With the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese communist leadership established a formal alliance with the Soviet Union. The pact between the two communist giants proved to be short-lived as ideological differences between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong, coupled with the growing fear in China of Soviet encirclement, compromised the alliance. Eventually, following several border skirmishes, including a war in 1969, China’s leaders feared a Soviet invasion. To counter this, Mao sought rapprochement with the United States, a move that would define Sino-Soviet relations until the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

For the second installment of our 50th Anniversary series, China and the World, Dr. Maria Repnikova, expert on Sino-Russian relations, described the latest developments in the relationship with National Committee President Stephen Orlins on April 18, 2016 in New York City. 

Dr. Maria Repnikova is a scholar of comparative Chinese and Russian media politics and Sino-Russian relations. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania, where she is completing a book on critical journalists in China.