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Vol. 6 No. i (2018): Spring 2018

When World's Divide: China, Russia, and the U.S.-led World Order

November 27, 2023


As China rises, Russia resurges, and the United States declines, it is clear that the balance of power is shifting. However, this is not the first-time major shifts between these three countries altered the arrangement of the world order. The Sino-Soviet split marked a paradigm shift in Cold War relations, one that brought China outside the Soviet sphere of influence and into a drastically different role from an American foreign policy perspective. This paper seeks to explore the topic further by begging the question: What effect, if any, did the shifts in international relations caused by the Sino-soviet split have on the global balance of power, particularly between the U.S. and China? It argues that the effects were significant, even if indirect. The Sino-Soviet split created the circumstances allowing for China to rise, the opportunity to shield their true motives and exploit the divide between the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to great advantage. The norms and doctrines created during this time far outlived the Cold War, propelling the relationship between the U.S. and China to where it is today. While it was America who most overtly sought to take advantage of this event, it was China who did so most effectively.