The Two China’s Affect the Cold War
China had split into two nations. One was the island of Taiwan, or Nationalist China, with an area of 13,000 square miles. The mainland, or People’s Republic of China, had an area of more than 3.5 million square miles. The existence of two China's, and the conflicting international loyalties they inspired, intensified the Cold War. The Superpowers React after Jiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan, the United States helped him set up a Nationalist government on that small island. It was called the Republic of China. The Soviets gave financial, military, and technical aid to Communist China. In addition, the Chinese and the Soviets pledged to come to each others defense if either was attacked. The United States tried to halt Soviet expansion in Asia. For example, when Soviet forces occupied the northern half of Korea after World War II and set up a Communist government, the United States supported a separate state in the south.
China Expands under the Communists. In the early years of Mao’s reign, Chinese troops expanded into Tibet, India, and southern, or Inner, Mongolia. Northern, or Outer, Mongolia, which bordered the Soviet Union, remained in the Soviet sphere. In a brutal assault in 1950 and 1951, China took control of Tibet. The Chinese promised autonomy to Tibetans, who followed their religious leader, the Dalai Lama. When China’s control over Tibet tightened in the late 1950s, the Dalai Lama fled to India. India welcomed many Tibetan refugees after a failed revolt in Tibet in 1959. As a result, resentment between India and China grew. In 1962, they clashed briefly over the two countries’ unclear border. The fighting stopped but resentment continued.