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The Three Worlds Theory (simplified Chinese: 三个世界的理论traditional Chinese: 三個世界的理論pinyin: Sān gè Shìjiè dì Lǐlùn), developed by Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong (1893–1976), posited that international relations comprise three politicoeconomic worlds: the First World, the superpowers, the Second World, the superpowers' allies, and the Third World, the nations of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Notably, Chairman Mao included the US and the Soviet Union in the First World group of countries. In 1974, then Chinese Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping (1904–97), explained the Three Worlds Theory in a speech to the United Nations, explaining the politico-economic alliances of the People's Republic of China with Right-wing, reactionary governments in the late 1970s and the 1980s.

The Three Worlds Theory developed by Mao Zedong was different from the Western theory of the Three Worlds. The Western theory said that the First World was the United States and its allies, the Second World was the Soviet Union and its allies, and the Third World was the neutral and nonaligned countries.

Some anti-revisionist political parties and organizations were disillusioned by the Three Worlds Theory. Subsequently, in Albania, Enver Hoxha (1908–85), leader of the Party of Labour of Albania, presented and practised a critical ideological alternative form of government and basic ideology, distanced from the Three Worlds Theory and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s revisionism. After debate, many anti-revisionist parties, previously allied with the Communist Party of China, transferred their loyalties to the Party of Labour of Albania.

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