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The Fragile Fraternity of China and Russia

Vladimir Putin’s recent state visit to Beijing – his first trip abroad since being inaugurated for a fifth term – was practically a mirror image of Mao Zedong’s visit to Moscow 75 years ago, when Stalin looked down on his guest. There is little reason to think that the bilateral relationship will prove more resilient this time.

NEW YORK – In December 1949, Mao Zedong flew to Moscow to meet Joseph Stalin. The leader of the new People’s Republic of China, which had been created just a few months earlier, was eager to join his fellow leader of the world proletariat to celebrate both the victory of communism in China and the Soviet premier’s 71st birthday. But, for Stalin, Mao was no equal. How times have changed.