This dissertation chronologically traces East German-Chinese bilateral relations from 1956 to 1966. Its main aim is a systematic analysis of the development and the underlying causes of East German China policy in the context of Sino-Soviet tensions. It makes extensive use of the now available East German archival sources to re-evaluate earlier assessments. In particular, it qualifies the fixation on the Soviet Union, which was prevalent in studies conducted during the Cold War era. It argues that apart from the Soviet Union, which principally set the framework for East German China policy, the German question was the main factor which decisively impacted this policy. Further, it demonstrates that domestic considerations were only important in a few instances, while economic considerations played a subsidiary role and did not per se constitute a crucial motivation for East German China policy