[IN PRAISE OF SHORT-TERM SINO-SOVIET FRIENDSHIP] Velikaya druzhba [i.e. Great Friendship]
Pekin: izdatel’stvo literatury na inostrannykh yazykakh, 1956. Item #1103
104 pp.: ill. 27.6x35.8 cm. In original publisher’s cloth binding with gilt lettering on the front. Light soiling of the bottom of the spine, occasional pen markings. Near fine.
Scarce. First edition. With 44 black and white and 5 color illustrations. THIS RARE ALBUM CELEBRATES THE GREAT FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND THE SOVIET UNION.
The timing of the publication is in itself quite interesting. The edition came out six years after the conclusion of the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance, and Mutual Assistance (1950) and just few years before the relations between Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) became deeply strained.
The historical chronology of Sino-Soviet ties had always been a turbulent matter, with several military conflicts occurring during the 1920s and 1930s (an armed dispute over the Manchurian Chinese Eastern Railway in 1929 and Soviet Invasion of Xinjiang in 1934). In spite of the joint victory over Imperial Japan in World War II and the proclamation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the relationship between the two Communist parties remained unsteady. The decisive accord in the strengthening of ties was Mao’s decision to send Chinese troops to assist the Soviet-backed Kim Il-Sung in the Korean War (1950-1953). This was followed by large-scale economic and military cooperation between China and the Soviet Union that soon culminated in the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship and Alliance.
The great friendship between the USSR and China gradually went into decline after Stalin’s death in 1953. Mao deeply distrusted Nikita Khrushchev for abandoning the strict traditions of the former Soviet leaders and the fight against the Cult of Personality. The Sino-Soviet split, which took roots in the late 1950s, culminated in 1969 in a small scale fighting on the Sino-Soviet border.
The album features 44 rare black and white and 5 color illustrations portraying lesser-known episodes from the short-term Sino-Soviet friendship: reception by Comrade Liu-Shao-chi (Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee) of a delegation of Soviet youth, awarding Soong Ching-ling (Chinese political figure) with a diploma of the laureate of the International Stalin Prize (1951), a solemn meeting in Beijing dedicated to the 85th anniversary of Lenin’s birth, Shenyang Machine-Tool Plant No. 1 reconstructed with the help of the USSR, delegation of Soviet press workers in Beijing (1954), happy Soviet and Chinese skaters at the Beijing ice rink, Soviet specialists at the Soviet Red Cross Hospital in Beijing, etc.
Each illustration has explanatory notes in Russian.
No copies found in Wordlcat.