Peaceful coexistence

Peaceful coexistence

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Peaceful coexistence was a theory developed and applied by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 at various points during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 in the context of its ostensibly Marxist–Leninist foreign policy and was adopted by Soviet-influenced "Communist state
Communist state
A communist state is a state with a form of government characterized by single-party rule or dominant-party rule of a communist party and a professed allegiance to a Leninist or Marxist-Leninist communist ideology as the guiding principle of the state...

s" that they could peacefully coexist with the capitalist
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 bloc (i.e., non-communist states). This was in contrast to the antagonistic contradiction
Antagonistic contradiction
Antagonistic contradiction is the impossibility of compromise between different social classes. The term is most often applied in Maoist theory, which holds that differences between the two primary classes, the working class/proletariat and the bourgeoisie are so great that there is no way to...

 principle that Communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 and capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 could never coexist in peace. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 applied it to relations between the western world and in particular, the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and NATO countries and the nations of the Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

.

Debates over differing interpretations of peaceful coexistence were one aspect of the Sino-Soviet split
Sino-Soviet split
In political science, the term Sino–Soviet split denotes the worsening of political and ideologic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War...

 in the 1950s and 1960s. During the 1960s and early 1970s, the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 under the leadership of its founder, Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

, argued that a belligerent attitude should be maintained towards capitalist countries, and so initially rejected the peaceful coexistence theory as essentially Marxist revisionism. However, their decision in 1972 to establish a trade relationship with the United States also saw China cautiously adopting a version of the theory to relations between itself and non-socialist countries in the developing world. From that point through to the early 1980s and Socialism with Chinese characteristics, China increasingly extended its own peaceful coexistence concept to include all nations. Enver Hoxha
Enver Hoxha
Enver Halil Hoxha was a Marxist–Leninist revolutionary andthe leader of Albania from the end of World War II until his death in 1985, as the First Secretary of the Party of Labour of Albania...

 also denounced this and turned against China as a result of China growing closer ties to the West such as 1972 Nixon visit to China
1972 Nixon visit to China
U.S. President Richard Nixon's 1972 visit to the People's Republic of China was an important step in formally normalizing relations between the United States and the People's Republic of China. It marked the first time a U.S. president had visited the PRC, who at that time considered the U.S. one...

 and today Hoxhaist parties continue to denounce the concept of peaceful coexistence.

Peaceful coexistence, in extending itself to all countries and social movements tied to the USSR's interpretation of communism, quickly became modus operandi
Modus operandi
Modus operandi is a Latin phrase, approximately translated as "mode of operation". The term is used to describe someone's habits or manner of working, their method of operating or functioning...

 for many individual communist parties as well, encouraging quite a few, especially those in the developed world, to give up their long-term goal of amassing support for an armed, insurrectionist communist revolution
Communist revolution
A communist revolution is a proletarian revolution inspired by the ideas of Marxism that aims to replace capitalism with communism, typically with socialism as an intermediate stage...

 and exchange it for more full participation in electoral politics.

Soviet policy


Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 solidified the concept in Soviet foreign policy in 1956 at the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The policy arose as a temptation to reduce hostility between the two superpowers, particularly in light of the possibility of nuclear war
Nuclear warfare
Nuclear warfare, or atomic warfare, is a military conflict or political strategy in which nuclear weaponry is detonated on an opponent. Compared to conventional warfare, nuclear warfare can be vastly more destructive in range and extent of damage...

. The Soviet theory of peaceful coexistence asserted that the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and USSR
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, and their respective political ideologies, could co-exist together rather than fighting one another, and Khrushchev tried to demonstrate his commitment to peaceful coexistence by attending international peace conferences, such as the Geneva Summit, and by traveling internationally, such as his trip to America's Camp David
Camp David
Camp David is the country retreat of the President of the United States and his guests. It is located in low wooded hills about 60 mi north-northwest of Washington, D.C., on the property of Catoctin Mountain Park in unincorporated Frederick County, Maryland, near Thurmont, at an elevation of...

 in 1959. The World Peace Council
World Peace Council
The World Peace Council is an international organization that advocates universal disarmament, sovereignty and independence and peaceful co-existence, and campaigns against imperialism, weapons of mass destruction and all forms of discrimination...

 founded in 1949 and largely funded by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 attempted to organize a peace movement
Peace movement
A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war , minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of achieving world peace...

 in favor of the concept internationally.

Peaceful coexistence was meant to assuage Western, capitalist concerns that the socialist Soviet Union was driven by the concept of world revolution
World revolution
World revolution is the Marxist concept of overthrowing capitalism in all countries through the conscious revolutionary action of the organized working class...

 advocated by its founders, Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 and the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s. Lenin and the Bolsheviks advocated world revolution through workers' "internal revolutions" within their own nations, but they had never advocated its spread by intra-national warfare, such as invasion by Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 troops from a neighboring socialist nation into a capitalist one. Indeed, short of such "internal revolutions" by workers themselves, Lenin had talked about "peaceful cohabitation" with capitalist countries. Khrushchev used this aspect of Lenin's politics to argue that while socialism would eventually triumph over capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

, this would be done not by force but by example. Implicitly, this proclamation meant the end of the USSR's advocacy of the spread of communist revolution through insurrectionist violence, which some communists around the world saw as a betrayal of the principles of revolutionary communism itself.

In addition to being a reaction to the realisation that a nuclear war between the two superpowers would ensure the destruction of not only the socialist system but the entirety of humanity, it also reflected the USSR's strategic military disposition - the move away from large, and possibly politically offensive, military ventures towards a force centered on proxy war
Proxy war
A proxy war or proxy warfare is a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. While powers have sometimes used governments as proxies, violent non-state actors, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed...

s and a strategic nuclear missile force. Although disquiet over this shift helped bring Khrushchev down, his successors did not return to the antagonistic contradiction
Antagonistic contradiction
Antagonistic contradiction is the impossibility of compromise between different social classes. The term is most often applied in Maoist theory, which holds that differences between the two primary classes, the working class/proletariat and the bourgeoisie are so great that there is no way to...

 theories of an inevitable conflict between the imperialist and socialist systems. Initially, this was China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

's main gripe with the theory, and the reason the latter from then on classified the Soviet Union as a "betrayer of the Revolution."

Cuban policy


One of the most outspoken critics of peaceful coexistence during the early 1960s, was Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

. As a leader in the Cuban government during the October Missile Crisis
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation among the Soviet Union, Cuba and the United States in October 1962, during the Cold War...

, Guevara believed that a repeat invasion by the United States (after the Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs Invasion
The Bay of Pigs Invasion was an unsuccessful action by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles to invade southern Cuba, with support and encouragement from the US government, in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban government of Fidel Castro. The invasion was launched in April 1961, less than three months...

) would be justifiable grounds for a nuclear war. In Guevara's view, the capitalist block was composed of "hyenas and jackals" that "fed on unarmed peoples."

Chinese policy


Premier
Premier
Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries and states.-Examples by country:In many nations, "premier" is used interchangeably with "prime minister"...

 Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

 of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 proposed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence
Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence
The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, known in India as the Panchsheel, are a set of principles to govern relations between states. Their first formal codification in treaty form was in an agreement between by China and India in 1954...

 in 1953 during negotiations with India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 over Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

 and these were written into the Agreement Between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India on Trade and Intercourse Between the Tibet Region of China and India signed in 1954 by Zhou and Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru , often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman who became the first Prime Minister of independent India and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement in the...

. The principles were reiterated by Zhou at the Bandung Conference of Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n and African countries where they were incorporated into the conference declarations. One major consequence of this policy was that the PRC would not support Communist insurgencies in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 and Malaysia, and would distance itself from overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 in those nations.

However, Maoist doctrine continued to emphasise the survivability of any conflict between the imperialist and socialist world systems - the Chinese continued to advocated a stronger form of the campist theory of global politics
Global politics
Global politics is the discipline that studies the political and economical patterns of the world. It studies the relationships between cities, nation-states, shell-states, multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations and international organizations.It has been argued that global...

 than that approved in the USSR.

With Mao's death the Chinese softened their line, though would never endorse the views of their rivals. During the late 1970s and 1980s, the concept of peaceful coexistence was expanded as a framework for all sovereign nations. In 1982 the Five Principles were written into the Constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 of the People's Republic of China which claims to be bound by them in its international relations.

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as promoted by China are:
  • mutual respect for sovereignty
    Sovereignty
    Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

     and territorial integrity
  • mutual non-aggression
  • non-interference in each other's internal affairs
  • equality and mutual benefit
  • peaceful co-existence


There are three notable consequences of the Chinese concept of peaceful coexistence. First of all, in contrast with the Soviet concepts of the mid-1970s, the Chinese concepts include the encouragement of global free trade
Free trade
Under a free trade policy, prices emerge from supply and demand, and are the sole determinant of resource allocation. 'Free' trade differs from other forms of trade policy where the allocation of goods and services among trading countries are determined by price strategies that may differ from...

. Second, the Chinese concept of peaceful coexistence places a large emphasis on national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and thus moves by the United States to promote democracy and human rights are seen in this framework as hostile. Finally, as the PRC does not consider Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 to be sovereign, the concept of peaceful coexistence does not extend to Taiwan, and efforts by other nations, particularly the United States, to involve itself in PRC-Taiwan relations are seen as hostile actions in this framework.

Use in modern diplomacy


More recently, the phrase has gained currency beyond its usage in communist phraseology and has been adopted by the broader diplomatic world. For instance, in his 2004 Christmas address, Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 called for "peaceful coexistence" in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

.