|The united Communist empire largely
consisting of China and the USSR, was always a loose coalition. The
Soviets gave China little aid and China ignored much Russian
advice. Mao was angered when Krushchev denounced Stalin and how he
was treated as a god-like figure. Mao himself feared the same could
be said of him. Also, in 1960, Krushchev suddenly cut off all
financial support to PRC. Finally, Mao was angered when the
Krushchev backed down during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and
his subsequent signing of a nuclear weapon test ban.
This was a standoff between the United States and the USSR involving the Soviets supplying newly Communist Cuba with nuclear arms capable of reaching the United States. The United States and the Soviet Union prepared for war, but after thirteen frightening days, Krushchev wrote a letter to President Kennedy stating that he would remove the missile installations if they promised not to invade. Kennedy agreed, and Soviet warships returned home.
Krushchev considered the Soviets the true leaders in Marxism and himself the leading practitioner. He also frequently made light of Mao's tremendous failure with the Great Leap Forward. Krushchev good not believe Mao's disregard for human life when he heard his statement that a nuclear war that left half the world's population annihilated would be acceptable because it would mean the end of capitalist imperialism. The union was finally snapped after Krushchev's fall from power. In 1969, the mammoth socialist countries endured many casualties during a series of border battles. The unity of the communists was gone for good.
In 1966, Mao regained the support of the army and the people thanks largely to Lin Biao, the defense minister. Together they published a book of Mao's quotations which millions of Chinese kept as a source of pride in their leader and country. It was often called the "Little Red Book." Mao and Lin were determined to remove Liu and the moderates from power. With the People's Liberation Army and eleven million angry youths known as the Red Guards, Mao started the Cultural Revolution. They destroyed anything and anyone associated with old or foreign ideas. Schools were burned and intellectuals killed.
A civil war of sorts broke out with many gangs of the Red Guards claiming to be the most loyal to Mao's teachings. Meanwhile, Mao was busy replacing plays, operas and all other forms of entertainment with those bearing revolutionary themes. After a while, Mao and the Red Guards saw the disorder they were causing and withdrew. By 1969, order was restored but the economy was in shambles, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese lives had been lost. Industry and foreign relations suffered.