Recent history has certainly provided us with many examples of powerful, mutually beneficial alliances: France/England/US in WW I, Germany/Italy/Japan in WW II, just to name a few. These countries conglomerated to not solely for economic or military reasons, but for ideological reasons as well; France/England/US on the virtues of self-determination and democracy, Germany/Italy/Japan on the ideas of fascism and world domination. However, the greatest alliance of the 20th century that, perhaps, never truly came to be was that of the Soviet Union and China. Although their governmental structures were similar in design, their own particular views on the Communist idea, among other things, differed greatly. .
The winds of change were blowing over Eastern Europe and China towards the end of World War I. Russia, who was involved in the war at the time, was forced to secede from the conflict in 1917. The Bolshevik Revolution, headed by Vladimir Lenin, had seized power after Czar Nicholas II abdicated on March 15, 1917 (2). He and his family were then executed. The long era of the Czar in Russia had ended. After Lenin died in 1924, Josef Stalin, a bold, brash, and ruthless dictator came to power (2). Much like his future comrade Mao Tse-tung, he attempted to modernize and industrialize, what was now called the Soviet Union, with a series of 5-year plans (3). Unfortunately, like Mao's "Great Leap Foreword-, Stalin's 5-years plans met with little, if any success and caused great hardship for his people.
For China, it was a similar situation. The long-standing Manchu Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 (3). Chaos reined for the many years that followed, as different leaders vied for control of the country. Among these leaders was Chiang Kai-shek, head of the Guomindang, or nationalist, Party. Another party that struggled for control of the country during this time was the communists.