This decade-long thaw in international relations is known by various names. The willingness of both superpowers to communicate led to arms reduction summits, the signing of anti-nuclear proliferation agreements and a reduction in nuclear arms stockpiles. While their ideological and economic systems rendered them incompatible, both acknowledged the need for negotiation, compromise and working together. Some attribute this change in attitude to a change of leadership.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in effectively closed that chapter of the Cold War. The activities of President Ronald Reagan returned tensions to a fever pitch. Despite the fear many Americans had about monolithic communism, the two supposed allies had never been especially close.
Over time, the Soviets decided that Mao was unreliable and that China was a potential rival. By the late s, a million Soviet troops faced a million Chinese troops across the Ussuri River, the easternmost part of the border between those countries.
The falling out did not go unnoticed in Washington, D. Nixon concluded, despite the origins of his political career in virulent anti-communist activities, that the tension between the Soviet Union and China held promise for the United States.
His national security advisor, Henry Kissingertook the same view. Secret back channels of communication were opened through Pakistan and Romania, sending word to the Chinese that the United States was interested in ending its policy of attempting to politically isolate the PRC.
Nixon was attempting the Vietnamization of the Vietnam Warwhich meant withdrawing American troops and replacing them in combat with South Vietnamese. Suddenly, at the end of April, Nixon intensified the conflict by bombing Cambodia to fight the North Vietnamese-supported Khmer Rouge guerillas. The Chinese were publicly indignant and privately cancelled the next round of talks.
However, like the Americans, some Chinese leaders saw the advantages of a rapprochement. After an internal struggle within the Chinese Central Committee, those favoring continued contact carried the day.
Cold War superpowers breakthrough In Aprilthe breakthrough began. The United States lifted its trade embargo with China, which had been in place since the start of the Korean War.
In that same month, a minor incident occurred in Japan, where the world table tennis championships were taking place.
A member of the American team mistakenly boarded a bus carrying members of the Chinese team, resulting in the first interaction between team members. The next day, the American team captain proposed to the Chinese captain that the Chinese invite them into their country for a match.
Such ongoing issues as Vietnam and Taiwan were discussed. To advance the process, the Chinese invited Nixon to visit, which he did in Februarypublicly shaking hands with Mao, and being toasted by Zhou in the Great Hall of the People.
Although the trip did not result in many practical steps, it did show that China and the United States had common interests. The prospect of improved relations between its two most formidable enemies caused concern in the Kremlin. On May 22, Nixon and Brezhnev signed agreements in Moscow that curbed the arms race for the first time.
The agreement called for peaceful co-existence, the avoidance of military confrontations, and no claims of spheres of influence. In a move designed to win approval from American farmers, Nixon suggested to the Soviets that they purchase American grain. The price was low and the Soviets quickly purchased a large portion of the U.
Even with pressure from China and the U.
But the government in Saigon made the same calculation, concluding that it was too favorable to the North, and refused to sign.
After the elections, the talks in Paris broke down, and Nixon resorted to heavy bombing of the North to force an agreement. Talks did resume and the Paris Accords were signed on January 27, Two months later, the last American soldiers departed from Vietnam.
Although the United States pledged continued economic and military support for the South Vietnamese, the Saigon regime survived only another 25 months.
In Decemberthe two German states signed a treaty of mutual recognition.
Both superpowers aided their allies in the region and for a while, nuclear confrontation appeared to be a real possibility. Consideration of "most favored nation" status for the Soviet Union was stalled in Congress over the issue of Soviet treatment of its Jewish population and political dissidents.
Jackson, of Washington stateworked hard to keep those issues in the public eye. At a summit with Brezhnev in Vladivostok, held in November, an agreement for a new arms limitation treaty was reached in principle, although it would be a long time before the details could be hammered out.
In the summer ofafter more than two years of discussion, representatives from Canada, the United States, and 33 European countries met in Helsinki, Finland, to sign an agreement to settle postwar borders.
The final act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe consisted of three "baskets. Existing borders were confirmed and the parties pledged peaceful settlements of disputes.She a comparison of short stories in ap and an ounce of cure received The different issues and events that led to the breakdown of the s d tente the Pulitzer Prize an analysis of moral and immoral acts in todays society for Poetry in , A short summary of the story of alicia jurmans life the third.
address the movements, events, and key figures of the decade, and the Moral Majority certainly fits that billing. A contemporary, fresh, and relevant topic, there is little historiography to consider. These tensions continued to exist until the dramatic democratic changes of –91 led to the collapse during this past year of the Communist system and opened the way for an unprecedented new friendship between the United States and Russia, as well as the other new nations of the former Soviet Union.
Current Issues and Programs in Social Welfare. by Dr. Jerry Marx, Social Work Department, University of New Hampshire. Note: This entry is the first in a two-part series about current issues .
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