Special Forum

In March 2017, during the visit of Premier Li Keqiang to New Zealand, a senior Chinese diplomat favorably compared New Zealand-China relations to the level of closeness China had with Albania in the early 1960s. It was a startling and telling analogy, one which disconcerted New Zealand diplomats. In the Cold War years, Albania was the proxy for the global power struggle between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). As the Sino-Soviet split deepened in the early 1960s, Albania became estranged from the Soviet Union. Despite ideological differences with the policies of Mao Zedong, the government of Enver Hoxha was economically and politically dependent on the PRC. The China-Albania relationship had a negative impact on Albania politics, bolstering Hoxha’s power and isolating the nation from other partners. In the late 1970s the close relationship ruptured over China’s failure to deliver economic development assistance and an ideological split. By the end of the Cold War era, Albania had become one of the poorest, most politically divided, and most corrupt of the former Eastern Bloc states.1

Read full article at www.theasanforum.org.
facebook share twitter share google+ share