Diplomatic and consular relations were established between the USSR and China on May 31, 1924, through an agreement on the general principles to be adhered to in settling disputes. By this agreement, the treaties of the tsarist government affecting the sovereign rights and interests of China were declared null and void. The parties pledged not to conclude treaties that could damage the interests of the USSR or China, not to conduct propaganda against each other, and not to harbor on their territory any organizations fighting against the government of the other country. An agreement was also signed on the temporary administration of the Chinese Eastern Railway (May 31,1924). Diplomatic relations were broken off in connection with the Soviet-Chinese conflict of 1929, which was provoked by Chinese militarists. The protocol signed at Khabarovsk on Dec. 22,1929, restored the status quo on the railway, and diplomatic relations were restored on Dec. 12, 1932. After Japan had begun its policy of open aggression (July 7,1937), the USSR and China signed a nonaggression treaty (Aug. 21,1937). During the war of liberation of the Chinese people against the Japanese aggressors, the USSR granted large loans and supplied modern weapons to China.
A treaty of friendship and alliance was concluded on Aug. 14, 1945. Agreements were signed at the same time on the Chinese Ch’angch’un Railway, providing for joint operation, on Port Arthur (Lüshun), providing for joint use as a naval base, and on Talien, declaring the city a free port and providing for the lease of certain wharves and warehouses to the USSR. The two countries also signed an agreement (Aug. 14, 1945) on relations between the Soviet commander in chief and the Chinese administration following the entry of Soviet troops into three Chinese provinces in connection with the war against Japan.
The USSR was the first power to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (Oct. 1–2, 1949) and to break off relations with the Chiang Kai-shek government (Oct. 2, 1949). Soviet-Chinese relations were based on the principle of socialist internationalism. A treaty of friendship, alliance, and mutual aid concluded between the two countries (Feb. 14, 1950) played an important role in ensuring the conditions necessary for the transition to socialist construction in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). According to the terms of the treaty, the countries agreed to cooperate in all international actions pertaining to peace and security, to conclude a peace treaty with Japan at the earliest possible date, to abstain from entering alliances and coalitions directed against the other country, to consult each other on important international questions, and to develop economic and cultural ties and assist each other economically in accordance with principles of equality, respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and noninterference in each other’s internal affairs. An agreement was also signed at this time granting long-term credits to cover deliveries from the USSR of equipment for electric power plants, metallurgical and machine-building plants, coal and other mines, railroads, and automotive transport; the USSR pledged to assist the PRC in the construction of 50 major industrial enterprises. Other agreements concluded at the time of the 1950 treaty included those on the Chinese Ch’angch’un Railway, Port Arthur, and Talien. Here, the USSR gave up its right to the joint administration of the railway and gave its share of property to the PRC. Provisions were made for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Port Arthur and the transfer of installations in this region to China.
The treaty of 1950 laid the basis for a broad development of fraternal relations, reflected in a number of agreements. Among them were agreements on establishing mixed joint-stock companies on an equal basis for prospecting and mining nonferrous and rare metals and for prospecting and extraction of oil and gas in Sinkiang (Mar. 27, 1950) and on air transportation (Mar. 27, 1950). Agreements were also concluded on trade (Apr. 19,1950) and on navigation on the border rivers Amur, Ussuri, Argun’, and Sungari and on Lake Khanka; this agreement also provided for the creation of conditions favorable for navigation on these waterways (Jan. 2,1951). In addition, agreements were signed on direct railroad links (Mar. 14, 1951), on the training of Chinese citizens at Soviet higher educational institutions (Aug. 9, 1952), on aid in the construction or reconstruction of 141 major industrial enterprises in the PRC (May 15,1953), including the 50 provided for in the agreement of Feb. 14,1950, on cooperation in radio broadcasting (Aug. 21, 1954), on scientific and technical cooperation in various branches of the national economy (Oct. 12, 1954), and on the granting of long-term credits on favorable terms to the government of the PRC (Oct. 12, 1954). A protocol was signed providing for Soviet aid in the construction of 15 industrial enterprises and for additional deliveries of equipment for the 141 enterprises (Oct. 12, 1954). Other agreements included those on the construction of the Lanchou-Urumchi-Alma-Ata railroad (Oct. 12,1954) and on the transfer to the PRC of the Soviet share in the mixed joint-stock companies (Oct. 12, 1954). A communiqué of Oct. 12,1954, provided for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Port Arthur (withdrawal completed May 1955) and the transfer of this base to Chinese administrative control. An agreement on the construction, jointly with the Mongolian People’s Republic, of the Chining-Ulan-Bator railroad was also concluded (Oct. 12,1954).
In a joint declaration of Oct. 12, 1954, the countries agreed to consult each other with a view to coordinating actions toward ensuring the security of both states and preserving peace in the Far East and in the world as a whole; they emphasized that their relations with other states would be based on principles of peaceful coexistence, mutual respect, regard for sovereignty and territorial integrity, nonaggression, noninterference in other states’ internal affairs, equality, and mutual advantage. Agreements were concluded between the two countries on air transportation (Dec. 30, 1954) and on aid to China in developing research in nuclear physics and using atomic energy in the national economy (Apr. 27, 1955). A convention dealing with quarantine practices and other measures used in fighting pests and diseases of agricultural plants was signed (Aug. 16,1955), as was an agreement on aid to China in the development of various branches of industry (Apr. 7, 1956); this agreement provided for the construction of 55 major industrial enterprises, in addition to the 156 already under construction, as well as for an increase in aid in geological prospecting. In addition to an agreement on cultural cooperation (July 5,1956), one was signed on joint scientific research work in the drainage basin of the Amur River, which was to focus on the discovery of natural resources and the prospects for the development of the area’s productive forces; this agreement also called for joint planning and research work in drawing up plans for the comprehensive use of the waters of the Argun’ River and the upper course of the Amur River (Aug. 18, 1956). An agreement was also concluded on scientific cooperation between the academies of sciences of the USSR and PRC (Dec. 11,1957).
The USSR and the PRC actively participated in the joint actions of socialist countries, and the PRC welcomed the signing of the Warsaw Pact of 1955. The USSR and the PRC signed agreements on establishing a joint institute of nuclear research (Mar. 26,1956), which was to include several countries, and on cooperation in piscicultural, oceanographic, and limnological research in the West Pacific (June 12, 1956); the agreement was also signed by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, and, later, the Mongolian People’s Republic.
In a joint declaration of Jan. 18, 1957, the parties announced that they considered it their highest duty to strengthen the unity of the socialist countries on the basis of equality, respect for territorial integrity, independence, and sovereignty, and noninterference in one another’s internal affairs.
In a communiqué of Aug. 3, 1958, the parties pledged to do everything possible to ease international tension and deemed it necessary to continue developing Soviet-Chinese cooperation and to strengthen the unity of socialist countries and solidarity with all the peace-loving states and peoples. A treaty on trade and navigation (Apr. 23, 1958) and a consular treaty (June 23, 1959) were signed, as were agreements on joint efforts to prevent forest fires (Jan. 29,1960) and on scientific and technical cooperation (June 19,1961).
In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, the leadership of the PRC turned from a policy of friendship and unleashed an open struggle against the CPSU and the USSR and the countries of the socialist commonwealth. In connection with this change, the government of the PRC abrogated in the 1960’s many of the Soviet-Chinese agreements.
E. M. ZAITSEV