The Common Program of the People's Republic of China 1949-1954

In general, the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance signed between PRC and the Soviet Union on February 14, 1950 along with related documents, achieved the objectives that the Chinese had aspired to. These agreements safeguarded China's sovereignty and economic interests while also providing the foundation for New China to annul all its unfair treaties with foreign nations. However, for Stalin, who had secured the Soviet Union's strategic interests through the Yalta agreements and the Sino-Soviet Treaty of 1945—specifically, access to Pacific seaports and ice-free harbours—these objectives would be in jeopardy by the end of 1952, at the latest. Firstly, the resolution of the Mongolian question, a significant element of the Soviet Union's strategic goals in the Far East, through the talks, alleviated a major source of dissatisfaction and a potential obstacle in Stalin's mind. Concurrently, Stalin was well aware of China's attempt to negotiate its concession on Mongolia in exchange for Soviet concessions regarding the Chinese Changchun Railway.
Secondly, the global Cold War between the SU and the United States was ongoing. Stalin's strategic move was to align China with the socialist bloc led by the Soviet Union to exert control in Asia and counter the Americans. This fundamental motive drove the Soviet Union's alliance with New China.
Thirdly, Stalin may have had a well-thought-out plan to relinquish Soviet interests in Northeast China while preserving overall strategic objectives in the Far East. He needed to find a compensatory measure to support this traditional Russian aspiration. Consequently, the Korean issue became a part of Moscow's agenda and Stalin's strategy. At that time, only the Korean Peninsula could somewhat fulfil the Soviet Union's desire for a suitable base for its Pacific fleet—a harbour on the Pacific Ocean linked to the eastern part of the Soviet Union by the shortest rail route. The essence of the plan was to shift Soviet policy toward the Korean Peninsula from a defensive stance north of the 38th parallel to an aggressive strategy. Fourthly, it is conceivable that, due to his resentment towards Mao Zedong, Stalin decided to tacitly support Kim Il-sung, the North Korean leader, in his invasion plan.
Over the long term, the Chinese encounters during the Korean War exerted a profound influence on the subsequent evolution of China's strategic outlook and foreign policy. Mao Zedong and other leaders within the Chinese Communist Party found it impossible to erase the memory of Stalin's abandonment at a crucial juncture, a situation that left Chinese military forces lacking the necessary air support and thus susceptible while they pursued their predetermined goals in the conflict. This raised doubts about the reliability of the "leaning to one side" approach, which had been a foundational element of early Communist foreign policy. When assessing the aftermath of the Korean War, Mao Zedong couldn't ignore the critical role that technology and weaponry played in modern warfare. However, despite China's technological shortcomings, it managed to achieve victory and, in the years that followed, Mao remained steadfast in emphasizing the utmost importance of the "human element" in contemporary warfare. This emphasis was reinforced by China's ability to outnumber the UN forces and, in Mao's view, possess a superior mental disposition.. This experience also served as a catalyst for China's pursuit of its own atomic bomb. As a result, China's future foreign policy and security strategy were profoundly influenced by the enduring impact of the Korean War.

Groot describes "...more extreme examples of wasted talent, such as intellectuals who had returned from overseas but were then forced to work as cart pullers and cigarette sellers. There were chemists teaching languages, philosophers acting as librarians, and lawyers as bookkeepers. 54"managing transitions the chinese communist party, united front work corporatism and hegemony. Page 76

Shen (2015). Page 57 [↩] [Cite]
Shen (2015). Page 60 [↩] [Cite]
Chen (2016). Page 41 [↩] [Cite]
Groot (2004). Page 76 [↩] [Cite]

Chapter 7 of Common Program