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01.07.2021 - 02.07.2021 | Leipzig

Workshop Economic Dimensions of the Sino-Soviet Alliance and Split

Technology Transfers, Trade and Development Models in the Socialist World

During the Sino-Soviet alliance thousands of East European specialists went to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to build factories, from steel works to textile mills. In the framework of what was called Scientific-Technical Cooperation blueprints, interns and
specialists were exchanged. These exchanges have been appreciated as the »largest technology transfer in human history«, but, nevertheless, they have not received systematic attention in research literature. Even in the growing field of global history of state socialism and the debate about »socialist globalization« the economic dimensions of the Sino-Soviet alliance remain conspicuously at the margins.
Thus, it is time to gather greater comprehensive knowledge about the economic dimensions of the Sino-Soviet alliance of the late 1940s and 1950s and of its end in the early 1960s. The presentations will not only look at the Soviet Union’s exchanges with China, but also include the East European partner states’ activities. How significant were the exchanges for China, Eastern Europe, and the global context? What were the protagonists’ interests or rationales?
How were these exchanges influenced by international power relations inside and outside the socialist camp? What was the role of COMECON? What impact did the world economy, and Western policies and technologies have on East-East cooperation?
The workshop will discuss these and further questions to contribute to the broader aim of developing an international political economy of socialism.


Thursday, 1 July



12:00 DE | 6:00 Norfolk, VA | 18:00 Shanghai/Hongkong
Tao Chen (Tongji University, Shanghai) and Jan Zofka
(GWZO): Socialist Globalization and the Economic Dimensions
of the Sino-Soviet Alliance and Split

Trade: Modalities, Infrastructures and Platforms

12:30 DE | 6:30 Norfolk, VA | 18:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Huajie Jiang (Shanghai University): Trade with Socialist Comrades? China and the Council for Mutual Economic Aid (1949–1959)
Chair: Péter Vámos (Budapest)
Comment: Uwe Müller (GWZO)

13:30 DE | 7:30 Norfolk, VA | 19:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Tao Chen (Tongji University, Shanghai): China and the Leipzig Trade Fair (1950–1965)
Chair: Anna Belogurova (Berlin)
Comment: Max Trecker (GWZO)

Late Lunch/Breakfast/Dinner break

Transfers of Economic Development Models

15:30 DE | 9:30 Norfolk, VA | 21:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Austin Jersild (Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA): The »Socialist World System« from Beijing to Conakry. Sino-Soviet Conflict as a Model for Failure in the Global South, 1950–1964
Chair: Ylber Marku (Hangzhou)
Comment: Steffi Marung (Universität Leipzig)


Friday, 2 July

9:30 DE | 3:30 Norfolk, VA | 15:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Lin Chaochao (Fudan University, Shanghai):
Rethinking the Stalinist Model: The Origin and Institutional Logic of the Great Leap Forward in China
Chair: Valeria Zanier (Leuven)
Comment: Felix Boecking (University of Edinburgh)

10:30 DE | 4:30 Norfolk, VA | 16:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Ylber Marku (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou): Preparing for an alliance: China’s socialist model and Albania’s economic design in the early Cold War
Chair: Lin Chaochao (Shanghai)
Comment: Bernd Schäfer (Woodrow Wilson Center,
Washington, DC)

Technology Transfers: Technical Assistance and
Industrial Cooperation

11:30 DE | 5:30 Norfolk, VA | 17:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Valeria Zanier (Catholic University of Leuven): High hopes and low expectations. Introducing technology in the PRC in the years of the Sino-Soviet Alliance
Chair: Huajie Jiang (Shanghai)
Comment: Koji Hirata (Cambridge University)

(Lunch/Early Dinner/Wake-up Break)

13:30 DE | 7:30 Norfolk, VA | 19:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Péter Vámos (Research Centre for the Humanities,
Budapest): »Our Chinese comrades are determined to split and struggle.« The influence of the Sino-Soviet split on technological cooperation: the case of Hungarian railway experts in China
Chair: Tao Chen/Jan Zofka
Comment: Elisabeth Kaske (Universität Leipzig)

Outlook and Conclusion
14:30 DE | 8:30 Norfolk, VA | 20:30 Shanghai/Hongkong
Oscar Sanchez-Sibony (Hongkong University): Toward a Political Economy of Socialism

Final Discussion


The Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture
of Eastern Europe (GWZO) carries out comparative
historical and cultural research on the region bordering the Baltic, the Black, and the Adriatic Seas from the Early Middle Ages to the present. There are currently around 50 research scholars associated with the Institute conducting work both in Germany
and abroad from across the range of humanities disciplines. In its activities, the Institute relies on a dense network of cooperative partnerships with Eastern and Central European as well as international research organizations.


Concept and Coordination

Tao Chen, E-Mail:
Jan Zofka, E-Mail:



Ines Rößler (GWZO, Department
»Knowledge Transfer and Networking«)


Project »The People's Republic of China and the Soviet Bloc in the Cold War: Industrial Cooperation, Technology Transfer, and Political Competition in the Socialist Camp (1949–1989)«
GWZO, Department »Entanglements and Globalization«

Hinweise zur Teilnahme:
This is an online event.
If you wish to participate, please contact the organizer for registration:


01.07.2021 ab 12:00 - 02.07.2021 15:30




Studierende, Wissenschaftler




Geowissenschaften, Geschichte / Archäologie, Gesellschaft, Kulturwissenschaften, Politik


Seminar / Workshop / Diskussion




Virginie Michaels


Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit

Veranstaltung ist kostenlos:




URL dieser Veranstaltung:


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