Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

gle with the Soviet Union and drummed up support for the Chinese in the international Marxist communities.

In 1971, however, relations between the two countries began to cool down. After border clashes between Soviet and Chinese troops took place in 1969, the Albanians began to have doubts about their giant ally's real strength. When the Chinese leadership decided to renew its relations with the United States, the Albanians openly objected. The verbal support given by the Chinese to NATO and the Common Market further discomfited the Albanians. After the death of Mao Tse-tung and Chu-en-lai, Enver Hoxha criticized the foreign policies of the new Chinese leaders calling them a departure from the teachings of Marx and Lenin. In 1978, Albania endorsed Vietnam's stand against China and praised the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea.

By 1977, China had withdrawn all technicians and military advisers from Albania and had discontinued economic aid. Although diplomatic relations were not severed, they remained cool throughout the 1980s.


Bibliography

Biberaj Elez, Albania and China: A Study of an Unequal Alliance ( Boulder, CO, 1968); Griffith William, Albania and the Sino-Soviet Rift ( Cambridge, MA, 1963); Hamm Harry, Albania: China's Beachhead in Europe ( New York, 1963); Marmullaku Ramadan Albania and the Albanians ( London, 1975).

Civil War in Albania (1943-1944). A fierce struggle, conducted by guerrilla bands, who called themselves Partisans during 1943 and 1944, eventually led to the formation of the communist state in Albania. The communists organized the struggle against the foreign troops of occupation as well as the internal enemies of communism whom they called the bourgeoisie.

The first attacks were hit-and-run affairs directed against the Italians in 1942. In November of that year, Midhat Frasheri formed the Balli Kom-betar, a noncommunist, nationalist resistance group, which joined in the struggle against the occupiers. There was, at first, some cooperation between the communists and the nationalists, but each group harbored deep suspicions against the other. There were also mutual recriminations if an operation did not succeed. The Balli Kombetar accused the communists of being Soviet agents and of deliberately exposing civilians to retaliation by the enemy. The communists insisted that the Balli Kombetar cooperated with the fascists. Before things got out of hand, the communists proposed to hold a joint meeting. The Balli Kombetar accepted the proposal, and the two sides met at the village of Mukaj in August 1943. The representatives agreed to establish a common front against the Germans and Italians. They also agreed to work for an ethnic Albanian state which would include the province of Kosovo within its borders. There would be free elections after the conclusion of the struggle to determine the shape of the state for all Albanians.

Enver Hoxha (see Hoxha, Enver) rejected the agreement. He charged that the Balli Kombetar intended to seize power after the war. But he acted under Yugoslav pres

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