6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Mao, Stalin and the Korean War: Trilateral Communist Relations in the 1950s

Shen Zhihua, former Wilson Center public policy scholar and director of the Center for Cold War International History Studies at East China Normal University will discuss his latest book entitled, “Mao, Stalin and the Korean War: Trilateral Communist Relations in the 1950s” which examines relations between China and the Soviet Union during the 1950s, giving unique insight into the Chinese way thinking about the Korean War.

"Mao, Stalin and the Korean War" represents a revisionist perspective on trilateral Communist alliance relations during the Korean War, which sheds new light on the origins of the Sino-Soviet split and relations between China and North Korea. It covers a broad range of topics and backgrounds, including: Communist China, Stalinist Russia, the Korean War, Cold War Studies and International History in general. Combining information from Soviet-era diplomatic documents with Chinese memoirs, official document collections and scholarly monographs, Shen presents a non-ideological, realpolitik account of the relations, motivations and actions among three Communist actors: Stalin, Mao Zedong and Kim Il-sung.

Joining Shen Zhihua on the panel is Vladislav M. Zubok, Professor of History at Temple University.

Christian Ostermann, director of the Wilson Center’s History and Public Policy Program will chair the event.


  • Shen Zhihua

    Public Policy Scholar
    Director, Center for Cold War International History Studies, East China Normal University (ECNU), Shanghai, China
  • James Person

    Global Fellow
    Professor of Korean Studies and Asia Programs, JHU SAIS; Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute, SAIS
  • Vladislav Zubok

    Professor of International History, London School of Economics