This article offers a fresh perspective on the establishment of a one-party constitutional structure in China from 1948 to 1954, using documents and first-hand accounts published in China over the past two decades. These documents suggest that the Stalinization of China cannot be understood outside the larger context of the political Stalinization of the rest of the Communist world. Stalin played a critical role in determining the pace of political reform in China, and he actively encouraged Mao to allow non-Communists to take part in the Chinese electoral process and in the writing of the Chinese constitution. Although Mao would have preferred to establish a Soviet-style one-party system right away, he readily yielded to Stalin's advice. Mao chose to obey Stalin's dictates for political reform so that he could gain greater independence in domestic economic policies.

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