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China and the USSR in the 1950’s: Has China been a satellite-State of the Soviet Union?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The first few months or few years of the creation of the People's Republic of China.
    1. The communist struggle for power.
  3. The USSR's attempt to increase its influence on China.
  4. The mutual willingness to create strong ties between the two countries.
  5. The diplomacy.
  6. The ideology of the Chinese Communist Party.
  7. The attitude of the USSR toward the rise of the Chinese Communist Party.
  8. China's attempt to get rid of the Soviet influence on its economy.
  9. Conclusion.

Stalin used to say: ?Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or wooden iron?: this quote can perfectly apply to the relations that the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union have fostered during the first years of the creation of the People's Republic of China. Indeed, from October 1st 1949, date of the creation of the PRC to July 1960, when Khrushchev called back the Soviet experts who had been sent to help Chinese development and which can be seen as the moment when the Sino-soviet split became ?official?, the relations between China and the Soviet Union had been quite particular. Although they first seemed to commit into a close relationship their relationship turned into an open split within ten years, the two countries trying to get the best from the other one. During this time, has China been a satellite-State of the Soviet Union or has she been a rival from the beginning?

[...] But it is worth noticing that China often complained about the quality of weapons given by the Soviet Union which did not seen willing to do much for its ally.[12] But the strongest ties between the USSR and the PRC soon became the economic ties: the USSR was the most important trading partner of China before the Great Leap Forward: at the end of the 1950's, trade with the USSR accounted for 40% of the total volume of trade of China.[13] Furthermore, the economic aid provided by it had been very useful to modernize Chinese firms. [...]


[...] As far as political cooperation is concerned, it is worth noticing that the USSR has been the first country to recognize the People's Republic of China on the day after its creation and to break its diplomatic relations with the Nationalist government. One of the most important landmarks in the evolution of Sino-Soviet relations has been the signature of the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and mutual assistance on February 14th Although this treaty may contain some mutual compromise and although China obtained economic aid such as long-term credits to the amount of 300,000,000 US dollars, there is no doubt that it was largely unequal, at the detriment of the Chinese government. [...]


[...] Indeed, in those countries, the Soviet Union has played an important role in implementing communism: by agreeing to the formation of coalition governments of democratic, socialist and communist forces, and then by gradually whittling away the rights of their non-Communist foes.[18] So, we may say that the Soviet government was used to be quite interventionist and to do its best to foster communism in other countries, which contrast a lot with the attitude it has adopted toward China. As we already mentioned, Stalin was aware China would not be easy to control and that it may challenge the USSR as the leader of the Communist Block. [...]

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