Communism is one of the ideologies that most countries, including China and the Soviet Union adopted. It denotes a political and economic ideology that leans on the opposition to liberal democracies instead of following a classless society whereby the production means are privately owned, and most private properties are non-existent. In simple terms, most communist states strive to adopt political and economic doctrines that use public ownership in place of private property (Heinzig, n.p). Communism in China and the Soviet Union had a wide range of similarities and differences. Although the Soviet Union’s relations were mainly antagonistic, the two countries advocated for the centralized production and distribution of goods. Goods in the two countries were produced and distributed by the state planning agencies instead of the existing markets.
The second similarity between the communisms directly relates to leadership. Both Stalin and Mao were immoral and also effective in handling specific issues affecting the country. Although China has an immoral leader, it successfully adapted to changes in society by instituting economic reforms before political reforms (Heinzig, n.p). Although Stalin also adopted such a strategy, failure to adapt to time, its miscalculation of national identities and the absence of strong connections resulted in the slow disintegration of communism in the Soviet Union (Heinzig, n.p).
Despite the outlined similarities, China and the Soviet Union had apparent differences, one of the common ones being early ideological differences. Although China adhered closely to the Soviet Union’s political philosophy, Mao: one of the founding members of communism in China, did not agree on the worker’s revolution in China (Price, 159). Since Mao argued that most Chinese workers were peasants, he developed a concept primarily focused on the peasant revolution. In the early 1950s, the development of a major ideological rift resulted in the Soviet Union advocating for coexistence with capitalism while China focused on continuing with its aggression policies (Price, 163).
The other difference between communism in China and the Soviet Union relates to the masses. The communist ideology is one that is widespread among the masses. As a result, when analyzing it in China’s context, it was one of the most viable and productive forms of government. Although China had a huge revolution: from the bottom to the top, the Soviet Union had power but not the masses, which significantly contributed to its inefficiencies.
The last major difference between the two countries relates to the formulated policies after the death of Mao and Stalin. After the demise of Mao, China made several changes to its government hence providing its citizens with great freedoms. Additionally, China made reforms on its economic policies, allowing foreign trade instead of centralized ones. On the other hand, the Soviet Union remained adamant about instituting any reforms that they believed were capitalist in nature (Price, 173). As a result, this contributed to its economic decline and ultimate fall.
Heinig, Dieter. The Soviet Union and communist China 1945–1950: the arduous road to the alliance. Routledge, 2015.
Price, Ronald F. “Convergence or copying: China and the Soviet Union.” China’s Education and the Industrialized World. Routledge, 2017. 158-322.