Abstract

This article chronicles the interactions between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) during the years of the Sino-Soviet alliance (1949–1960) as experienced by the Soviet advisers in China. Based on interviews, archival sources, and other materials, the article shows that the Soviet advisers who came to the PRC during that time brought with them the management techniques of the late Stalin period, known as High Stalinism (meaning strict Communist Party control over all aspects of political, cultural, and economic life and severe management methods including a heavy reliance on mass methods, education and reeducation techniques, coercion, and the threat of imprisonment). High Stalinism was a useful management tool that fit into Mao Zedong’s own plan for the “economic Stalinization” of China and helped to pave the way for Mao’s later radicalization. After differences emerged between the two countries in 1956 about the merits of de-Stalinization, Mao and the Chinese Communist Party began promoting radical policies such as the Great Leap Forward, which dramatically deviated from the Soviet experience and led to the removal of Soviet advisers in 1960.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1531-3298
Print ISSN
1520-3972
Pages
pp. 5-30
Launched on MUSE
2016-03-13
Open Access
No
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