Economic aspects of the Sino-Soviet Alliance, 1949-1964

Chi Shun Wan
The characteristics of the Sino-Soviet Alliance have been analyzed extensively for more than three decades. However, the economic aspects of this Alliance remain unclear. A number of factors, such as statistical discrepancies, complexity of interpretation, and the quality and reliability of the Chinese and Soviet sources , are accountable for this obscurity. A more narrowly focused study examining the role Sino-Soviet economic relations played in shaping the Alliance is useful to better our
more » ... rstanding. After a chronological, review of the Sino-Soviet economic relationship, its significance in shaping the Alliance is examined through the reappraisal of three major areas. Firstly, the relative costs and benefits for each partner are assessed in an objective and detached way. The Soviet Union made a decisive contribution to China's industrialization. Soviet financial aid , though modest in figure, was provided in a timely way. Together with the provision of scientific and technological knowledge, the value of Soviet aid must be regarded as considerable. The benefits to the Soviet Union were less impressive; but since the imported Chinese consumer goods were largely consumed in the Soviet Far East, the benefits should not be underestimated. The cost for both sides remains obscure; though it is obvious that the questions of "Soviet exploitation", concerning the joint-stock companies, the overvaluation of the rouble and the pricing in Sino-Soviet trade are highly complex and should be interpreted with greater care. Secondly, the effect of Sino-Soviet economic cooperation on the Alliance — whether it strengthened or weakened it — is explored. Undoubtedly, the economic relationship had both unifying and divisive effects. It was a unifying factor because the Soviets had provided China with support and assistance that would have been difficult to obtain elsewhere . Another factor which had tied China to the USSR was the strong Soviet influences resulting from the implementation of the Soviet model and the cl [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0098450 fatcat:qtf6iq3scrbmfepq5e7xux5fda