Advanced geophysical techniques developed in Hungary contributed immensely to the success of geological surveys carried out in the PRC after 1956. A group of Hungarian geophysicists played a pivotal role in discovering and exploring oil deposits in the Songliao Basin, which later became known as Daqing, the largest oil field in China. Based on declassified primary sources from Hungarian archives and firsthand testimony from people involved in the expedition, this article examines how Sino-Hungarian cooperation in Cold War activities evolved against the backdrop of the radicalization of Chinese politics and growing tensions between the Soviet Union and China. Taking the Hungarian geophysicists’ expedition as an example, the article explores the historical setting of early exchanges and the daily practice of scientific and technological interactions between the PRC and one of the closest East European allies of the Soviet Union.

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