A Welcome Guest?
A Preliminary Assessment of Velio Spano's journey to Mao's China 1949-1950
Velio Spano was an important member of the Italian Communist Party, who visited Communist China in the crucial period of Autumn 1949 and wrote the first book in Italian about the Chinese revolution. Often mentioned in works dedicated to the history of Sino-Italian relations, this event has never been thoroughly studied. The recent availability of Spano’s personal archives offer the possibility to better investigate his visit to China and to place it in the complex political environment of that period. This paper is a first attempt to use Spano's personal records about his stay to explore the actual reality of his experience and the implications of his presence in 1949 China.
Keywords: 1949 China • Mao Zedong • Velio Spano • Chinese Communist Party • Sino-Italian Relations