This is just theory so don't get all crazy about it and I'd like to hear your opinion on it.
My theory is that Mcarthur won in Korea. The Communist defeat in Korea caused a massive impact on the Communist side which resulted China and Soviet Union mistrusting each other. As Nikita Khruschev came to power, his anti Sino sentiments became more of annoyance to China. Mcarthur despite him being anti Communist, he saw Khruschev as potential ally against China. Vietnam was won by nuclear usage on Hanoi. The reason is that no nuke were dropped in Vietnam irl. Because of Soviet intervention will occur if they drop a nuke at Hanoi. As well as China, considering that Hanoi is much closer to Chinese borders. Also to point out that many anti nuke protest marched more to the streets to display their disgust on the effects of nuclear holocaust. Which resulted in Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. But in Fallout world, USSR didnt see China as trust worthy ally so they just shrug it off and let US do its own thing in Vietnam.
In Vietnam, Soviets did in fact sent lend leases. After China heard the news that Vietnam is more of pro Soviet and anti Chinese nation. They didnt invested in funding the North Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh government. As nukes were used in Vietnam especially at the Ho Chi Minh trail, Vietnam war was getting too difficult for the Communists. A single Davy Crocket was shot close to Hanoi, struck the Vietnamese government and which resulted a surrender of the North Vietnamese government. The conflict was won in 1969. Many people protested against the use of nuclear weapons. Somehow they felt powerless to stop the US government from using nuclear weapons. The Soviet Union felt powerless to spread communism around the globe, decided to improve relationship with the US as China grow to become a huge threat to the Soviets, considering the fact that USSR is close to China. Brezhnev and Nixon rested their legs and decided there's one common enemy to land their fist on. Which resulted in the detente between the Soviets and the US.
In 1974, Soviet Union and China decided to improve their relations just so they will ease off the scars from Korea. They decided to create a new nation known as the ."Juche Government of Manchuria". China and Soviet Union decided to use this as a buffer zone so border skirmishes wont be a pain to them as they sleep and sigh in relief. As leadership changes in both nations and as well opinions on each other, news of China's demand to annex Mongolia struck the Soviet government with and confusion. After all they did, peace was just an illusion and illusions are temporary.
In 1984, China simultaneously invaded Mongolia and Juche Government of Manchuria. Soviets were shocked about the news that invasion took only weeks to fully capitulate the two nations. As the China advanced up until Siberia, many atrocities committed by the Chinese Liberation Army such as rape, executions, and mass murder were reported. And with that, the Soviets were furious about the Chinese committing crimes and against the Soviet people, which, motivated to them commit war crimes as well. The Chinese Liberation Army didnt lasted long in Siberia as the harsh winter crippled the Chinese army like what it did to the Germans during the Great Patriotic War. As of 1985, both sides agreed to stop the conflict. The Chinese were allowed to use Soviet railroads to return. But as many refused to surrender, they attacked the railroads and infrastructures to cut off the withdraw of Chinese troops.
While this conflict was going, the US President Ronald Reagan feared that if the Chinese defeat the Soviets, there's a chance that they would invade Alaska. So, they sent lend leases to support the Red Army. This increasingly improved the US Soviet relations to an extent. That relationship was on the same level as the 2nd World War. At the end of the conflict, the Borislav and Reagan decided to completely stop the whole pointless child like face slapping theyve been doing for the past 4 decades. Officially ending the Cold War.
The Soviets adapted the Bukharinist social market, which, makes the Soviets more open in trading than in our world. The Soviet government survived with this ideal and spread this idea to other Warsaw Pact nations. Other Warsaw Pact nations adapted this idea and became more liberal to other western nations.
Source of the Sino Soviet war
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