Created: 5/27/1987

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A New Look at Prospects for Negotiations on Cambodia


Tor the fust lime in eightalf years, wc sec signsradual movement toward negotiations by most of the major players in the Cambodian conflict. Vietnam, in particular, appears eageresolve the issue--albeit still on its tcnns--so it can direct full energy In implementing sweeping economic reforms al home. Al the same time, wc believe the Vietnamese leadership has implicitly acknowledged thai the military victory over the Cambodian resistance it thought attainable as recently5 is, in fact, beyond reach. Although Vietnam's strategic superiority in Cambodia is not seriously challenged, an increase in Khmer Rouge guerrilla operations in most provinces has apparently dispelled any illusionsilitary victory is possible anytime soon. Theseealities, combined with the urgency to gel on with economic reforms, have, in our view, impelled Hanoi loiplomatic solution and to try to meet0 timetable for withdrawing its loices

Various ASRAN observer', though initially skeptical of Hanoi's Irial balloons, believe that progress may indeed bc possible, and Pnncc Sihanouk's recently announced sabbatical a' bead of the Coaliiion Government nf Democratic Kampuchea offers intriguing new prospects for negotiations. Pevelopmcnls lo dale, however, have only been to set the stage, and the major players have nol altered their fundamental objectives Tim.', even if negotiation* weregel under way soon, progress is likely to bc slow and subject to sudden rci-crsals. WcHanoi lo

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Vietnam, withajorrom Clio Siivici Union. i- providing the primary impetus Inwardambodian settlement by launching tn.il balloons to icM and improve like diplomatic .ilmosphcrc in SoulhCMl Asia. Sinceh Hanoi has.

ns lo improve rrhlioiitailand and China, although little

headway ban been

Encouraged various Western Communist panics and governments to assist in bringing about ncgnliations

Emphatically declared that it will withdraw .ill its .forces from Cambodiar soonercgniinicd settlement is reached.

term policy on Cambodia in the past two years to sweeping icfonns aimed at rejuvenating; ju flagging economy, ivily from the Soviets under Gorbachev, both in assigningremove csterna) obstacles lhal block full attentioneform ilie lie* Viem.mri leadership under piny chief Nguyenndia prohlcm hecausc it it an unnecded distraction to isolated fromrelations with Western countries thai



Wc believe devote incrcavd all In our view, the Vii pnorily loeasures

nh isconomic reformnd keeps vVn arc seen as essential to economic prngrc*

Although Vietnam has not made formal the apparent soficmng of_its stance on Cambodia, we believeoving in that direction As lateS.jMkwMftM

suggested Ibll Hanoi believed the Cambodia situation wasand that the rewstance and its supporters would eventually give up Now lis message is thai national reconciliation, including Khmer Rouge elements, isJ. in Nguyennn's words. Vietnam is willing 'to turnew leaf" in its dealings with ChinaEAN in Hie interest of regional stability tWmWtb

Ovci the near term, wc believes lo gel negotiations under way <iivcn its record of iBiweily. we 1i0 not cancel it to male dramatic concessions More an agreement to negotiate What we riprct insteadf laipfK rcisclcdpdated and induce AStlAN, (liina. and rcM-laner rh-mrnl* la cnti'ik<might feature nal<or;al uioiKihit.on ,ur*mg thehinei Hougr. btal predraied nntitiniacy uf live llrsvgl-taWa tpiiiiiiKin* year

Prince Sihanouk's recently announced sabbatical from Ihe resistance coalition, in our view, enhances the prospects for negotiations on Ombodia. Although his move weakens the coalition's leverage and will damage its support in the UN, he gains greater maneuverability in dealing with Victnai without being hampered by KJjmer Rouge and Chinese concerns. Hanoi is almost certain to move quickly to establish


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; in ihise.ssc jail* itinc Sih.in.mli would he mtvling kiiIi auy bicaihc im lik mm ihi- format.

ourAS1;AN economic rbrCC* io (he region (lire: Cambodian settlement. Il has heci iiivolvcmcnliciniim overowever, ASl'AN ilsclf is vulncral Irade wilh Vietnam is roughly cuu;

lis milli<ii1

in tne iv.uc.


illy improve (he

Ihe encouraging signals over Ihcs. ai bcsl. in iis preliminary stapes None ol* the prii and (he same modes! initiatives (hal haveor example, Hanoi's overtures io Princend resistance officials as ploys to splii ihc resistance

diplomatic solulion ly altered ils objectiucs, :ions in somehinese. ASl'AN.

Although ASP.AN would he gratified by the onsrl ol ncgotwiions. ti<mill nipt list protf" *hcillion mmldvr. Sd-nouk stands fiRn or. his Mhhatirat plan). it Khmer Kinase,penly resell loodious hehavwif it lo*ecxr nmsnlci ttvit il* lailurcofihr aetomrnimWanccr ioilh few Kirr-imnie chips,rl.iri.nl to muse niucfchr into n

hire tl

the same time, Moscow is contending that its ability toa known concern for its independence, couniernrod uc'ive

ASEAN and Chinese demands to exercise its influence, compromise is limited. We believe, in light of Hanoi'sini7.es thai pushingrd might be

The Chinese

China holds lo iu position, both publicly and privately thai pressure on Vietnam must be sustained until Hanoi agrees to withdraw its forces from Cambodia and permit nationalas-rela:ivcly linii'ed direct levcrag

.elieve Beijing is sincere in its callTnanrndepcndcntTnon socialist, non-aligned Cambodia, bccauseXhinese goals are not In dominate Cambodia, but to prevent the Vietnamese from doing so.W

We sense that Beijing recognizes that il is poorly jiositioned lo force the Vietnamese out of Cambodia Over lime. China would probably soften its stand in order to avoid becoming isolated if it believed ASEAN were movingettlementtnam. Like Hanoi, however. Beijing woult make concessions only grudgingly.

Hanoi has not publicly altered iis posiuieuch key issues as the legitirnecy of theof Kampuchea and elimination of the I'nl I'ms sat- of any settlement

lanoi will stnvc

to meet its self-proclaimed goal of withdrawing iis troops by IWO. pmv,dcd it can obtain sufficient guarantees against Chinese and Khmer Rouge efforts toettlement to Iheir advantage. fl^^B

kec/i'Tcors/tAcr Oftc'oN

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