One of the most frequent works Mao cites is Stalin’s Short Course, but he also has some rather nice things to say about Iosef.
In a piece from 1939 called ‘Stalin, Friend of the Chinese People’, Mao wrote:
On the Twenty-first of December, Comrade Stalin will be sixty years old. We can be sure that his birthday will evoke warm and affectionate congratulations from the hearts of all revolutionary people throughout the world who know of the occasion.
Congratulating Stalin is not a formality. Congratulating Stalin means supporting him and his cause, supporting the victory of socialism, and the way forward for mankind which he points out, it means supporting a dear friend. For the great majority of mankind today are suffering, and mankind can free itself from suffering only by the road pointed out by Stalin and with his help.
Living in a period of the bitterest suffering in our history, we Chinese people most urgently need help from others. The Book of Odes says, “A bird sings out to draw a friend’s response.” This aptly describes our present situation.
But who are our friends?
There are so-called friends, self-styled friends of the Chinese people, whom even some Chinese unthinkingly accept as friends. But such friends can only be classed with Li Lin-fu, the prime minister in the Tang Dynasty who was notorious as a man with ‘honey on his lips and murder in his heart’. They are indeed ‘friends’ with ‘honey on their lips and murder in their hearts’. Who are these people? They are the imperialists who profess sympathy with China.
However, there are friends of another kind, friends who have real sympathy with us and regard us as brothers. Who are they? They are the Soviet people and Stalin.
No other country has renounced its privileges in China; the Soviet Union alone has done so.
All the imperialists opposed us during our First Great Revolution; the Soviet Union alone helped us.
No government of any imperialist country has given us real help since the outbreak of the War of Resistance Against Japan; the Soviet Union alone has helped China with its aviation and supplies.
Is not the point clear enough?
Only the land of socialism, its leaders and people, and socialist thinkers, statesmen and workers can give real help to the cause of liberation of the Chinese nation and the Chinese people, and without their help our cause cannot win final victory.
Stalin is the true friend of the cause of liberation of the Chinese people. No attempt to sow dissension, no lies and calumnies, can affect the Chinese people’s whole-hearted love and respect for Stalin and our genuine friendship for the Soviet Union.
On Stalin’s 70th birthday, Mao sent this telegram:
The Council of Ministers,
The Government of the Soviet Union
On this happy occasion of Your Excellency’s seventieth birthday, I sincerely extend to you my respect and my best wishes for the daily strengthening of the fortress for world peace and democracy under Your Excellency’s leadership.
In Beijing, they even had a birthday celebration for Stalin, where Mao said:
Dear comrades and friends:
I am genuinely pleased to have the chance to join this distinguished gathering in celebration of the seventieth birthday of Comrade Stalin.
Comrade Stalin is a teacher and friend of the people of the world as well as a teacher and friend of the Chinese people. He has further developed the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism and has made extremely outstanding and extensive contributions to the cause of world Communist movement. In the arduous struggle to resist their oppressors, the Chinese people have become deeply appreciative of the importance of Comrade Stalin’s friendship.
At this distinguished gathering, on behalf of the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China, I congratulate Comrade Stalin on his seventieth birthday and wish him health and longevity. We wish well- being, strength, and prosperity to our great friend, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Comrade Stalin. We hail the great unprecedented solidarity of the working class in the world under the leadership of Comrade Stalin.
Long live the great Stalin, leader of the world’s working class and of the international Communist movement!
Long live the Soviet Union, the stronghold of world peace and democracy!