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The Cultural Revolution and China’s Policy towards North Korea: From the Mid-1960s to the Early 1970s

Title
The Cultural Revolution and China’s Policy towards North Korea: From the Mid-1960s to the Early 1970s
Author
우균호
Advisor(s)
Yong-Pyo Hong
Issue Date
2020-08
Publisher
한양대학교
Degree
Master
Abstract
The Cultural Revolution was an unprecedented period of chaos after the founding of the People’s Republic of China. During this period, China experienced a large-scale civil strife and its economic construction and social development also stagnated. Similarly, during the Cultural Revolution, Sino-North Korean relations also fluctuated dramatically. From 1966 to 1969, the contradiction between China and North Korea came out into the open and Chinese society also launched a series of attack on North Korea and Kim Il-sung. The relations between the two countries deteriorated rapidly during this period and reached the lowest point in history. After 1969, as the situation of the Cultural Revolution was gradually brought under control, Chinese leaders began to improve their foreign policy which was severely damaged in the early period of the Cultural Revolution. During this period, with Zhou Enlai’s visit to Pyongyang and Kim Il-sung’s visit to Beijing, the relations between the two countries gradually improved and almost returned to the situation before the Cultural Revolution. In the early 1970s, although the relations between these two countries developed steadily, the contradictions between China and North Korea still existed. The existent research on Sino-North Korean relations during the Cultural Revolution often focuses on external factors that influence the relations between the two countries, such as the factor of the Soviet Union and the influence of Sino-US reconciliation on Sino-North Korean relations. However, the influence of the Cultural Revolution on Sino-North Korean relation is rarely researched. In view of this, this research attempts to study the influence of the Cultural Revolution on Sino-North Korean relations from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s through the analysis of some historical facts in the early and middle period of the Cultural Revolution. Despite the rapid deterioration of Sino-North Korean relations followed with the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution, the Cultural Revolution itself was not the main reason for the deterioration of relations between the two countries. In fact, after 1964, the different evaluations of the Soviet Union’s new leaders made by Chinese and North Korean leaders led to a growing contradiction between the two countries and the relations between the two countries had started to be deteriorated. The main role of the Cultural Revolution was to open up the already deteriorated Sino-North Korean relations. At the same time, the Cultural Revolution was a deep social mobilization of the Chinese people. In this process, the political contradictions between the two countries were spread to Chinese society, leading to hostility towards North Korea in Chinese society. From 1969 to 1970, Sino-North Korean relations gradually improved. In 1970, with Zhou Enlai’s visit to Pyongyang and Kim Il-sung’s visit to Beijing, the political relations between the two countries almost resumed. The main reason for the improvement of relations between the two countries was that after 1968, Mao Zedong adopted a series of measures to ease the situation of fierce domestic struggle. In April 1969, the convening of the 9th National Congress of the Communist Party of China marked that the domestic situation was completely controlled by Mao and the Communist Party of China, which undoubtedly provided a very good background for the improvement of Sino-North Korean relations. After entering the 1970s, Mao tried to improve relations with the United States to fight against the Soviet Union. Although this measure contributed to Sino-US reconciliation, it also caused a bad consequence that China lost its ideological appeal. In order to change this unfavorable situation, Mao put forward the Three Worlds Theory and attempted to become the spokesperson of the third world. As the only remaining ally of China, North Korea received a large amount of supporting from China, which objectively led to the friendly and stably development of relations between the two countries in the early 1970s. Kim Il-sung keenly found opportunities from China’s foreign policy changes and attempted to spread the Juche Ideas to the world. Therefore, during this period, some ideological competition still existed between China and North Korea.
URI
https://repository.hanyang.ac.kr/handle/20.500.11754/152739http://hanyang.dcollection.net/common/orgView/200000438279
Appears in Collections:
GRADUATE SCHOOL[S](대학원) > POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES(정치외교학과) > Theses (Master)
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