Our panelists will examine how these transborder episodes between the 1920s and the 1940s echoed through Chinese history in the second half of the twentieth century. After the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949, state-society relations in China’s borderlands continued to be profoundly shaped by these areas’ early contact with quasi-socialist administration under Japanese and Soviet influence. In each case, these experiences left a tangled legacy, one extending beyond questions of class warfare. In Inner Mongolia and Manchuria, the experience of Japanese occupation raised troubling questions of conflicting ethnic, national, and imperial loyalties, and accusations of collaboration remained potent for decades. In the predominantly Muslim Xinjiang region, the USSR’s key ideological role in the 1930s and 1940s created persistent issues of divided loyalties among the province’s native population, significant segments of which retained strong pro-Soviet leanings even after the Sino-Soviet split. Finally, in the overseas Chinese communities where the Comintern and the Chinese Communist Party were active, local Chinese often found themselves navigating difficult questions of loyalty: attempting to prove their belonging in new nations in which they were minorities, while at the same time professing allegiance to an internationalist communist ideal, as well as to a far-off revolution in China. Our panel will demonstrate the enduring significance of these episodes of socialist construction at the fringes of pre-Communist China, and demonstrate that Chinese communism had multiple origins—some of them far removed from the centralized Chinese Communist Party organizing that dominates most narratives of Chinese communism's historical development.