Reconsidering “Eternal Brotherhood”: the Transfer of Nuclear Technology from the Former Soviet Union to the People’s Republic of China in the 1950s
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It has been insisted in an authorized historical record compiled in People’s Republic of China that due to incompleteness and insufficiency of the scientific and technological supports from the Soviet Union, the Chinese initial nuclear weapon development had to be conducted by Chinese scientists and engineers through their “single-handed efforts.” Such a view was widely accepted today not only in China but also in Japan or other countries. However, as seen in the two letters with the joint signature of Igor’ Kurchatov, the top scientist in the Soviet nuclear development, and the top managers of the Soviet nuclear industry to the Soviet political leadership which were included in Volume No.6 of Igor’ Kurchatov’s Selected Works published in the autumn of 2013, those influential key-persons recommended more active exportation of nuclear technology to China. This paper is a trial to reexamine and reevaluate the Soviet aids toward People’s China in this field on the basis of those letters, the memoirs of the involved Soviet specialists, such as Evgenii Vorov’yov and the Chinese historiography.
The research was supported by the grant-in-aid of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) [Basic research – type C. No. 25350381: Representative – Ichikawa, Hiroshi] and the grant-in-aid of JSPS [Basic research– type B. No. 18H0070101: Representative – Kido, Ei-ichi (Osaka University)].
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