The Sino-Soviet rift/split is a complicated issue. But there can be little doubt that it was complete by mid 1963, when the «Polemics on the General Line» were released by the Chinese Communist Party.

However, From Lorentz M. Lüthi‘s book «The Sino-Soviet Split» I gained the following understanding of the hefty grain aids that the Russians (shortly before the complete split) agreed to deliver to China - but Semaphore‘s comment says that the first three are actually the same!

  • 1961 Feb. Need for emergency grain purchases, volume unclear [Lüthi, 199]
  • 1961 Feb. Khrushchev offered 1 million tons of grain and 500,000 tons of Cuban sugar on a loan basis. China agreed to use the sugar loan and asked to keep the grain offer in reserve. The PRC however used part of the offer soon after [Lüthi, 200]
  • 1961? Mar. In late March, Zhou also approached the Soviets with a request to deliver on loan another 300,000 tons of grain [ibid]
  • 1962: the Soviet government agreed to deliver 350,000 tons (grain) immediately in exchange for the delivery of 150,000 tons of rice later in the year.49 With this, Soviet food aid ended [ibid]


Does anyone know if or when these were payed back?

For some of them, I noticed, Lüthi states they were granted, but that doesn’t mean they were received!

  • 2
    The source you cited states they were paid back the same year. You may have misunderstood it - your bullet points 1-3 are all referring to the same thing. Zhou En-lai's request was made in 1961, not 1962, and it was requesting partial use of Khruschev's earlier offer (i.e. the author was expanding on the previous sentence). So the actual aid shipments were the 2/300,000 tons in 1961, and the 350,000 tons in 1962. As your source states, the 1961 aid shipment was paid back with Canadian imports in Autumn that year, while the 1962 aid was repaid with rice shipments later in the same year.
    – Semaphore
    Jul 14, 2020 at 11:51
  • @Semaphore He states that they agreed for X in exchange for Y, but not that Y was delivered!!! But your observation that some of these are the same is very valuable. Semaphore what does he mean with the imports? China got grain from Russia and later imported grain from Canada to give to Russia?!
    – Ludi
    Jul 14, 2020 at 11:52
  • 1
    (1) ....that seems quite semantical. He didn't literally state that X was delivered either, but you still understand it to mean that it did, from the lack of any note to the contrary. Same thing here. You can readily confirm, for example here, the USSR did import 150,000 tons of rice that year. (2) Yes. Apparently China had already ordered a shipment from Canada, but needed some food immediately.
    – Semaphore
    Jul 14, 2020 at 12:04
  • @Semaphore Your Reverse Point is absolutely true. In fact I also thought about asking how much the Chinese received, because a presenter once claimed it was not all the requested amount. But then I thought, keep questions separate.
    – Ludi
    Jul 14, 2020 at 12:08
  • 2
    That might be in reference to the 1961 aid, as Chinese sources usually states it was only 200,000 tons. This is also the figure given by Barbara Barnouin in Zhou Enlai: A Political Life ("Yet all this was inadequate. On an inspection tour to the northeast, Zhou found that the area was so short of grain that he finally accepted an offer of 200,000 tons from the Soviet Far East to feed China's northeast. It was later repaid with imported grain."), and I believe she cited a Chinese source for this sentence.
    – Semaphore
    Jul 14, 2020 at 12:17


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