NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
15th February, 1950 : Russia and China, the two great Communist nations, today announced they had formed a common, united front against the world. After three months of negotiations Stalin and Mao Tse-tung concluded a formal alliance, including a mutual defence treaty.
Stalin undertook to return his “war booty”, seized by the Red Army in Manchuria, and to give up the Manchurian railway before the end of 1952. He yielded Port Arthur as well, but apparently will still maintain control over the strategically important port of Dairen. Stalin also committed himself to assisting China generously in economic development and pledged $300 million in aid. Following the proclamation of the Chinese People’s Republic last October, Stalin lost little time in inviting Mao to Moscow and received him with every sign of friendship and respect. The talks between the two leaders – who are both men of inexhaustible cunning – began in December. They lasted so long that rumours began to circulate that Mao had been taken hostage.
Thus, at the height of the Cold War, Stalin has suddenly acquired a great ally. It is clear that China will now have the role of protecting the Soviet Union’s immense frontier with Asia, leaving Stalin to concentrate his military resources in Europe.
[And again today, the East is east and the West is easily fooled – “Russia and China announced plans for an intensified programme of military cooperation yesterday as part of a burgeoning “strategic partnership”. Read more.