “The 1952 Stalin Note Zedong wengao, 1:538. Oriental History Studies in Beijing and
Debate: Myth or Missed Opportunity for 12 See Chen Jian, China's Road to the Korean
German Unification?" the author of Chaoxian zhanzheng jiemi
#15: Natalia I. Yegorova, “The Iran Crisis' War, 173. My own interviews, as well as those of (Unmasking the Secrets of the Korean Xu Yan (a leading Chinese scholar on the history
of 1945-1946: A View from the Russian ArWar) (Hong Kong: Tiandi tushu, 1995).
chives" of the Korean War), also confirmed that the 1 Chen Jian is an associate professor of #16: Csaba Békés, “The 1956 Hungarian October 1950 Central Secretariat meeting did not history at Southern Illinois University Revolution and World Politics” reach a consensus on sending troops to Korea. and a senior fellow at the United States 13 Telegram, Mao Zedong to Gao Gang and Deng Institute of Peace in Washington, DC CWIHP Working Papers are available free Hua, Jianguo yilai Mao Zedong wengao, vol.1, for the 1996-97 academic year. Among on request to: CWIHP, Woodrow Wilson
his publications is China's Road to the International Center for Scholars, 1000 14 Wang Yan et al., Peng Dehuai zhuan [A Biog
Jefferson Dr. SW, Washington, DC 20560; Korean War: The Making of the Sino
fax: (202) 357-4439. raphy of Peng Dehuai) (Beijing: Contemporary American Confrontation (New York: China Press, 1993), 400.
Columbia University Press, 1994).
KHRUSHCHEV VS. MAO: good candidates for psychological ponents). 4 Not only was this combinaA PRELIMINARY SKETCH OF study. Those who cry out for such scru- tion of characteristics unusual; in the THE ROLE OF PERSONALITY tiny (as Stalin, Mao, and Khrushchev end, all three traits were viewed as liIN THE SINO-SOVIET SPLIT all do) are distinguished by three traits. abilities by Khrushchev's Kremlin col
First, they have great power; to use leagues. by William Taubman
Sidney Hook's well-known phrase, they Khrushchev's rise from the hum
are “event-making" rather than “event- blest of origins makes his a success Traditional and historical differ- ful” men or women, the difference be- story. Yet almost as soon as he reached ences, ideological arguments, economic ing that the former truly transform situ- the top, his self-defeating behavior beand geo-political issues, even racial ten- ations, whereas the latter merely attempt gan—far from all his troubles were of sions—these and other sources of the to cope with or respond to great changes his own making, of course, but many Sino-Soviet conflict have been analyzed already in progress. As paramount
were brought on by his own actions. The along with the main episodes in the de- leaders of totalitarian (or in Khrush- Secret Speech itself triggered turmoil cades-long dispute. It has also been said chev's case, perhaps, “post-totalitar- in Poland and then revolution in Hunthat personalities of Chinese and Soviet ian”) systems, all three men surely fit gary in 1956. The Cuban missile crisis leaders played a large role—how could this description.
of 1962 was the beginning of the end they not given the likes of Stalin, Mao, Second, all three were unique; al- of Khrushchev's decade in power. And and Khrushchev?—but that side of though leaders, like ordinary citizens, there were many other such instances events has been less studied.
are influenced by values and other ideas in which Khrushchev's behavior ended Chinese sources indicate that Mao widely shared in their societies, Stalin, up undermining his own position. took the Sino-Soviet conflict quite per- Mao, and Khrushchev nevertheless took One of the them was the Sino-Sosonally, that he did not have a high re- actions and made decisions that no one viet conflict itself. This article will look gard (to say the least) for Khrushchev, else in the Soviet or Chinese leaderships closely at several key episodes, focusand that he even tried deliberately to would have. It is that fact that invites sing Mao's behavior and demean the Soviet leader. As for us to examine their personalities as a Khrushchev's response, before trying to Khrushchev, his own memoirs indicate prime source of their actions.
explain the pattern in terms of quite clearly that Mao got under his The third criterion is a pattern of Khrushchev's personality. skin. Khrushchev prefaces his account behavior that seems contradictory, irra- At first, Khrushchev's relations of the conflict by condemning those tional, and ultimately self-defeating. with Mao went quite well. The Chinese who imply that the split stemmed from The importance of this is that it sug- need for assistance, even greater after
1 a mere "clash of personalities."! Yet he gests a leader is not simply doing what the Korean War than before it, guaranhimself keeps coming back to that same a situation dictates, or what a culture teed Khrushchev would get a warm recause. The trouble with Mao was his encourages or allows, but rather is ception in Beijing in 1954, especially "unwillingness to consider anyone else driven by some internal compulsion that since he arrived bearing substantial his equal." When it came to the ques- influences his or her behavior.
gifts. Khrushchev claims in his memtion of who would lead the world com- Although all three traits character- oirs that he returned from China warnmunist movement, “everything depends ize all three leaders, the focus here is ing his colleagues that “conflict beon personal characteristics, on how one Khrushchev. Not only was he extremely tween us and China is inevitable.") But or another leader feels about himself, powerful, he was also distinctive among the fact that those same memoirs and in which direction he directs his Stalin's potential sucessors. No one else misattribute to his 1954 visit the famous
in the Soviet leadership, I'd contend, Khrushchev-Mao swimming pool enAs the Communist saying goes, would have (1) unmasked Stalin as counter that actually occurred in the these and other similar references aren't Khrushchev did in his secret speech at summer of 1958 suggests that he misaccidental. Almost against his will, they the 20th Party Congress, (2) placed takenly read back into 1954 the alarm register Khrushchev's conviction that nuclear missiles secretly in Cuba, and he clearly felt four years later. the personal dimension, and in particu- (3) taken those same missiles out again Even in 1954, however, lar the clash between himself and Mao, as soon as he was caught in the act. In Khrushchev probably first felt experiwas central.
addition, he stood apart from his peers enced sort of irritation with Mao that But what was it about Mao that so in three key elements of "political would grow steadily over the ensuing irritated Khrushchev? Was Mao's abil- style”: in his rhetoric (Khrushchev was years. It was then, for example, that he ity to provoke him exceptional, or was as voluble, earthy, and informal as offered to return the Port Arthur naval Khrushchev in general easily provoked?
Stalin and his other colleagues were base without even being asked to by the What light does his conduct of Sino- not); in his approach to work (he was Chinese—only to have Mao demand Soviet relations shed on Khrushchev as hyperactive far beyond the Bolshevik that the Soviets also hand over free of a leader? And how did Khrushchev's norm); and in inter-personal relations charge the Soviet weaponry located leadership affect Sino-Soviet relations? (in which he counted on face-to-face there.
Not all political leaders are equally encounters to gauge and to best his op- Until 1956, recalls Mao's doctor,