Read this term paper to learn about the international relations between America, Russia and China.

Term Paper Contents:

  1. Term Paper on the Policy of Containment
  2. Term Paper on the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) (1949)
  3. Term Paper on the Stalin’s Foreign Policy 1945-53: Sovietization of Eastern Europe
  4. Term Paper on the Impact of Maoist China on International Politics in the 1950s

Term Paper # 1. Policy of Containment:

The developments of events which we have seen before in 1947, and in the early 1948 indicates, the growing cleavage between the Soviet Union and the Western Powers. Both sides determined to consolidate their respective positions by means of conclusion of treaties and agreements with the countries attached to each of them.


The proclamation of the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan and, in response to that, the revival of the Cominform intensified the interna­tional tension which gave birth to unprecedented war of nerves. This was the feature of international relations from 1946 until the Soviet Union crumbled down (1991).

Adoption of the Policy of Containment toward the Soviet Union:

The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan declared unwavering decision that Soviet Union must be prevented from expanding its influence “beyond the internationally recognised limit of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.” President Truman enunciated the Point Four Programme on 20 January 1949.

“The four points emphasized were unfaltering support to the United Nations, continuation of their programmes for forward economic recovery, strengthening of freedom-loving nations against the dangers of aggression and a bold programme of technical assistance to the under-developed areas.” The American Congress passed the necessary legislation and provided funds to implement the Point Four Programme.


On the assumption that hunger and unemployment are the breeding ground of Communism, President Truman initiated the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan to prevent Communism. In the first stage, the United States tied down its economy with the economy of the free world and thus the economic hegemony of the United States was imposed. Secondly, many military and political bonds were forged and the entire resources of the non-communist world came within the grip of the United States. America recognised herself as the leader of the non-communist world.

To contain Communism, the United States contrived the following mea­sures:

(a) Economic cooperation;

(b) Defence organisation led by the USA;


(c) Social and cultural cooperation involving man-power, health and education;

(d) Revival of Germany and Spain to oppose Communism in Europe and the revival of Japan in Asia to resist both, Soviet Union and China;

(e) Regional alliances to be made for regional security;

(f) Economic and military aid to be given to the developing countries which were poor but because of their natural resources and strategic position became a bone of contention;

(g) A process of rearmament and the development of both conventional and atomic weapons to be made;

(h) In order to encircle USSR bases were to be located from where the attack on the enemy could be launched easily.

Economic Co-Operation:

Marshall in his Harvard speech devised a plan of economic cooperation. The war-battered Europe lacked economic infrastructure and America suggested delivering it so that the European states could be freed from poverty and un­employment, by averting the economic crisis, America determined to fight against Communism.

Political and Economic Co-Operation:

The desperate economic condition of Europe and the possibility of commu­nist aggression compelled the non-communist countries of Europe to accept the proposal of the United States for their safety and economic recovery. It had been already cleared that the United States and the Soviet Union could neither cooperate nor co-exist. The political instability in the Western countries and the threat of Communism from within made it imperative to enlist them for American co-operation and help.

The exigency of the political situation also impelled both France and Germany to eliminate their traditional differences. The politico-economic urgency of Europe was first emphasised in the military co-operation concluded between France and Britain on March 4th, 1947, which is named the Treaty of Dunkirk. On October 29, a Customs Union under the name of Benelux was forged by Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The formation of the COMINFORM, the coup in Czechoslovakia, and the Soviet-Finland Treaty negotiations in February 1948 eventually led to the conclusion of the Treaty of Brussels on March 17, 1948, by France, Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The treaty bound the signatories to a policy of collaboration and mutual assistance in political, economic and military matters. The Brussels Treaty was the pioneer of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the council of Europe and became the basis of the Western European Union in 1955.

Term Paper # 2. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) (1949)

Signed in Washington on 4 April 1949 by the United States, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Nor­way, Portugal, Great Britain, Greece and Turkey became members in 1952, while the Federal Republic of Germany became member in 1955. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, commonly known as NATO, was a defensive organisation against the Soviet bloc.

The reason behind the making of the organisation was the German problem. When the problem became acute and assumed serious proportions, the United States decided to establish a mutual military assis­tance organisation with the Western countries and NATO was the result.

The principal objectives of the NATO, was to make peaceful settlement of all disputes among themselves for international peace, security and justice. They pledged themselves to encourage economic collaboration. They agreed to resort to arms singly or jointly against foreign aggression and put up joint resistance to foreign aggression until the Security Council efforts to maintain international peace and security.

It was further assigned to halt Soviet expansion westwards. The Soviet Union did not try to interfere into Western affairs after the conclusion of the NATO and, therefore, this treaty is shown by the Western writers as an instrument of peace. The NATO forces were always ready to meet any challenge anywhere. It also diminished internal rivalries among the member States of the NATO.

The reactions of the NATO were very much. In the first place, the NATO precipitated the East-West tension and led Soviet Union to conclude Warsaw Pact as the rival of NATO. The rivalry intensified worldwide power conflict. Secondly, the NATO is not strictly limited within the North Atlantic region. Taking Italy, Turkey and Greece into its confidence, it has extended into the Mediterranean. Thirdly, although Yugoslavia was not a member of the NATO, yet she was given security against possible attack by Soviet Union.

Finally, though, the Mediterranean region, the central and Near-Eastern countries occupied strategical positions, the Suez Canal was a vital link between Europe and Asia as important oil resources are concentrated in this region. Despite this, no country of this region has been admitted into it.

The provision of the Treaty Organisation was that “an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe and North America shall be considered an attack against them all; and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by the United Nations will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith individually and in concert with the other parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.”

This clearly threatens the East and held the European situation in check. The rise and growth of the NATO was, no doubt, due to the Soviet blockade and the Berlin airlift. This led to the commitment of the Western Powers to a policy of “containment”. The treaty could be revised at the end of ten years and a country was entitled to terminate her membership after twenty years by giving one year’s notice of her intention to do so.

According to some critics, NATO was not established on the basis of any settled principles. Again, there is another charge against NATO — although it was established with the original purpose of settling peace and security in the world, it actually became an anti-Soviet military organisation.

As a result, it caused three important impacts:

(i) It gave rise to tensions between Western and Eastern blocs instead of ensuring world peace;

(ii) It became a rival organisation of the United Nations and enjoyed the authority to bypass the United Nations and thereby lessened the importance of the United Nations by encroaching upon the responsi­bility of the United Nations to maintain world peace and security;

(iii) The United States and Great Britain exercised and controlled the international relations of the NATO and, consequently, the sovereignty of weak powers in the field of their respective foreign policy has been restricted to some extent.

Term Paper # 3. Stalin’s Foreign Policy 1945-53: Sovietization of Eastern Europe:

For roughly two years after the end of the World War II, communists of France, Belgium and Italy shared ministerial power in their respective countries, in a succession of what were virtually Left Wing coalitions of the “popular front” pattern. In this respect the governments of these years corresponded to the earlier post-war governments brought into being. But the record of these two years’ government activities discouraged the continuation of the experiment on the home front as much as international events of these years destroyed the hopes of smooth co-operation between East and West.

In May 1947 the government of the socialist Paul Ramadier in France and of the Christian Democrat Alcide de Gasperi in Italy expelled their communist members, and two months earlier the Belgian Socialist Paul Henry Speak formed a ministry which excluded the communists. Thereafter Western communism was everywhere a party of opposition, not of government.

The strategy of communism in the West after 1945 was to insinuate itself into positions of power, both in the machinery of the State and in trade union organisations. There entrenched, communists proceeded to use their power to undermine the working of democratic institutions, to exploit the post-war diffi­culties of new and often inexperienced governments, and to provoke industrial unrest in order to disrupt national recovery. In France, Italy and Belgium, trade unions formerly dominated by communists gradually split away to form non-communist Unions.

During this period everywhere in the world communist movement was largely influenced by Stalin’s foreign policy. In the newly created independent countries in Asia and Europe, the trade unions led by the communists adopted the policy of violence against the democratic governments which were weak and not in a position to resist this violence.

The American bloc was further suspicious of Russian machination, particularly when Molotov declared on November 6, 1947 that “we live in an age when all roads lead to communism.” The declaration was made possible because of the post-war politico-economic situation on the world.

In 1945, the Soviet troops advanced into the heart of Europe. Germany and Japan temporarily disappeared from the ranks of the powers. The instability of the post-war democratic governments everywhere, the unforseen economic disaster, the widespread ferment and unrest in Asia leading to the disintegration of European colonial empires, and weakening the position of Great Britain in world affairs all combined and offered new opportunities to Stalin to exploit the situation in his favour.

The emancipation of large sections of organised labour from communist control and the simultaneous exclusion of communists from governmental power, marked the failure of Western Communism to seize power, but, behind this political failure, lay the deeper economic reverse, the economic recovery of Western Europe and the improvement in standards of living which cut away the basis of communist hopes — the expected collapse of world capitalist economy.

Russian Front

In Eastern and in Western Europe the first two years after the war were the years of ‘Popular Fronts’. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945 the Western Powers allowed Stalin, or, better be said, were compelled to allow a free hand in Eastern European countries because it was Soviet Union army which liberated these Eastern European countries from the yoke of Nazi Germany.

The Soviet Union, as a result, gained almost unlimited political and economic rights in these countries — namely Poland, Finland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Hungary — pending the conclusion of peace treaties. The Western Powers established similar rights for themselves in Italy and Greece.

Soviet predominance thus rested on the acquiescence and agreement of the Western Powers as well as on the physical presence of the Red Army. But at the Yalta Conference all great powers promised to help the nations of Eastern Europe to form interim governmental authorities broadly representing all democratic elements in the population. It also pledged the earliest possible establishment through free elections of governments-responsive to the will of the people.

Since the aim of the Soviet Union was to dispel apprehensions among the Western Powers — because it then badly needed military-economic assistance from America which the latter supplied lavishly — it made its power in Eastern Europe as respectable and legitimate as possible, and the Soviet Union en­couraged the establishment of governments of national unity. But since, from the outset, its aim was also to perpetuate and consolidate its political control over Eastern Europe, these governments were then used as merely temporary ve­hicles for communist dictatorship to be set up in future.

Elimination of the peasant and liberal leaders was accomplished by the autumn of 1947, and the moment was chosen in October to set up the new Communist Information Bureau (COMINFORM) to “exchange experiences” and coordinate the activities of its member treaties. The old 3rd International (COMINTERN) had been dissolved in 1943 as a Stalinist gesture towards the West. It was now revived, in this looser form, as a counterblast to the Marshall Plan and as an indication that communism was consolidating its grip permanently throughout Eastern Europe.

This grip, almost complete by the end of 1947, was achieved by the sys­tematic suppression of opposition, which came mainly from the agrarian par­ties representing the peasant masses. Agrarian leaders had large followings. They stood for small, private landownership and they, therefore, posed as a great danger and the main opponents of communist collectivisation. They had to be ousted by fraud and force.

The consequence of all these events by the summer of 1948 was that liberal democracy had fallen throughout the whole eastern marshlands with the excep­tion of Finland, and had been replaced by the so-called “people’s democracies” of communism. On her western borders the Soviet Union had secured an unbroken belt of territories whose governments were likely to prove themselves docile to Soviet demands and hostile to Western interests.

At that moment only Yugoslavia under Marshal Tito managed to assert its independence from Soviet domination. Tito was an orthodox Stalinist communist, but, as the liberation of Yugoslavia was effected mostly by Tito’s partisans, so, after the end of the war, Tito found himself undisputed master of Yugoslavia and he saw no reason to be either grateful or subservient to the Soviet Union.

Outside Yugoslavia obedience could be enforced, and the result was the replacement of native communist leaders by Russian or minor and more obedient native communists. In 1948 Gomulk, Secretary of the Polish Communist Party was removed; six months later Kostov, his Bulgarian counterpart, was likewise dismissed, and, eventually, executed at the end of 1949! In Albania and Hungary former communist were tried and executed.

The year 1952 brought considerable economic hardship and intensified police terror and within the Soviet Union anti-Semitic trend became powerful and the Jews were depicted as public enemies. On March 5, 1953, Stalin died. From the ideological point of view Stalin’s foreign policy moved in at least five directions.

These were:

(i) He insisted that the capitalist world intended to wipe out the Communist rule and, therefore, devised the plan through which the aim was to be carried out — the Marshall Plan, the Truman Doctrine, the NATO, the rearmament of Japan and Germany, the Point Four Programme etc. These were, according to the Soviet Union, clear evidence that the West possessed ulterior motive towards the Soviet Union.

(ii) The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, according to Stalin, revealed that the contradictions between the leading capitalist states not only continued to exist but were also even more potent than the contradictions between East and West. He concludes that the Western Unity “was merely superficial and could not long withstand the diversive tendencies in the capitalist system, the unvoiced inference being that it was unnecessary to relieve the pressure and reduce the tension in order to disunite Russia’s adversaries.”

(iii) According to the Marxist analysis the World War I brought the Communists to power in Russia and the World War II brought more countries under the control of the Communists. The Soviet Union would act as the vanguard of the proletarian advances. This analysis reveals the post-war Soviet foreign policies seemed to go “beyond the usual national objectives of advancing the security and general welfare of the State.”

(iv) It was supposed by the Soviet Union that the Western Powers deter­mined to overthrow the communist regime in the Soviet Union and, therefore, Stalin opposed any exchange between the Soviet Union and the capitalist world. Hence, after 1945, the official Soviet attitude towards the Western world was extremely suspicious and hostile.

(v) The Soviet Union, therefore, accused the capitalist West as war-monger. Appeals to peace and the use of peace groups and peace conferences have become the effective instruments of Soviet foreign policy to thwart the motives of the capitalist world. The World Peace Movement (1948-49), the Stockholm Peace Appeal (1950), the Peace offensive (1951), the movement for Geneva Spirit (1955-56) and the offensive for Summit Conference (1957-58) are particularly significant.

In fact, Stalin’s policies had cemented the relation of the Western Powers and brought them even closer. Considering the grave consequences of Stalin’s policy, the United States initiated the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the Dunkirk and Brussels Treaty, the Western European Union, the Atlantic Pact and the NATO — and these were actually the direct result of Soviet foreign policy led by Stalin.

The building up of the Soviet bloc in Eastern Europe, the Czech coup, the rejection of the Marshall Plan, encouragement of civil war in Greece, threatening posture towards Turkey, armed intervention in Persia, excommunication of Tito-were some of the policies pursued by Stalin which actually threatened the very existence of democratic countries of the West.

The Soviet Union had no capacity like America to rebuild the economy of the Eastern European countries under her control and they were moreover prevented from accepting any grant and aid from the Western bloc. The war- ravaged countries of Eastern Europe needed huge financial aid, not only to sustain communist rule there but also to avoid peoples’ revolt. Knowing the gravity of the situation, the Soviet Union had nothing to do but stationing the dreaded Soviet troops there and impelled the local government to undertake stringent measures against the people.

By the end of 1949 Chiang Kai Shek was forced to retreat to the island of Formosa along with his army and party members, and in September the communists proclaimed the People’s Republic of China. In February 1950 the Soviet Union concluded a Treaty of Friendship with the new People’s Republic of China.

Russian credit of $ 300 million was given to communist China over a period of five years for industrial development in China, and also sending of technical help. Military aid took the form of mutual pledges of assistance in the event of an attack, against either, by Japan or any State allied with her. The treaty was to last for 30 years. Economic troubles, financial crisis and food difficulties in most countries of the so-called Third World were used by US diplomacy to pressurize them to accept unequal economic agreements with the aim of preserving them as raw material sources and investment spheres.

Term Paper # 4. Impact of Maoist China on International Politics in the 1950s:

The rise of People’s Republic of China received world recognition as a modem power but failed to get recognition from the Western countries while the Soviet Union and India recognised her.

In February 1950 the Soviet Union concluded a Treaty of Friendship with the new People’s Republic of China, granting her a credit of $ 300 million over a period of five years for industrial development in China and the sending of technical help. In 1952 a Sino-Soviet treaty of mutual aid was signed. Russia pledged to give China technical, financial and scientific assistance and, in return, China promised to support Russia against any outside enemy.

In 1949, the territorial limits of the Cold War in Europe were more or less established. By 1950, the theater of Cold War shifted from Europe to East Asia. Under the impact of the Cold War, Korea was divided into North Korea and South Korea.

At Moscow meeting in December 1945 it had been agreed to set up a Soviet-American Joint Commission to supervise the formation of a provisional government as a first step toward a united independent and democratic Korea, and to make recommendations concerning a trusteeship for Korea for a period up to five years.

Korean War:

On January 16, 1946, the representatives of the Russian and the American, commanders met in Seoul and came at loggerheads at once. Whereas the Soviet representatives-insisted on discussing only with the parties in Korea which had fully supported the trusteeship provision of the Moscow decision of December 1945, the American representatives who — knew a large number of Korean people disliked the trusteeship provision and wanted complete independence — opposed the Soviet demand on the ground that it would prevent large elements of the Korean people from expressing their views on the future of their country.

By May 8, the meeting ended in a failure as it failed to resolve the deadlock. In April 1947 another meeting between Marshall and Molotov at Seoul failed to open the deadlock. The United States referred the Korean problem to the General Assembly, but Russia challenged the Assembly’s jurisdiction on the ground that the matter related to the peace settlement.

However, on November 14, 1947, the Assembly passed the resolution by which it was decided that a general election would be held in Korea by March 31, 1948, under the guidance of a Temporary Commission and, after the election, the zonal administration and foreign troops were to be withdrawn. But the Soviet Union did not yield to compassion. Never­theless, on the advice of the Interim Committee of the General Assembly, the Temporary Commission decided to hold elections in South Korea alone.

As a result of this election, held on May 10, 1948 in South Korea, the Con­servative parties under the leadership of Dr. Syngman Rhee came to power. In South Korea, the Republic of Korea was established and recognised by the United Nations with Dr. Syngman Rhee as its President.

The withdrawal of the occupation troops and the replacement of the Temporary Commission with a United Nations Commission were recommended by the General Assembly. Meanwhile, in North Korea, with the help of Russia, Democratic People’s Republic was created with General Kim as its head. Both the States claimed to represent all Korea. Russian troops were withdrawn at the end of 1948 and American troops in June 1949.

Now South Korea — under a reactionary and feudalistic regime of Syngman Rhee — faced the challenge of a highly organised communist regime. The United Nations Commission that replaced the Temporary Commission was powerless and ineffective.

On 25 June the communist government of North Korea launched a full-scale attack on the South. The United Nations took immediate step and the Security Council asked the North Korean troops to withdraw immediately behind the thirty-eighth parallel. When this demand was ignored, the United States forces were sent to help South Korea. The United States forces drove the aggressors out and approached the Chinese border in Manchuria.

Korea During Korean War

At this stage communist China came to rescue the North Korean side and joined the war. Now it became a tussle between the Soviet bloc and the Western bloc. It is interesting to find that although major powers were involved in this war, the war was strictly limited within a region. The reason behind this was perhaps none of the big powers was in a position to push or transform the war into a global war.

The Soviet Union did not send troops and the United States did not use atomic bomb. Although, there were moments when both China and the United States, “showed signs of treating it as sufficiently vital to justify full-scale commitment.”

In the middle of 1951, the fighting relapsed into stalemate, and protracted negotiations for a cease-fire eventually culminated in the armistice of July 1953.

North Korea was fighting the battle with Chinese troops. While the troops of America fought with sophisticated weapons, Chinese troops had no access to those weapons, except some provided by the Soviet Union.

But in this war China showed her powers and the world came to regard her as a power to be reckoned with. The United States, however, contained communism and had vindicated the authority of the United Nations. The line of partition between northern and southern Korea remained roughly where it had been before the war began.

Generally speaking, henceforth, the emergence of China — often called “Chinese dragon” — as a great power in this part of Asia caused alarm, particularly for her expansionist theory at the cost of other countries’ in­dependence.

China had secured in North Korea a communist buffer-state between Manchuria and Western influences. Chinese expedition to Tibet was a shameless act. The feeble and hapless country could not protect her liberty from the hands of a mighty giant and also failed to attract the attention of the world opinion.

The “Great Leap Forward”, maintained by powerful propaganda in 1958, was an over-ambitious economic experiment. The idea — not unreasonable if the pace had been slower — was to obtain surpluses from the agricultural collectives which could be put to the development of small, or intermediate, industries in­stead of being diverted into the large eastern industrial regions, thus bringing about a harmonization instead of a divergence of economic wealth and interests.

But the programme not only failed but also alienated the Chinese peasants and caused crop failures. Mao was temporarily discredited and he resigned as President of the Chinese People’s Republic, though he remained Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party.

In 1966 Mao called for a second revolution known as the Cultural Revolution. This put into force a doctrine of perpetual revolution as a political mechanism. This also caused criticism in China itself and the relation with the Soviet Union disintegrated. In 1960, after the “Great Leap”, Khrushchev withdrew all Russian technical and scientific advisers from China.

China declined to sign the nuclear test partial-ban treaty initiated in Moscow, and embarked on a nuclear programme of her own, exploding an atom bomb in 1964 and a hydrogen bomb in 1967. China’s increasing activity not only threatened India but also Russia. She had organised the Afro-Asian Conference at Bandung in 1955, had captured Tibet and in 1959 suppressed a rebellion there with brutal ferocity.

Her growing intervention in the communist struggles of South-east Asia suggested that she was competing with Russia for leadership of the communist East. The Sino-Soviet estrangement hardened into a cold war. There were even some border conflicts with Russia and India.

Perhaps this anti-Soviet stance of China encouraged the United States to bring her into her trap. America recognised China and she was admitted to membership of UN and then in the Security Council as a permanent member, replacing nationalist China.

The diplomatic manoeuvre by the then President Nixon suggested that China was considered to hold the key to the Pacific. China holds Myanmar (Burma) under threat, and extends aid — both economic and military — to Pakistan as check and counter-check to Russia’s alliance with India. These made her a formidable enemy for the entire region of Asia.