The economic hardship created by the Great Leap was made worse in 1960 by the Soviets’ withdrawal of economic assistance and technical advice. As the USSR moved toward peaceful coexistence with the West, its alliance with China deteriorated. In 1962 China openly condemned the USSR for withdrawing its missiles from Communist Cuba under pressure from the United States. Consequently, the USSR reneged on its agreements to aid China’s economic development. The Chinese began to compete openly with the USSR for leadership of the Communist bloc and for influence among the members of the Nonaligned Movement, a loose association of countries not specifically allied with either of the power blocs led by either the United States or the USSR. In 1963 Zhou Enlai toured Asia and Africa to gain support for the Chinese model of socialism.
Meanwhile, other actions taken by China kept many nonaligned nations wary. In 1959 the United Nations condemned China’s actions in Tibet when China suppressed a rebellion there. The Dalai Lama (Tibet’s ruler at that time) and thousands of Tibetans fled south to Nepal and India. Also in 1959, Chinese troops penetrated and occupied 31,000 sq km (12,000 sq mi) of territory claimed by India. Negotiations between the two countries proved inconclusive, and fighting erupted again in 1962 when Chinese troops advanced across the claimed Indian borders. In Southeast Asia, China lent moral support and technical and material assistance to Communist-led insurgency movements in Laos and Vietnam during the Vietnam War (1959-1975). In Indonesia, Chinese embassy officials aided Communist insurgents until the Chinese embassy was expelled in 1965. "China" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia.
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