A National Development Scheme of China in Early 1950s: Sending Students Abroad to Study

Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Advanced Research in Social Sciences

Year: 2021


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A National Development Scheme of China in Early 1950s: Sending Students Abroad to Study

Rong Zhang, Yu Li



Due to similar political views, the Chinese Communist Party and the Soviet Union built close ties in their diplomatic relations during the early period of the1920s. Soon after the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the Chinese government decided to send students to a special school in Russia to learn advanced technology and management knowledge. The Chinese government set up rules and regulations for the selection of students and their Russian language training. Anyhow, a political check was considered the most significant part of the criteria to ensure that the students chosen had a strong belief in the Chinese Communist Party. This national scheme cultivated many professionals who have had a substantial influence on the development and growth of young China afterward. However, at the same time, some of the students were not given chances to make use of what they learned in the Soviet Union and contribute to the industrialization process of the new country. This paper introduces the historical background of this project, explains the detailed student-selection criteria and examines the diverse ideology of the Communist leaders regarding the construction of the country and justifying social arrangements. We believe that the dispute between the two groups, which emphasized expertise and political loyalty, respectively, foreshadows the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution in 1966.

keywords: Chinese students in Soviet Union, China in 1950s, Cultural Revolution, political loyalty.