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The Sino–Albanian split in 1978 saw the parting of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and People's Socialist Republic of Albania, which was the only Eastern European nation to side with the PRC in the Sino-Soviet split of the early 1960s.
The relations between Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Party of Labour of Albania (PPSh) had stagnated by 1970. When China began to reemerge from isolation in the early 1970s, Mao Zedong and other Communist Chinese leaders reassessed their commitment to Albania. In response, Tirana, led by Enver Hoxha, began broadening its international position. Albania opened trade negotiations with France, Italy and the newly independent Asian and African states, and later in 1971 it normalized relations with Yugoslavia and Greece. Albania's leaders abhorred the PRC's rapprochement with the United States in the early 1970s. Tirana press and radio ignored President Richard Nixon's trip to Beijing in 1972. Nevertheless, Albania proposed the key resolution in the UN General Assembly which enabled the PRC to replace the Republic of China in the United Nations.
Albania actively worked to reduce its dependence on China by diversifying trade and improving diplomatic and cultural relations especially with Western Europe. However, Albania shunned the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe and was the only European country (with the exception of Andorra) that refused to take part in the Helsinki Conference of July 1975.
Soon after Mao's death in 1976 and after the removal of the Gang of Four of the Cultural Revolution period, Enver Hoxha condemned the new leadership as well as its Three Worlds Theory. The PRC's response was to invite Josip Broz Tito to Beijing in 1977, signaling the end of its assistance programs for Albania in 1978.
The break with the PRC left Albania without foreign protection. Tirana ignored calls by the United States and the Soviet Union to normalize relations. Instead, Albania expanded diplomatic ties with Western Europe and the developing nations and began stressing the principle of self-reliance as the keystone of the country's strategy for economic development.
Although of little importance in world politics, the Sino-Albanian split and the debates around Three Worlds Theory produced a major split in the international Maoist movement, with many anti-revisionist groups choosing to side with PPSh's orthodox stance, and other groups splitting over the issue. This tendency has occasionally been labeled as Hoxhaism after Albanian leader Enver Hoxha. Main alliances of PPSh were in Africa, Turkey and in Latin America. Most notable groups include the Communist Party of Brazil in its fight against the pro-American military government and the Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray in its fight against the pro-Soviet government led by Mengistu Haile Mariam.
- China–Albania Friendship Association
- History of Communist Albania
- Three Worlds Theory
- International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations (Unity & Struggle)
- Soviet-Albanian Split