Soviet Union Premier Nikita Khrushchev: The difference between the Soviet Union and China is that I rose to power from the peasant class, whereas you came from the privileged Mandarin class.

Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai: True. But there is this similarity. Each of us is a traitor to his class.

 

The quote reflects the diplomatic district that was seething in the Sino-Society relationship in the 1960s. The Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance was in effect at the time, meaning they the two communist states were allied. A diplomatic row where the Chinese claimed that the Russian politburo was not fateful to Leninism anymore would lead to a breakdown of diplomatic relations. China would become isolated in the collar war, and eventually move to detente with the US. This was the start of the end of the Soviet spheres of influence. Yet the quote also reflects the intellect and sharp wit of the politicians of the time, was well as a social commentary on the nature and image of what a communist should be.