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The Soviet leadership also saw the shelling as unnecessarily provocative, and suggested they might not back the Chinese if the incident led to a war with the United States. The probe having served its purpose, Mao defused the crisis, sending 'the conciliatory 'Message to the Compatriots in Taiwan' (in the name of his defence minister Peng Dehuai) on 6 October and cutting back the shelling. Tensions and hard bargaining between China and the USSR were never absent, but the rivalry was temporarily subordinated to meet the more immediate challenges posed by the capitalist camp.

Controlling Tibet is important to the PRC's national security for several reasons. First, Tibet provides a buffer region between China and India, and adds strategic depth in case of a Russian invasion (Tibet comprises 13 per cent of the PRC's territory). By the same token, if China did not occupy it, Tibetan territory might serve as a site for another foreign power's military bases. Second, Tibet is a source of natural resources, for which Chinese demand is especially great as it pushes for developed nation status.

Exporting Revolution in the 1960s China's renewed interest in promoting 'armed struggle' abroad paralleled the replacement of the politically moderate defence minister Peng Dehuai by radical leftist Lin Biao in 1958. The goal was to weaken the capitalist bloc by taking away the colonies it exploited to maintain its prosperity. In principle, China would supply arms, money, and training to rebel groups in developing countries whose governments participated in the global capitalist system. In practice, immediate Chinese political interests proved a stronger consideration than the promotion of worldwide socialist revolution, although there was considerable overlap between the two sets of objectives.

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