chapter  VI
‘Socialist’ Consolidation (1956)
ByBill Brugger
Pages 22

Nikita Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin, at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, provided an opportunity for the leaders of both countries to embark upon a theoretical examination of the problems encountered in socialist transition. The attempt to draw up socialist legal codes, which had commenced in 1953, was speeded up under the guidance of Pang Zhen. The official Chinese position, which gradually evolved in early 1956, was that Stalin's errors should be seen not in terms of the Soviet leader's personal aberration but as the result of internal contradictions occurring in socialist society. During the earlier 'high tide' of co-operativisation, there had not only been economic disruption but a certain amount of administrative confusion had been caused by a shortage of rural cadres. A major factor in bringing about the deradicalisation decisions and the new period of moderate policies was China's response to events in the International Communist Movement.