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China’s Alliances with North Korea and the Soviet Union: A Conversation with China’s Leading Historians

October 4, 2018 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

The Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program is pleased to host China’s three leading diplomatic historians for a discussion about the history and present day relevance of China’s Cold War-era relations with North Korea and the Soviet Union.

The event, featuring speakers Dr. Zhihua Shen, Dr. Danhui Li, and Dr. Yafeng Xia, will mark the release of two path breaking books: A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976, and Mao and the Sino–Soviet Split, 1959-1973: A New History.

A Misunderstood Friendship, co-authored by Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia, is the first book-length history of the China-DPRK relationship to appear in English. Shen and Xia draw on previously untapped primary source materials to offer a unique account of the China-North Korean relationship, uncovering tensions and rivalries that shed new light on the ties between these two Communist East Asian nations. They unravel the twists and turns in high-level diplomacy between China and North Korea from the late 1940s to the death of Mao Zedong in 1976, and reveal that the tensions that currently plague the alliance between the two countries have been present from the very beginning of the relationship.

Mao and the Sino-Soviet Split, co-authored by Danhui Li and Yafeng Xia, synthesizes over 20 years of research on the subject by the authors and offers a comprehensive look at the Sino-Soviet split from 1959, when visible cracks appeared in the Sino-Soviet alliance, to 1973, when China’s foreign policy changed from an “alliance with the Soviet Union to oppose the United States” to “aligning with the United States to oppose the Soviet Union.”

Moderator:

  • Dr. Christian Ostermann, Director, History and Public Policy Program

 

Panelists:

  • Professor Zhihua Shen, East China Normal University
  • Professor Danhui Li, East China Normal University
  • Dr. Yafeng Xia, Long Island University

 

Commentator:

  • Dr. Gregg Brazinsky, George Washington University