Written by Foreign Policy

Albanian-Chinese Relations 1962-1969

In this essay, an attempt will be made to analyze the evolution of the Albanian-Chinese alliance and to explore the role of changing national goals, systemic factors, ideology, and foreign aid on the nature and cohesion of the alliance. As indicated in the introduction, systemic factors will refer to the nature and intensity of threat in the international system directed against Albania and China. Ideology is defined as a belief system that guides the attitudes and actions of governing elites.



Bilateral unequal alliances are characterized by a dynamic relationship. The nature of Small Power-Great Power relationships will be determined by the goals and objectives sought by each side. Changes in members’ goals will alter basic objectives they seek and will change the nature of the alliance relationship. The ability of alliance members to coordinate activities toward achieving jointly-defined objectives will depend to a great extent on their unity of perception of the nature, intensity and origin of the threat in the international system directed against them, the political and economic advantages they derive from the alliance, and a common ideological world outlook.

The larger the external threat, the more likely will the Small Power be to accept the alliance relationship on the Great Power’s terms and to meet the latter’s demands. In a low threat environment, on the other hand, the Small Power will have considerably more leverage in its domestic and foreign affairs. Significant changes in the external environment, especially if accompanied by changes in perceptions regarding principal enemies, are likely to affect adversely alliance cohesion.

There are two academic schools of thought on the importance of ideology in alliance maintenance and its role in alliance cohesion. Balance of power theory assumes that decision-makers, in considering the prospects of joining an alliance, base their decision overwhelmingly on non­ideological estimates of the threat directed against their countries and the opportunities offered by an alliance relationship. The main impetus for alliance formation, according to this theory, is the concern for power and security hence ideological affinities are not crucial.[1] The affinity or principle theory, on the other hand, predicts alliance formation on the basis of ideological or institutional similarities. It is assumed that ideological affinity is crucial to alliances, and that ideologically similar nations are more apt to form an alliance and are also likely to coordinate their intra-alliance behavior more effectively than are ideologically dissimilar nations.[2] While not denying the possibility of “marriage of convenience” between different nations, the affinity theory suggests that “the bonds of alliance often arise from considerations other than utilitarian calculations of power.”[3]

The experience of many nations and the post-1945 emergence of ideology-impregnated alliance systems suggest that neither the balance of power theory nor the affinity theory fully explains the role of ideology in alliance formation and maintenance. The utility of the ideological factor can perhaps best be determined by an approach combining elements from both theories. While scholars disagree as to the importance of ideology compared to other alliance determinants, there is widespread agreement that when superimposed upon traditional motives, such as security considerations, and military and economic aid, ideological affinity can play an important role in sustaining an alliance.[4]

Ideology performs some significant alliance functions. It rationalizes the grounds for alliance formation and maintenance, by emphasizing joint and parallel interests among allies and idealizing the nature of their relat1ons. According to George Liska, the development of an “alliance ideology” is a primary prerequisite for alliance cohesion.[5]

In this essay, an attempt will be made to analyze the evolution of the Albanian-Chinese alliance and to explore the role of changing national goals, systemic factors, ideology, and foreign aid on the nature and cohesion of the alliance. As indicated in the introduction, systemic factors will refer to the nature and intensity of threat in the international system directed against Albania and China. Ideology is defined as a belief system that guides the attitudes and actions of governing elites.

The Consolidation of the Alliance

Albania paid a heavy price in political, economic, and military terms for its break with the Soviet Union and alliance with China. In addition to terminating all assistance programs and severing diplomatic relations, the Soviet Union de facto expelled the PSRA from CMEA and the Warsaw Pact. These actions had serious domestic ramifications for Albania, and resulted in Tirana ‘s alterat1on of its pattern of external relations. The East European states recalled their ambassadors from Tirana , but probably on Soviet suggestions, stopped short of a total break in diplomatic and economic relations.[6]All contacts with Albania, however, were sharply reduced.

Tirana was highly vulnerable to Moscow’s economic pressures. The greatest share of Albania’s trade was with the Soviet Union. Albania’s Third Five-Year Plan (1961-1965), was heavily dependent on assistance from Moscow and its allies, and the cancellation of aid placed Albania in a precarious position, jeopardizing its economic development.[7] Thus the concern with finding an alternative source of desperately needed economic and military assistance was a major consideration in Tirana ‘s alliance with Beijing. A Western expert on Albania. Louis Zanga has suggested that Chinese assistance was the overriding factor in forging the alliance.[8]

The PSRA’s relations with its two immediate neighbors– Greece and Yugoslavia — were strained, and ties with other countries were relatively limited. Tirana’s precarious political, military and economic situation made its alliance with Beijing highly important. China recognized Albania’s vulnerability vis-a-vis the Soviet bloc and the West, and more importantly, appreciated the political significance of maintaining an alliance with a country located in what had been recognized as Moscow’s sphere of influence. Albania was the only communist state that had openly supported China in the continuing Sino­Soviet conflict. Thus, the PRC could not afford to let Albania give in to soviet pressures, because this would have damaged its reputation and prestige, and in all probability would have ruled out the possibility of recruiting new allies against the Soviet Union. Moreover, Albania was of significant political importance to China not only because together they confronted the Soviet Union as a bloc, but because Tirana could, and in fact did, serve as a Chinese propaganda base in Moscow’s backyard, thus representing a Chinese political challenge to the USSR.

Albania’s political importance to Beijing in the latter’s competition with Moscow became evident during the initial stages of the alliance and prior to the outbreak of public polemics between the PRC and the USSR. Both the Soviet Union and China used proxies — Yugoslavia and Albania –in their ideological and political struggle.

In April 1961, China granted Albania a loan of $120 million, which more than matched the cancelled Soviet and East European loans or the PSRA’s Third Five-Year Plan.

The loan — estimated to be the largest ever extended by Beijing up to that time — was intended to cover payment for the purchase of equ1pment for twenty-five industrial plants, tractors, agricultural machinery, consumer goods, and other products. Beijing also agreed to send Albania technical advisers to fill the gap left by the withdrawal of Soviet and East European experts.[9]

In the formative stages of the alliance, it was assumed that there was a high degree of ideological congruence between Tirana and Beijing. This perception was reinforced by Albanian and Chinese public pronouncements which emphasized the alleged existence of an identity of standpoints and views between them. Although there was indeed a basic consensus on major issues, closer investigation of Albanian and Chinese ideological positions reveals that, at least until themid-l960s, there had been some notable differences between Tirana and Beijing. These differences were conditioned by the two countries’ different national interests and perceptions. Some of the divergences may have resulted from inadequate consultation between Tirana and Beijing rather than from genuine differences. Others, however, may have been genuine.

Hoxha’s defiance of the USSR resulted in the initiation of a series of drastic Soviet punitive measures against the PSRA. The Kremlin hoped not only to teach Albania a lesson, but also, perhaps more importantly, to send a message to the Chinese leadership, which it held responsible for having pushed the Albanians “to the road of open struggle against the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries and fraternal parties.”[10] With his denunciation of the soviet Union at the November 1960 Moscow Conference of 81 communist part1es and the subsequent break in diplomatic relations between Tirana and Moscow, Hoxha had burned his bridges with Khrushchev. Having nothing to lose, Hoxha intensified his vigorous anti-Soviet course, and evidently expected his Chinese allies to follow suit. Moreover, the Albanian party leader foreclosed any possibility of a reconciliation with the soviets by insisting, among other things, on a public apology from Khrushchev before talks with the Soviets could be held.[11]

During the period 1961-1963, the PRC apparently was still interested in reaching a compromise with the Soviet Union and avoiding a complete break. Abiding by the strategic formula of a “united front” — including the USSR and its East European allies– against U.S. “imperialism,” Beijing was reluctant to commence public polemics. It also asked Tirana to mute its polemics with Moscow. At China’s suggestion, in the spring 1962 the Albanians ceased temporarily their public attacks against the Soviets.[12]

The Chinese urged the Albanians to reconcile with the Soviets. While publicly the Chinese demanded that Khrushchev take the first step in normalizing relations with Albania,[13] privately they suggested Tirana open talks with Moscow without preconditions. An Albanian delegation led by Politburo members Hysni Kapo and Ramiz Alia was dispatched to Beijing in June 1962 to discuss “the tactics and strategy of the common struggle of our two parties in the international arena.”[14]The Chinese tried unsuccessfully, according to Hoxha, to convince the Albanians to begin discussions with the Soviets without preconditions and to agree to the strategic formula of a “united front” with the Soviets against the United States.[15]

Hoxha was disappointed at Beijing’s reluctance to go all the way in the dispute with Moscow and with Chinese attempts at reconciling with the soviets. Concerned that the PRC might sacrifice the PSRA for a rapprochement with the Soviet Union, Hoxha had every interest in furthering the Sino-Soviet conflict. The Albanian media accordingly gave scant coverage to the July 1963 Sino-Soviet meeting in Moscow on their ideological disagreements, and, as a sign of disapproval, withheld all comment on this matter.[16]

Albanian-Chinese divergences did have some impact on alliance cohesion, but the alliance itself never came into question. Given their public commitments and pronouncements on the major issues dividing the international communist movement, both allies, but especially Albania, had few policy options but to stick together. The very nature of the alliance — absence both of an alliance treaty and of provisions for regular joint consultations — provided Albania and China with a great deal of latitude in their relationship. Both allies reserved the right to interpret and implement their common Marxist-Leninist ideology according to their respective national interests. Moreover, non-ideological factors seem to have had a greater cohesive impact on the alliance. Beijing continued to appreciate the importance of Tirana’s political support, especially in the context of the Sino-Soviet conflict. And Albania, faced with the severance of aid from the Soviet bloc, continued to receive vital economic assistance from China.

The failure of the July 1963 Sino-Soviet talks and he signing of the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty in July 1963 between the Soviet Union, the United States, and Britain, led to a deterioration of Beijing-Moscow relations — a development which pleased Tirana. The PRC perceived the Test Ban Treaty as being directed, in part, against itself. Both Beijing and Tirana bitterly denounced Moscow, accusing the Soviet Union of having entered into an alliance with the United States to preserve the superpower nuclear monopoly.

At the same time, and perhaps more importantly as far as the Albanians were concerned, the Chinese intensified their polemics with the Soviets charging that capitalism had been restored 1n the USSR.[17]The Albanian media published a series of Chinese editorial articles published during July 1963-July 1964. There now appeared a close unity of perception and action between the two allies regarding the Soviet Union.

It was against this background that Premier Zhou Enlai visited Albania in January 1964 and reiterated China’s commitment to Alban a. The Sino-Albanian Joint Statement signed on that occasion characterized Zhou’s talks with Albanian leaders as having shown “a complete identity of standpoints and views between the two sides.[18]

The ability of the two allies to agree upon a common policy toward the Soviet Union and to coordinate their activities was, however, soon affected by Tirana ‘s failure to support Beijing on the Sino-soviet border issue, and disagreements over their joint strategy following Khrushchev’s ouster. In a meeting with a delegation of the Japanese socialist Party in July 1964, Mao raised the problem of the rectification of the Sino-Soviet border, bitterly charging that the Russians and the Soviets had “unjustly” acquired Chinese border territories. Given Albania’s partition by its neighbors in 1912 and the continued Yugoslav occupation of Kosovë, one might have expected Hoxha’s regime to give the Chinese unqualified support on the border issue.

To China’s disappointment, however, Tirana protested Mao’s action. In a letter to the CCP CC in September 1964,the Albanian leadership insisted that raising the border problem would hinder “the ideological struggle against “Khrushchevism” and would provide Moscow with a “powerful” weapon to neutralize the Albanian-Chinese struggle exposing soviet “betrayal” of Marxism-Leninism.[19] The Chinese attempted to minimize the impact of Albania’s action on alliance cohesion by not formally responding to the Albanian letter.[20] And both sides kept the disagreement secret, thus maintaining the appearance of solidarity.

The Albanians rationalized their opposition to the Sino-Soviet border rectification on ideological grounds. However, a more plausible explanation for their stance was Hoxha’s concern that Tirana ‘s endorsement of Chinese territorial claims against the Soviet Union could prompt the Soviets to exert pressure on Albania by encouraging Greek and Yugoslav designs on the PSRA. Khrushchev, it will be recalled, had used a similar tactic in 1960, when, in discussions with the Greek politician Sophokles Venizelos on the situation of the Greek minority in Albania, had declared that he hoped Tirana and Athens would solve the issue by “peaceful” means.[21]

In his writings, Hoxha has suggested that by calling for the rectification of the USSR’s borders with Romania and some other European states, Mao was “instigating” war. The Chinese, according to the Albanian leader, “forget that raising territorial claim at this time even when fully justified, as is the case of Kosovë with us leads to the creation of a situation of military conflict.”[22]

The Albanians also continued to be preoccupied with what they perceived as the Chinese leadership’s “unprincipled” stand toward the Soviet Union. The Chinese believed that Khrushchev’s ouster in October 1964 provided a good opportunity to patch up differences with the Soviets, and agreed to send a delegation to Moscow to attend the October Revolution celebrations. Zhou urged that the Albanians too, send a delegation, insisting that this was an opportune moment to “stretch a hand” to the new Soviet leadership and unite with it “in the struggle against the common enemy, imperialism.[23]The Albanian leadership rejected Zhou’s suggestion. In a letter to Beijing on November 5, 1964, the Albanians insisted that anti-Soviet polemics be continued.[24] An unsigned editorial, later revealed to have been written by Hoxha, in the party newspaper Zëri i Popullit, on November 1, argued that it was a mistake to entertain illusions that Khrushchev’s dismissal would result in a change in the USSR’s “revisionist” course.[25]

China’s disappointment with Zhou’s Moscow trip led to a deterioration of Sino-Soviet relations. The Albanians welcomed the resumption of Chinese polemics which commenced with the publication of an editorial, entitled “Why Khrushchev Fell?,” in the December 1964 issue of the CCP theoretical journal Red Flag. Subsequently, Hoxha claimed the editorial was based on arguments contained in the letter the Albanian leaders had sent on November 5 to their Chinese counterparts. In fact, he insisted, some of the passages from the Albanian letter were quoted directly in the Red Flag editorial.[26]

In the wake of the resumption of Sino-Soviet polemics, relations between the PSRA and the PRC were characterized by a remarkably close ideological affinity, which significantly strengthened alliance cohesion. There was a high degree of convergence in Albanian and Chinese positions regarding many foreign and domestic policy issues. Despite its own economic problems, the PRC continued to provide Albania with considerable economic, technical and military assistance. Albania, for its part, adhered closely to China’s international position and served as Beijing’s spokesman at the United Nations and other international organizations from which the PRC was barred.

During this period, party and government delegations were exchanged quite frequently. In November 1964, vice Premier Li Xiannian led a Chinese party and government delegation to Tirana to take part in the celebrations on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Albania’s liberation from fascism.[27] The Albanian-Chinese friendship was further reinforced with Zhou Enlai’s second visit to the PSRA, in March 1965. The Chinese Premier emphasized the common interests and objectives binding Albania and China.[28]

With Chinese assistance, Albania built and put into operation numerous factories and plants during 1962-1965. The most important ones were: the hydroelectric power plants on the Mati and Bistrica rivers, the copper metallurgical plants at Kukës and Rubik, the tractors spare parts plant in Tirana ,the textile mills in Sera, and the oil refinery in Stalin City.[29] But despite considerable Chinese help, the Albanians were forced to postpone the construction of important industrial projects. Moreover, the overall Third Five-Year Plan targets were not met. The plan had foreseen that in 1965, as compared to 1960,industrial production would increase by 52 percent, agricultural output 72 percent, and national income56 percent. However, industrial production increased by only 39 percent, agricultural output 36 percent, and national income 32 percent.[30]

In early 1966, there were reports that Tirana–Beijing relations had deteriorated because of Albania’s disappointment with Chinese economic assistance.[31] At the same time, the Soviet Union and its allies made an effort to improve relations with the PSRA. Albania was invited to participate at a conference designed to coordinate communist aid efforts to North Vietnam, received an offer to resume trade relations with the Soviet Union, and was invited to send a party delegation to the 23rd Congress of the Soviet Communist Party.[32]Tirana however, rejected Soviet offers for a reconciliation and continued its close relationship with Beijing. As a result, Albania’s relations with the Soviet bloc, with the exception of Romania, remained tense. There was also no significant change in Tirana’s relations with its neighbors to the West.

A high level Albanian party and government delegation, headed by Premier Mehmet Shehu and Politburo member Kapo, paid an official visit to the PRC in April-May 1966. The Albanian delegation was accorded a spectacular reception, reflecting the importance that China then attached to its small ally. An account in the Peking Review described the reception given to Shehu as the biggest and most spectacular welcome ever given by Beijing to a foreign guest, and claimed that about one million people — more than half of Albania’s total population at the time – had turned out to greet the Albanian delegation.[33] At the conclusion of Shehu’s visit, a Joint Statement was signed, which once again reaffirmed the close alliance between the two states. The statement was highly critical of the

United States, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia, an expressed support for national liberation movements. The document portrayed the PSRA and the PRC as defenders of the purity of Marxism-Leninism and the standard bearers of the struggle against “imperialism” and “revisionism.”

Once again, China pledged to stand resolutely by Albania and to give it all possible support and assistance.[34]

Tirana and Beijing assessed the international situation in similar terms and saw the international environment as essentially hostile to their interests. The United States was regarded as the primary adversary, bent on dominating other countries and irreversibly committed to opposing “socialist” China and Albania. To counter what they perceived as U.S. “aggression,” the two allies advocated the formation of a “very broad united front” against the United States. The front was to include all countries and peoples that “opposed U.S. imperialist aggression, control, intervention or bullying.”[35]However, the USSR was excluded from the united front because its leadership allegedly pursued a “revisionist” line, and was “in league with U.S. imperialism.”            Indeed, the Soviet Union was depicted as having entered into a “holy alliance” with the United States to contain and isolate China. Tirana and Beijing adopted the “dual adversary” imagery, according to which the United States and the Soviet Union represented equally dangerous adversaries. This imagery entailed a two-front struggle against “imperialism” and ”modern revisionism.” The two allies rejected Soviet calls for a world communist conference and engaged in bitter polemical exchanges with Moscow.[36]

The Albanian-Chinese friendship and the general consensus on foreign policy were reinforced by Zhou’s third and last visit to Albania, in June 1966. Hoxha, in a speech at a Tirana mass rally in honor of Zhou, dwelt on the nature and Objectives of the alliance:

We all know that our two countries are far apart geographically, but no mountains or oceans, no difference in the size of the population, can hinder the peoples of our two countries from mutually stretching out powerful, sincere and comradely hands and uniting closely together like two men with a similar soul and a lofty common ideal… The militant friendship and unity of both our parties and peoples are not the result of diplomatic intrigues and bargaining, but the result of a fierce joint struggle against the common enemies of the mankind–imperialism headed by U.S. imperialism and modern revisionism headed by the Soviet leadership, and the result of the joint struggle for socialism, freedom and peace. Our friendship and unity have become an organic part of our life, our struggle and of our victory. They conform fully with the interests of the freedom-loving and peace-loving peoples of various countries. All this proves that our friendship and unity are established on the most solid basis and will last forever and ever.[37]

After splitting with Moscow, the Albanians and the Chinese accused the Soviet Communist Party leadership of having “betrayed” Marxism-Leninism. Insisting that an organizational split had taken place within the international communist movement, the APL and the CCP expressed support for splinter communist parties. In an attempt to undermine Soviet influence and control, they incite opposition groups and factions within existing comroun1st parties and encouraged the formation of “genuine” Marxist-Leninist parties. Thus, in a number of Asian, Latin American and West European nations, new but relatively insignificant splinter parties emerged.

There were, however, some differences in the treatment Albania and China accorded the Marxist-Leninist splinter movement. While encouraging and sponsoring the establishment of anti-Soviet parties, the PRC evidently was not interested in setting up a rival bloc.[38] Albania, on the other hand, favored the establishment of a well organized rival bloc.[39]Hoxha probably believed the establishment of such a bloc would improve his bargaining position vis-a-vis the Chinese, and enhance his regime’s domestic standing. In discussions with Chinese and Marxist-Leninist party delegations, and in public statements, the Albanians advocated that a general meeting of the splinter parties be held, presumably in Beijing. The Albanian party called for greater coordination of activities with splinter parties.[40]Tirana also adopted an uncompromising position toward those communist parties which maintained a neutral stand in the Sino-Soviet conflict. An article in the Albanian party journal Rruga e Partisë, in March 1967, urged the formation of a “monolithic front” against Soviet revisionism and rejected the “erroneous” position of neutralist parties.[41] The Chinese, however, were unwilling to go as far as the Albanians and risk alienating such “neutral” parties as those of North Korea, Japan, Cuba and Romania. Again, divergences between the two sides were conditioned by different perceptions of their national interests and by the fact that China, as a Great Power, had multiple foreign policy commitments.


Albania and China shared a common revolutionary experience during the period 1966-1969. The two governing elites subscribed to the view that it was necessary to wage an “uninterrupted revolution” in the cultural field to prevent the emergence of revisionism and the restoration of capitalism.[42] It was widely believed at the time that Albania’s Ideological and Cultural Revolution was inspired by and modeled after, China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. A closer analysis reveals, however, that in launching their respective cultural revolutions the two governing elites were motivated by different concerns and, as a result, there were some notable differences between the two movements.

By the mid-1960s, Hoxha had consolidated his power, having purged a pro-Soviet faction in 1960. In contrast to the Chinese leadership, which entered an era of turmoil, the Albanian leadership was characterized by a remarkable stability and policy consensus. Nevertheless, Hoxha was determined to prevent the rise of alternative power centers that might potentially threaten or undermine APL control over all aspects of the Albanian society. As a long-time observer of the Albanian scene, Nicholas C. Pano, has noted,

Hoxha was anxious to complete the process of nation building in Albania by eliminating those attitudes, traditions, and institutions that in his eyes stood in the way of the regime’s efforts to achieve national unity and modernization. The main targets of this effort were the nation’s religious organizations and the deeply rooted traditions of social conservatism and sectionalism, as well as other attitudes not compatible with the APL’s program for Albania.[43]

The 16th plenum of the APL CC, held on March 4, 1966, dealt with the struggle against bureaucracy and changes in the party and governmental apparatus. The CC addressed an “Open Letter” to the population, which called for a radical purge of the bureaucracy. A large number of cadres in executive positions were replaced and the state administrative apparatus was reduced by some 15,000 functionaries. The salaries of party and state officials were lowered to reduce differences between mental and physical work, and the number of ministries was reduced from 19 to 13. Many party officials, managers, and intellectuals were dispatched to the countryside.[44]

Following China’s lead, Albania abolished all military ranks, established party committees in army units, introduced political commissars in military headquarters at all levels, and introduced a new uniform.    In addition, these reforms provided for the army’s engagement in production work and stressed the economic self-reliance of army units.[45] Under the party slogan, “the pick in one hand and the rifle in the other,” the army personnel was engaged in the construction of industrial enterprises and hydroelectric plants, crop harvests, breeding animals in frontier and mountainous areas, and land reclamation projects. The aim of the new reforms was to strengthen the APL’s role in the army. Their immediate result, however, was to decrease the military’s role in the Albanian polity and to relegate professionalism in the military establishment to a position secondary to ideology and economics.[46] In contrast to China, the position of the Albanian Defense Minister and other top level military officials was seriously undermined. Although Beqir Balluku publicly endorsed the measures,[47] he apparently did so with serious reservations. In the wake of his purge in 1974, Balluku was accused of having opposed the reforms.[48]

Tirana and Beijing developed close military contacts. The Albanians emphasized the importance of drawing lessons from the Chinese school of military thought. While insisting that primary importance should be given to the experience the Albanian communists had gained during World War II, senior Albanian officials urged that those aspects of the Chinese military experience that were applicable to the PSRA, be adopted. Special emphasis was placed on the study of Mao’s military writings.[49] The Albanians began to emphasize, as the Chinese had the principle of relying on their own forces for defense, and the preparation of the entire population for a defensive “people’s war.” Although clearly inspired by the Chinese, neither the principle of self-reliance nor the concept of a “people’s war” were novel ideas for the Albanians. The Albanian communists had seized power through a costly guerilla war against the Fascist and Nazi occupation forces, and without the assistance of a foreign army. During the era of the alliance with the Soviet Union Tirana had given special attention to the Warsaw Pact’s commitment in protecting the PSRA. But the break with Moscow necessitated a change in defense concepts and military training. In line with Mao’s military thought, the Albanians stressed the superiority of man over weapons and the feasibility of a “people’s war.” Military training was introduced in the school curricula at all levels, and the entire able-bodied population was expected to contribute to the defense of the country.

Although the Albanians adopted what seems to have been Chinese-inspired military measures, the Chinese did not exert any significant direct influence on Albania’s armed forces. There is no evidence to suggest that Albania’s decision-making autonomy in the field of defense had suffered. It is difficult to ascertain the extent to which Albania’s military personnel was exposed to Mao’s theoretical military writings or translations of Chinese military literature. And apparently there were no joint conferences and seminars of military leaders and experts or staff exercises.

In addition to reducing the power of the bureaucracy and establishing firm party control over the military, Hoxha’s regime launched a massive campaign of “communist education.” Its main features were: a program for the emancipation of women; an anti-religious campaign which climaxed with the proclamation of the world’s “first atheist state” in 1967; and a reform of the educational system with the aim of eradicating any remaining Soviet influence.[50]

In contrast to developments in China, the Cultural Revolution did not affect Albania’s foreign policy nor did it lead to political turmoil and the weakening of party influence. While the PRC’s relations with the outside world, with the exception of Albania, Pakistan and a few African countries were seriously disrupted, there was no similar isolationist tendency in the PSRA’s foreign relations. In fact, Albania maintained more diplomatic posts than China during 1967. Hoxha was in control of the “revolutionizing” process in Albania, which clearly was not the case with Mao in China. The Albanian party leader, however, did not become the object of deification as did his Chinese counterpart.

Tirana was distressed by the chaos caused in China by the Cultural Revolution, the disintegration of the CCP, and the emergence of the Red Guards.[51] Nevertheless, Hoxha’s regime shared an ideological affinity with the radicals in China. Hoxha welcomed their ascendancy and emphasis on an ideological approach to foreign affairs. He endorsed the campaign Mao and the radicals launched against Liu Shaoqi and his supporters, who reportedly advocated a strategy of “leaning to one side,” i.e. the Soviet Union. With Liu’s political demise and the radicals’ pre eminance, Hoxha probably felt assured that there was only a remote chance of a Sino-soviet rapprochement in the near future.

After initial reservations, the Albanians publicly endorsed in early 1967 China’s Cultural Revolution and the Red Guard movement. Tirana launched a well-orchestrated media campaign in support of Beijing’s domestic and foreign policy stands. High level Albanian party and government delegations were dispatched to the PRC to “campaign” for Mao. , Editorials and the party newspaper and journal hailed China’s Cultural Revolution as a “valuable contribution” to the theory and practice of scientific socialism.[52]Hoxha’s confidant, Kapo, and Defense Minister Balluku paid extended visits the PRC beginning in January and February 1967, respectively. Throughout their visits, the two Albanian

officials, who were received by Mao on February 3, paid warm tribute to the Chinese leader and to the PRC’s “revolutionary course.”[53]

Kapo again visited China in May 1967.In his speeches, he paid warm tribute to the Chinese leader, maintaining that “revolutionary” people all over the world supported Mao Zedong thought. In a significant departure from previous Albanian pronouncements, Kapo referred to the Chinese leader as “the loyal successor to the great cause of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.”[54]

This formulation about the Chinese leader represented a significant concession by Tirana, since the Albanian media had hitherto placed Hoxha’s “thought” on a par with that of Mao. However, the Albanians stopped short of accepting the Chinese leader as “a Marxist-Leninist classic” or characterizing his thought as “the third and highest stage of Marxism-Leninism,” as Beijing insisted in referring to Mao.

On the occasion of the 18th anniversary of the establishment of the PRC, in October 1967, Shehu toured China, visiting major Maoist strongholds. At a rally in Shanghai, on October 11, Shehu expressed unqualified support for Mao’s faction. He declared:

We hold that one’s attitude towards China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution is the touchstone for distinguishing between Marxist-Leninists and revisionists and opportunists and between genuine revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. Keeping silent on this tremendous event of such world historic significance means lacking a clear-cut stand in the struggle between the two classes, the two lines and the two roads, which is a vital question of principle. If any one comes forward to oppose China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, it means that he stands on the side of China’s bourgeois revisionist forces and supports their reactionary line which opposes Marxism-Leninism and socialism and aims at burying the People’s Republic of China.[55]

No doubt, such declarations of support by senior Albanian officials were beneficial to Mao in the factional struggles, providing his position with a measure of legitimacy and favorable publicity.

At the conclusion of Shehu’s visit, a joint communiqué was issued. For the first time, a bilateral Albanian­ Chinese document characterized Mao as “a great Marxist­ Leninist” and “a worthy successor and heir” to Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin.[56] The Albanians had by implication accepted Mao as the world’s top Marxist­ Leninist leader, and in return had ensured continued Chinese economic aid.

With the intensification of the Cultural Revolution and the mobilization of the Red Guards, the PRC experienced a period of great domestic political convulsion. China also entered a period of virtual diplomatic isolation. Between 1965 and 1969, delegation exchanges between the PRC

and other countries dropped from 1,322 to 66, marking a serious contraction of China’s foreign relations.[57] With the exception of the ambassador to Egypt, all other Chinese ambassadors, including the one accredited to Albania,[58] were recalled for “reeducation.” As China’s prestige abroad reached a low ebb, its alliance with Albania gained greater importance. Albanian endorsement of the Cultural Revolution was obviously of great symbolic value to the Chinese, and therefore an important bargaining chip for the Albanians. Thus, despite serious domestic disruptions, China continued its economic and military aid to Albania without interruption. In fact, Chinese assistance was remarkable in its continuity, large in its quantity and relatively good in its quality. In June 1965, Tirana and Beijing had signed an agreement on a Chinese loan for Albania’s Fourth Five-Year Plan (1966-1970).[59]

No details were disclosed, but it was estimated that the loan amounted to S214 million.[60] In October 1966, the PRC granted Albania a loan for the development of the petroleum industry, but again no details were disclosed.[61] Between 1965 and 1970, Albania commissioned, with Chinese assistance, 41 important projects. Twenty-four of these projects were in heavy industry.[62]Aid was provided on generous terms, either in the form of interest-free or low-interest credits and grants, and became a critical source of support for the alliance. The administration of assistance provided China with some levels of access to Albania’s economic decision-making process. China’s in1luence in this area, however, was not as great as that of the Soviet Union in the 1950s or Yugoslavia in the 1940s, and did not threaten the PSRA’s decision-making autonomy. Technicians dispatched to Albania, who were recruited and selected by the Chinese government, provided assistance on specific aid projects. They lived in separate quarters, did not socialize with the local population, and had few opportunities for direct interaction and personal impact on the Albanians.

China and Albania lost no opportunity to propagandize their economic relationship as a model of how relations between socialist countries should be conducted. Albanians repeatedly emphasized that the nature of the PRC’s “internationalist aid” differed totally from the aid granted by the “imperialists” and Soviet “revisionists.”

Chinese assistance, however, acted as a constraint on Albania’s industrial policy. In contrast to the aid provided by the Soviets, the Chinese aid was of a lower quality.[63]Tirana faced difficulties because of China’s poor coordination in the construction of industrial projects. Moreover, the great geographic distance separating Tirana and Beijing created problems in the transport of commodities from the Pacific, around the Cape of Good Hope, to Albania. The transportation of the machinery for the Mao Zedong textile plant at Berat, for example, took one and a half years.[64]The belated arrival of Chinese supplies caused the delay of the completion of various industrial projects, readjustments in investments and construction, and failure to achieve major plan objectives.

In addition to the political price of adhering to China’s foreign policy positions for the continued flow of assistance, Albania also had to make some significant changes in its economic planning and management system, emphasizing ideological and moral incentives and outcomes more than economic results. The Albanians were forced to follow a belt-tightening policy and to practice extreme austerity. This policy emphasized the need for a full mobilization of human and material resources, reliance on domestic investment sources, development of the agricultural sector, increase of exports and the development of import-substitution industries.[65]

During this period, the interests of the two ruling elites were closer than at any time during the existence of the alliance. On most issues, Tirana and Beijing held similar ideological positions. In international forums, Albania provided consistent and unqualified support for Beijing’s policies, and led the campaign for China’s entry into the United Nations. Although there was basic agreement between Tirana and Beijing on major issues, Albania did not totally subordinate its foreign policy to China. The two countries did not act in tandem on all issues, and so even during the period of its greatest cohesion, the alliance was marked by a lack of consultation. According to Hoxha, the Chinese were reluctant to exchange working delegations or coordinate activities between the two parties. Albanian party and government delegations that visited China, were turned into “friendship” delegations for “mass meetings, speeches and toasts at banquets.” The Chinese ambassador in Tirana served merely as “a master of ceremonies,” while his Albanian counterpart in Beijing was rarely informed officially about developments in China.[66]

After The Albanian-Chinese break, Hoxha would accuse the CCP of having attempted to force other parties to accept Mao Zedong thought and apply “en bloc” the Chinese experience, including the Cultural Revolution.[67] There is little evidence, however, to suggest that the Albanians were under pressure to adopt Chinese-type internal policies. Beijing was mainly interested in international solidarity with Albania. The Chinese valued the alliance and were responsive to Albania’s needs even at times of domestic upheavals. Tirana extracted a considerable price in Chinese economic aid, arms transfers, cadre training, spare parts, and replacements, in return for solidarity and perceptual association with the PRC.

China’s influence in Albania’s domestic politics seems to have been quite limited. Mao Zedong thought was never given precedence over Hoxha’s “thought,” which was the only permissible guide for policy initiation and implementation. It is difficult to identify any areas or institutions where the Chinese penetrated Albanian state and/or party organs. The Chinese seem to have been satisfied with Albania’s public support of their foreign policy and approval of domestic policies such as the Cultural Revolution, and less concerned with whether Albania emulated Maoist-type internal policies.

Nevertheless, the PSRA did in fact emulate some Chinese-inspired policies. Such emulations were evident in the adoption of the principle of self-reliance, abolition of military ranks, and cadre participation in labor activities. But it must be emphasized that these policies conformed with the objectives of the ruling APL and were most likely initiated in Tirana rather than in Beijing. In some aspects, such as the abolition of religion and complete collectivization of agriculture, both carried out

in 1967, the Albanians went further than their Chinese allies.

Tirana and Beijing achieved a remarkable unity of perception about the threat in the international system directed against them. They were committed to a joint struggle against what they viewed as a collusion between the two superpowers. Albanian and Chinese propaganda depicted United States behavior as adventuristic, provocative, aggressive, militaristic, and exploitative. The Soviet Union was seen as cooperating with the United States in dividing the world into spheres of influence, and conducting propaganda and political actions with the objective of subverting Albanian-Chinese unity. While Beijing maintained minimal contacts with Washington and Moscow, Tirana maintained no direct political, economic or cultural contacts with either.

The two allies also had an adversary relationship with Western industrialized countries and “revisionist” Yugoslavia, the latter the target of a pervasive ideological propaganda campaign. Albanian and Chinese ties with those countries were restricted.

Throughout the 1960s, the PSRA’s external transactions were highly concentrated toward the PRC. Albanian requirements for economic, technical, and military assistance were met by the Chinese. Trade with the PRC accounted for nearly two-thirds of Albania’s total foreign trade. Contacts with countries other than China were kept to a minimum, and penetration by outside actors was avoided through the rejection of foreign aid and advisers, foreign investments, and tourists.


In the wake of Tirana ‘s break with Moscow, the Albanians emphasized their own ability to withstand any foreign aggression. At the same time, however, they maintained that any country with designs on the PSRA ought to keep in mind that tiny Albania was not alone, but that it had the support of the “700-million-strong” Chinese people. At the height of the alliance, a senior Albanian party official, Hysni Kapo, proudly declared that, “If someone were to ask us how many people do we have, our answer is 701 million.”[68]

On several occasions, Beijing publicly reassured Tirana of China’s reliability. In late 1967, tensions suddenly increased between Albania and Greece, where a military Junta had seized power. Greece considered itself in a state of war with Albania, and had not yet given up its territorial claims on southern Albania.  The Albanians evidently feared confrontation with Greece.[69]

Zhou Enlai, in a speech welcoming an Albanian party and government delegation, expressed “full support” for Tirana.[70] and a commentary by the official Chinese news agency declared:

The Chinese Government and the people have pledged their unswerving supper for the just stand of Albania.            Should the fascist Greek authorities dare to attack Albania, the Chinese people will do everything in their power to provide powerful backing to the Albanian people.[71]

Such assurances were important to Hoxha’s regime, particularly at a time when Albania stood alone in Europe, was engaged in fierce propaganda campaigns with its neighbors, and perceived a hostile external environment.

With the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 and the announcement of the Brezhnev Doctrine, which had ominous implications even for the former Soviet bloc members. Albanian-Chinese tensions with the Soviet Union became acute. The intensification of direct and indirect Soviet pressures on Romania and Yugoslavia, which gave rise to speculations that Moscow might attempt to reintegrate the Balkan maverick communist countries into the Soviet bloc, and the concentration of Soviet troops in the Far East, reinforced Albanian and Chinese perceptions of an imminent danger of Soviet aggression.

The Albanian leadership seems to have been alarmed by the apparently unexpected Soviet aggression against Czechoslovakia. At odds with its neighbors, isolated from other European nations, and dependent on a distant ally, Albania found itself vulnerable to Soviet military pressure or aggression. The PSRA moved toward détente with its immediate neighbors Yugoslavia, Romania and Greece. Overnight, Yugoslavia was transformed from an Albanian enemy into a potential ally against soviet encroachments. Facing a high-threat external environment, Hoxha’s regime placed common security with Yugoslavia above ideological disagreements with Tito’s regime.

The first and most concrete expression of Tirana ‘s new strategy was advanced by Hoxha in a speech on September 5, 1968, at the fifth CC plenum, which approved Albania’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact. Concerned that the Soviets might invoke the Warsaw Pact Treaty to justify intervention in the PSRA, Hoxha argued that Albania had nothing to lose by withdrawing from an alliance from which it had de facto been expelled in 1961. On the contrary, he insisted, withdrawing from the Warsaw Pact would enhance Albania’s security and increase its international prestige. The new situation created in the wake of the invasion of Czechoslovakia, necessitated changes in Tirana’s strategy. Despite political and ideological differences with Belgrade, Albania and Yugoslavia were now declared to be engaged in a common struggle. Hoxha viewed Yugoslavia as a barrier against Soviet aggression and appeared confident the Yugoslavs would resist the Soviets. He was less optimistic, however, about Romania’s chances of preserving its Independence. In a significant departure from past policies, the Albanian party leader argued that NATO support for Yugoslavia’s independence indirectly enhanced the PSRA’s security.[72] In a subsequent conversation with a group of pro-Tirana French communists, Hoxha expressed the opinion that because of Albania’s strategic importance, NATO would not stand by idly if the PSRA were invaded by the Russians.[73]

A joint Albanian party and government statement on August 22 denounced the invasion of Czechoslovakia as a “fascist-type aggression,” and accused the Soviets of having transformed the Warsaw Pact into a mechanism for aggression against, and the enslavement of, Eastern

Europe.[74] The same themes were reflected in Premier Shehu’s address on September 13 before the People’s Assembly, which formally approved Albania’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact.[75] In conjunction with the denunciation of the Warsaw Pact, Tirana initiated a well orchestrated media campaign against soviet encroachments in Eastern Europe.

Albania’s reaction to the events in Czechoslovakia was strikingly similar to that of Romania and Yugoslavia. Bucharest denounced the invasion as “a flagrant violation of the national sovereignty of a fraternal socialist, free, and independent state.”[76] Belgrade called the invasion an indirect attack on Yugoslavia and rejected the Kremlin’s justifications as an attempt to hide the violation of Czechoslovakia’s sovereignty and Prague’s forced subjugation to Moscow’s will.[77] The three Maverick communist countries repudiated the Brezhnev Doctrine and declared they would resist: Soviet attempts to encroach upon their sovereignty. They 1ncreased defense budgets and adopted strategies which called for the total mobilization of the population and the waging of guerrilla war in case of foreign aggression.

Cognizant of the great geographical distance separating Tirana and Beijing, and of China’s military weakness, the Albanians apparently doubted whether, in the event of a Soviet invasion, the PRC would turn out to be a reliable ally. Immediately following the invasion of Czechoslovakia, Tirana emphasized the principle of self­ reliance. In a speech before the People’s Assembly, Defense Minister Balluku declared:

The party and the government have always based the defense of the freedom and the sovereignty of our Republic on its own forces. This Marxist-Leninist principle has been and will be the basis of our people’s military science and art…. For us, the main and decisive factor has been and remains the Albanian people and its Armed Forces.[78]

Tirana’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact was hailed by the Chinese. In a telegram Mao, Zhou, and Defense minister Lin Biao assured Tirana that :

The 700-million-strong Chinese people… will always and in any circumstances unswervingly stand on the side of the fraternal Albanian people. If the U.S. imperialists, the Soviet modern revisionists, and their lackeys dare touch Albania in the slightest, nothing else but a thorough, ignominious, and irrevocable defeat awaits them.[79]

Although the Chinese message, which spoke only of support by the Chinese people, did not represent a Chinese governmental commitment to Albania, Beijing drew a direct link between developments in Eastern Europe and tensions along the Sino-Soviet border and dramatically increased its anti-Soviet propaganda. On September 16, a day after the Chinese media reported Albania’s withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact, Beijing protested to Moscow against alleged intrusions into Chinese airspace. And on September 29, Zhou drew a link between Sino-Soviet border tensions and the issue of Albania’s security.[80] Chinese actions and pronouncements helped boost the morale of the Albanian people at a critical time and also improved the prestige of Hoxha’s regime.

Albania and China symbolically strengthened their military relationship. A high-level military delegation headed by Balluku was dispatched to Beijing at the end of September 1968. The visit provided a good opportunity for both sides to publicly reaffirm their mutual support. Balluku was received by both Mao and Lin Biao.[81]Moreover, China underscored its support of Albania by providing anew interest-free loan. The loan, declared to be the largest of its kind, was estimated at close to $200 million.[82] With this loan, Albania was to build thirty projects, the most important of which were the Elbasani metallurgical combine, capable of refining about 800,000 tons of steel products; the Fierza hydro power station on the Drin River, with an installed power of 400,000 kw; and a oil refinery, with a capacity of a million tons of petroleum a year.[83]

On the occasion of Albania’s 24th anniversary of liberation, in November 1968, a Chinese delegation headed by Huang Yong sheng, Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and a close associate of Lin, paid a six-day visit to the PSRA. This was China’s highest ranking military delegation ever to visit Tirana and underscored the PRC’s military commitment to Albania. There is, however, little information on the results of Huang’s visit. In his diary, Hoxha is conspicuously silent on what clearly was one of the most significant Chinese delegations ever to visit Albania.

Huang’s visit received wide publicity both in Albania and in China. At a reception, Premier Shehu remarked that Albania was pleased that the Chinese delegation was led by the Chief of the General Staff. He said:

Let all Albania’s external enemies, those flying the NATO flag and those flying the Warsaw Treaty flag, whoever they may be, know that the friendship between Albania and China finds its expression in fraternal internationalist relations not only in the ideological, political and economic fields, but also in the military field…. The possible aggressors against Albania should not forget that the cause of the Albanian people is shared by all the revolutionary people of the world. They should not forget especially the power of the great Albanian-Chinese friendship. They should well bear in mind that an armed attack against Albania cannot be confined within Albania’s boundaries, and that, in that case, the flames of the war will spread over all borders and reach the aggressor’s den.[84]

The Chinese increased substantially their military aid to Albania, and helped modernize the Albanian air force, including the replacement of the older MiG-l5s, 17s, and l8s with short-range MIG-21 defensive fighters.[85] But despite false reports in the European and U.S. press, Tirana and Beijing did not conclude a defense pact during Huang’s visit nor did China establish naval bases in Albania.

In order to strengthen its defense capabilities, Albania made demands on China for increased security support. But the Chinese, cognizant of their military weakness and the great geographical distance between the PRC and the PSRA, were not willing to make a long-term military commitment. In discussions with Balluku, in September-October 1968, Zhou asserted that regardless of how much military assistance it were to receive from the PRC, Albania was in no position to defend itself alone against Soviet aggression. Therefore, the Chinese Premier suggested, the only way for Albania to cope with the possibility of a Soviet attack was to enter into a military alliance with Yugoslavia and Romania, both of whom were also vulnerable to a Soviet invasion.[86]

The Chinese proposal presented Tirana with a political and ideological dilemma. Albania’s rift with the soviet Union had been caused primarily by Khrushchev’s reconciliation with Tito. Although faced with a common Soviet threat, Tirana could hardly provide ideological justifications for an alliance with “revisionist” Yugoslavia. That such a step would render it vulnerable to Soviet-bloc propaganda attacks is indicated by the fact that the Bulgarian party newspaper interpreted the Albanian and Yugoslav denunciations of the invasion of Czechoslovakia as confirming

… the already proven deduction that at times of sharp class clashes in the international arena and brave actions by the communist parties, the leftist pseudo revolutionaries [i.e., the Albanians) and rightist opportunists [i.e., the Yugoslavs) get closer together and feel like twin brothers.[87]

Such speculations were strongly refuted by the Albanians. An editorial in Zëri i Popullit, on November 3, 1968, asserted that,

The Soviet revisionists and the capitalist press are wasting their time when they insinuate that the positions of the Albanian Party of Labor and the Chinese Communist Party regarding the events in Czechoslovakia are similar to the position of the Titoites and imperialists. This is nothing but stale propaganda addressed to naive people. Our Marxist-Leninist parties have never, nor will they ever slip into the positions adopted by the imperialists, nor into those of their agents, the Belgrade revisionists.[88]

The Albanians have maintained that Zhou’s suggestion that Tirana enter into an alliance with Belgrade and Bucharest was rejected.[89] Although Tirana did not enter into direct negotiations with either Belgrade or Bucharest, Albania recognized that its fate was closely related to that of its neighbors, especially Yugoslavia.

The recognition of a security interdependence with Yugoslavia was a major factor in Albania’s cautious and unexpectedly mild reaction to nationalist disturbances in Kosovë during November-December 1968. Concerned lest destabilization of Yugoslavia give the Soviets an opportunity to intervene in the Balkans, Tirana provided minimum media coverage to demonstrations by ethnic Albanians. Although throughout the 1960s Hoxha’s regime had portrayed itself as the protector and supporter of the rights of ethnic Albanians, Tirana did not endorse the protesters’ demands that the province of Kosovë be granted the status of a constituent republic within the Yugoslav federation. Albania subordinated its ethnic ties with the Albanian minority to its overall political and security interests vis-a-vis Yugoslavia.

Following the invasion of Czechoslovakia, China sought to take advantage of the disarray in Eastern Europe. It denounced the invasion as a “monstrous crime against the Czechoslovak people,” and accused the Soviet leadership of hav1ng “degenerated into social-imperialism and social fascism… [90] In addition to supporting Albania, the PRC embarked upon a new and flexible policy toward Eastern Europe. In an attempt to undermine Soviet influence in the region, Beijing signaled support for Romania and Yugoslavia’s defiance of the USSR. Bucharest was assured of support in the event of a Soviet invasion, although, as in Tirana’s case, Beijing never spelled out what form the assistance would take. Beijing ceased its ideological polemics with “revisionist” Yugoslavia, which during the early 1960s had been used as a whipping Loy in attacks against the Soviet Union.[91]

The invasion of Czechoslovakia and the enunciation of the Brezhnev Doctrine had serious implications for the Albanian-Chinese alliance. Although in the short run, the two allies were brought closer together, in the aftermath of the crisis both Tirana and Beijing would reevaluate their relationship.

ELEZ BIBERAJ is an Albanian-American political scientist and author of several books dealing with Albania’s post-communist transition as well as foreign policy. Elez Biberaj is Acting Director of the Voice of America and Senior Associate Researcher of the Albanian Institute for International Studies (AIIS).

[1] Ole R. Holsti, P. Terrence Hopmann, and John O’Sullivan, Unity and Disintegration in International Alliances: Comparative Studies (New York: John Wiley and sons, 1973), p. 53; George Liska, Nations in Alliance: the Limits of Interdependence (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1968), pp. 12-13; and Hans J. Morgenthau, “Alliances in Theory and Practice,” in Alliance Policy in the Cold war, ed. by Arnold Wolfers (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press)

[2]Holsti, Hopmann, and Sullivan, Unity and Disintegration in International Alliances, p. 53).

[3] Ibid., p. 220

[4] George Liska, Alliances and the Third World (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1968), p. 33

[5] Liska, Nations in Alliance, pp. 61-62

[6] Nicholas C. Pano. The People’s Republic of Albania. (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1968), p. 157

[7] Robert Owen Freedman, Economic Warfare in the Communist Bloc: A Study of Soviet Economic Pressure Against Yugoslavia, Albania and Communist China (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970), p. 70.

[8] Louis Zanga, “An Intensive Relationship of Short Duration,” Radio Free Europe Research, RAD Background Report/169 (Albania), Aug. 1, 1978, p. 5

[9]Bashkimi, Apr. 26, 1961; and Jan s. Prybyla, “Albania’s Economic Vassalage,” East Europe, 16, no. 1 (January, 1967), pp. 10-11

[10] “Open Letter of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to Its Party Organizations at All Levels and to All its Party Members,” republished in Peking Review, July 26, 1963, p. 45

[11] The Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies at the Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania, History of the Party of Labor of Albania (Tirana: “Naim Frashëri,” 1971), pp. 542-43. Hereafter cited as History of the APL

[12]Hoxha, Vepra, 23, pp. 293, 343

[13] In their Apr. 7, 1962 letter to the Soviet leadership, the Chinese leaders declared: “We sincerely hope that the Soviet comrades and the Albanian comrades will both take positive steps to remove their differences and restore normal relations between the two Parties and the two countries. In this connect1on, it seems necessary for the Soviet comrades to take the initiative.” See Peking Review, Mar. 22, 1963, p. 7

[14] Letter of the CC of the Party of Labor and the Government of Albania to the CC of the Communist Party and Government of China (Tirana: “8 Nëntori,” 1978), pp. 25-26. Hereafter cited as Albanian Letter.

[15]Enver Hoxha, Reflections on China, 2 vols. (Tirana: “8 Nëntori,” 1979), 1, pp. 19-20

[16]Bashkimi, July 2 and 23, 1963

[17]Zbigniew K. Brzezinski. The Soviet Bloc: Unity and Conflict (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 418-27

[18] Peking Review, Jan. 17, 1964, pp. 13-18; and Bashkimi, Jan. 10, 1964

[19] Albanian Letter, p. 29

[20] In October 1964, Mao allegedly told an Albanian delegation that, “The future will prove whether we are right or wrong. We are not going to reply to you, because, if we did, we would reject your views as you rejected ours, and thus polemics would arise. Therefore, let us wait, perhaps, after many years we shall reply to you, but not now.” see Hoxha, Reflections on China, 1, p. 110

[21]Hoxha, Vepra, 22, p. 280; and Freedman, Economic Warfare in the Communist Bloc, pp. 71-72

[22]Hoxha, Reflections on China, 1, pp. 72-73

[23] Albanian Letter, pp. 30-32. Zhou summoned Albania’s ambassador to China, Nesti Nase, and in the presence of several other ambassadors allegedly told him: “I know that you don’t have even diplomatic relations with the Soviets because they broke them off. But now there is no one to make self-criticism because Khrushchev has been removed; therefore, Mehmet Shehu should pack his bag quickly and set off for the celebrations in Moscow.” Hoxha, Reflections on China, l, p. 129

[24] Albanian Letter, p. 33

[25]Hoxha, Vepra, 28, pp. 99-100. Following Zhou’s return from Moscow, the Chinese press republished the Zëri i Popullit editorial. See Peking Review, Nov. 27, 1964

[26]Hoxha, Reflections on China, 1, p. 182

[27] Peking Review, Nov. 27, 1964, p. 3

[28] ibid., Apr. 2, 1965, pp. 6-7

[29] Murat Klosi. 25 Years of Construction Work in Socialist Albania. (Tirana: “Naim Frasheri,” 1969), pp. 17-19

[30]Dokumente Kryesore, 5, pp. 207-20B; and Pano, The People’s Republic of Albania, pp. 176-77

[31] The New York Times, Feb. 12, 1966

[32] Pano, The People’s Republic of Albania, pp. 176-77

[33] Peking Review, May 6, 1966, p. 6

[34] ibid., May 20, 1966, pp. 5-12; and Zëri i Popullit, May 15, 1966, pp. l-3

[35] ibid., p. 12

[36] ibid.

[37] Quoted in ibid., July 1, 1966, p. 20

[38] For a review of China’s attitude toward the splinter movement, see Joseph C. Kun, “Peking and World Communism,” Problems of Communism, 23, no. 6 (November­ December, 1974), pp. 34-43

[39]During a visit to the PRC in May 1966, Premier Shehu asserted that, “since the betrayal by the Khrushchev clique, the center of the international communist movement has shifted from the Soviet Union to China and the eyes of the revolutionaries of the whole world have turned to Peking and Mao Tse-tung.” Peking Review, May 13, 1966, p. 9

[40]Enver Hoxha. Speeches, Conversations, Articles, 1965-1966 (Tirana: “8 Nëntori,” 1977), p. 153

[41] Hajro Zeneli, “The Creation of a True Revolutionary Unity of the World Proletariat Will Be Achieved Without the Revisionists and in the Uncompromising Struggle Against Revisionism,” Rruga e Partisë, no. 3 (March, 1967), p. 50

[42] Peking Review, May 20, 1966, p. 12

[43] Nicholas C. Pano, “Albania: the Last Bastion of Stalinism,” in East Central Europe: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, ed. by Milorad M. Drachkovitch (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1982), p. 200

[44]Dokumente Kryesore, 5, pp. 23-46; and L.Z., “Albania’s Cultural Revolution,” East Europe, 16, no. 4 (April, 1967), pp. 27-29

[45]Zëri i Popullit, Mar. 8, 1966

[46] “Hoxha Creates an Ascetic Military Establishment,” Radio Free Europe Research, Aug. 30, 1966, p. l

[47] See Balluku’s article in Zëri i Popullit, Mar. 11, 1966

[48] Nazar Berberi and Detar Avdia, “The Enemy Group of B. Balluku, P. Dume, and H. Çako and the Struggle for its Destruction,” in the Institute of Marxist-Leninist Studies at the CC of the APL, Sesione Shkencore për Luftën e Klasave [Scientific Sessions on the Class Struggle) (Tirana: “8 Nëntori,” 1977), pp. 160-61

[49] Hoxha, Vepra, 24, pp. 191-92

[50] See Nicholas C. Pano, “The Albanian Cultural Revolution,” Problems of Communism, 23, no. 4 (July­ August, 1974), pp. 44-57; and Peter R. Prifti, Socialist Albania Since 1944: Domestic and Foreign Developments (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 1978), pp. 143-49

[51] Enver Hoxha, Imperializmi dhe Revolucioni (Tirana: “8 Nëntori,” 1978), pp. 381-85

[52] Zëri i Popullit, Jan. 14, 1967; and Rruga e Partisë, no. 2 (February, 1967), pp. 14-21. Tirana later claimed it supported the Cultural Revolution at Mao’s “personal request.” See Albanian Letter, p. 34

[53] For coverage of Balluku and Kapo’s visits to China, see Zëri i Popullit, Jan. 12-Feb. 11, 1967

[54] Peking Review, May 13, 1967, p. 35

[55] ibid., Oct. 27, 1967, p. 18

[56] ibid.’ p. 6

[57] King C. Chen, ed., China and the Three Worlds (Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe, 1979), p. 28

[58] China’s ambassador to Tirana was implicated with Liu Shaoqi. From mid-1967 until May 1969, when Beijing announced that Keng Biao had been appointed ambassador to Albania, the Chinese embassy in Tirana was headed by a charge d’affairs. See Hoxha, Reflections on China, 1, p. 395

[59]Bashkimi, June 9, 1965; and Peking R view, June 11, 1965, p. 4

[60]Prifti, Socialist Albania, p.50

[61]Bashkimi. Oct. 22, 1966

[62]Adi Schnytzer, “The Impact of Aid on Albanian Industrial Development — the Soviet Union and China as Major Trading Partners,” in Joint Economic Committee, Congress of the United States, Chinese Economy Post-Mao, vol. 1 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1978), p. 863

[63] Freedman, Economic Warfare in the Communist Bloc, p.13

[64] Corriere della Sera (Milano), Mar. 11, 1971, p. 3

[65] See: Prybyla, “Albania’s Economic Vassalage,” loc cit., pp. 13-14; discussion by Adil Çarçani at the 5th Congress of the APL, in Rruga e Partisë, special issue (December, 1966), pp. 10-11; Frederik Gjerasi, “Self­ Reliance, an Important Principle for the Building of Socialism,” Rruga e Partisë . no.8 (August, 1965), pp. 24-25; and Bashkimi, June 18, 1965

[66]Hoxha, Reflections on China, 1, p. 395

[67] ibid. p. 370

[68] Quoted in Peking Review, May 6, 1966, p. 3

[69]Hoxha, Vepra, 36, p. 399

[70] Peking Review, Oct. 20, 1967, p. 9

[71] NCNA International Service in English, 0210 GMT, Dec. 7, 1967

[72]Dokumente Kryesore, 5, pp. 416-32

[73]Enver Hoxha, Kundër Revizionit Modern 1968-1970 [Against Modern Revisionism 1968-19701 (Tirana:”8 Nëntori,” 1979), p. 487

[74]Zëri i Popullit, Aug. 23, 1968

[75]Enver Hoxha, Kundër Revizionit Modern 1968-1970 [Against Modern Revisionism 1968-19701 (Tirana: “8 Nëntori,” 1979), p. 487

[76]Scinteia, Aug. 22, 1968

[77] Review of International Affairs (Belgrade), Sept. 5, 1968, pp. 13-14

[78]Bashkimi, Sep. 14, 1968

[79] ibid., Sep. 19, 1968; and Peking Review, Sep. 20, 1968, p. 4

[80] Peking Review, Oct. 4, 1968, p. 22. See also Richard Wich, Sino-soviet Crisis Politics (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1980), pp.67-71

[81] Peking Review, Oct. 11, 1968, p. 3

[82] Copper, China’s Foreign Aid, p. 37; “Albania’s 1968 Plan Fulfillment and the 1969 Plan,” Radio Free Europe, Jan. 28, 1969; and Y.C.Y., “Collusion Between the Peiping Regime and Albania,” Issues and Studies, 6, no. 4 (January, 1970), p. 4

[83]Bashkimi, Nov. 21, and Dec. 3, 1968

[84] ibid., Dec. 3, 1968

[85] The New York Times, Nov. 29, 1968; and The Washington Post, Mar. 2, 1971

[86] Albanian Letter, p. 37; and Hoxha, Reflections on China, l, p. 419

[87]Rabotnichesko Delo, Sept. 29 1968

[88]Zëri i Popullit, Nov. 3, 1968

[89] “The leadership of our Party considered Zhou Enlai’s proposal about the military alliance he was seeking to impose on us an attempt of a reactionary character on the part of the Chinese leadership to drive socialist Albania into the trap of warmongering plots through military alliances, with the final aim of turning the Balkan area into a powder keg, as the Soviet social­ imperialists and the U.S. imperialists are seeking to do.” See Albanian Letter, pp. 38-39

[90]NCNA International Service in English, 0116 Tanjug. 23, 1968

[91] Robin Alison Remington, “China’s emerging Role in Eastern Europe,” in The International Politics of Eastern Europe by Charles Gati (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1976), pp. 82-102

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