When the long-time Soviet leader Iosif Stalin died in March 1953, China was in the midst of a social transformation that was generating widespread anxiety and social tensions. Such sentiments were reflected in 30 reports compiled by Xinhua reporters of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concerning ordinary Chinese citizens' reactions to the death of Stalin. Some Chinese citizens had supported Stalin and, by extension, the CCP and were anxious about the CCP's ability to survive and rule in an uncertain post-Stalin world. Others were happy to see Stalin's departure and waited hopefully for the collapse of the CCP. This article assesses the wide range of opinions as reflected in the CCP's internal reports.
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