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A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976 by Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia (review)

A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976... 140 China Review International: Vol. 24, No. 2, 2017 Modern China, Power versus Law in Modern China: Cities, Courts, and the Communist Party, Chinese Complaint Systems: Natural Resistance, and Modern Chinese Legal Reform: New Perspectives. Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia. A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. xiv, 357 pp. Hardcover $65.00, ISBN 978-0-231-18826-5. Sometimes a book needs to be written to obliterate a single word in conventional discourse. In the case of Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia’s new opus on Chinese- North Korean relations, the word (or phrase) is “traditional friendship.” From the outset of their impressive and widely-sourced book, the authors endeavor to pry apart the building blocks of Pyongyang’s connectivity with the Chinese Communist Party, and likewise to untangle how Mao and the CCP navigated their own needs while dealing with Kim Il-Sung’s Korean Workers’ Party. Their aim is, as they put it, a destructive one: “it is necessary to refute the historical myth, to tear off the veil, and to eliminate the special set phrases that have been used to describe the history of the relationship” (p. 2). This is a tall order, given http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976 by Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia (review)

China Review International , Volume 24 (2) – Jun 4, 2019

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367

Abstract

140 China Review International: Vol. 24, No. 2, 2017 Modern China, Power versus Law in Modern China: Cities, Courts, and the Communist Party, Chinese Complaint Systems: Natural Resistance, and Modern Chinese Legal Reform: New Perspectives. Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia. A Misunderstood Friendship: Mao Zedong, Kim Il-sung, and Sino-North Korean Relations, 1949–1976. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. xiv, 357 pp. Hardcover $65.00, ISBN 978-0-231-18826-5. Sometimes a book needs to be written to obliterate a single word in conventional discourse. In the case of Zhihua Shen and Yafeng Xia’s new opus on Chinese- North Korean relations, the word (or phrase) is “traditional friendship.” From the outset of their impressive and widely-sourced book, the authors endeavor to pry apart the building blocks of Pyongyang’s connectivity with the Chinese Communist Party, and likewise to untangle how Mao and the CCP navigated their own needs while dealing with Kim Il-Sung’s Korean Workers’ Party. Their aim is, as they put it, a destructive one: “it is necessary to refute the historical myth, to tear off the veil, and to eliminate the special set phrases that have been used to describe the history of the relationship” (p. 2). This is a tall order, given

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 4, 2019

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