Three Worlds Theory

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The Three Worlds Theory (simplified Chinese: 三个世界的理论; traditional Chinese: 三個世界的理論; pinyin: Sān gè Shìjiè de Lǐlùn), developed by Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong (1893–1976), posited that international relations comprise three politicoeconomic worlds: the First World, the superpowers; the Second World, the Soviet allies; and the Third World, the nations of the Non-Aligned Movement.[1]

Notably, Chairman Mao included the US and the Soviet Union in the First World group of countries. In 1974, then Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping (1904–97) explained the Three Worlds Theory in a speech to the United Nations, justifying China's cooperation with non-communist countries.[citation needed]

The Three Worlds Theory developed by Mao Zedong was different from the Western theory of the Three Worlds. The Western theory said that the First World was the United States and its allies, the Second World was the Soviet Union and its allies, and the Third World was the neutral and nonaligned countries.

Some anti-revisionist political parties and organizations were disillusioned by the Three Worlds Theory. Subsequently, in Albania, Enver Hoxha (1908–85), leader of the Party of Labour of Albania, posited an ideological alternative, opposed to both the Three Worlds Theory and to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s stance. This led to the Sino-Albanian split among communist parties previously aligned with China and Albania.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Saba. "The Theory of Three Worlds". Red Dawn Commitee. 

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