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The People's Republic, Shifting Foreign Relations
China seat, Red Guards, diplomatic recognition, nationalist government, Cultural Revolution
In the early years of the Cultural Revolution, China’s already strained foreign relations worsened. Propaganda and agitation in support of the Red Guards by overseas Chinese strained relations with many foreign governments. A successful Chinese hydrogen bomb test in 1967 did nothing to allay apprehension. Tension with the USSR worsened when China accused Soviet leaders of imperialism after the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Clashes between Soviet and Chinese border guards along the Amur and Ussuri rivers in 1969 created a tense situation. China was largely isolated from the outside world, maintaining good relations only with Albania.
In the early 1970s, however, China's foreign relations began to improve dramatically. In 1971 the People’s Republic of China was given the China seat in the United Nations, replacing the nationalist government on Taiwan, which had continued to hold the seat after losing the civil war with the Communists in 1945. In 1972 U.S. president Richard Nixon made an official visit to China during which he agreed to the need for Chinese-American contacts and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Taiwan. In the wake of these developments, many other nations transferred their diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to the mainland Communist government. In 1972 China restored diplomatic relations with Japan.
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