What motivated the USSR to assist China with the development of Nuclear Weapons? Ie, How did this benefit the USSR?

Why would the USSR want China to have this technology during the 1950s and early 1960s? What did they get out of this transfer of technology? What could possibly be the strategic and political reasoning behind providing such strategic technology to a neighbour country.

The reasons I can think of are that China was one of the most prominent Communist countries and the USSR had an interest in seeing that Communism succeeded and spread, therefore having a nuclear China could assure its longevity(avoid foreign attacks and occupation) and maybe assist internal/domestic stability? Also maybe China having nuclear weapons would cause friction with the West and drive China towards the USSR, to avoid China being an adversary by giving them a common enemy(the west).

  • i found this text useful: wilsoncenter.org/publication/… -- basically no reason existed except to get China involved as some sort of ally into Khrushchev attempts to play with US/UK. That all was stupid actions: USSR had nothing in exchange -- the same as projects in arab countries and in africa. Another example of Khrushchev stupidity was passing Crimea to Ukraine. – lowtech Jan 19 '15 at 18:51

I found this link on the subject: http://www.sinodefence.com/strategic/organisation/programme.asp

I read from other sources (sorry, I don't remember them now) as well that USSR primary target was nuclear power. In the beginning China was strong ally for USSR, and in the 60's their diplomatic relationship became cooler. So for the 50's USSR assisted them as an ally to enforce the communist block and of course increase their own power by an ally. After Stalin's death under Khruschev this relation decayed slowly, and became hostile for sure during the Sino-Soviet border conflict.

I am guessing the soviets' primary target as the nuclear power generation was the main goal, and they didn't really mind if the chinese people make bomb as well. But as I know it wasn't a goal. The propaganda was about peaceful use of nuclear power.

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