CHINA'S CONCERNS ABOUT THE STRATEGIC DEFENSE INITIATIVE

Created: 1/22/1985

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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DIRECTORATE OF INTELLIGENCE

anuary I!

Chinas Concerns About tho Stratanjc DefenseUMMARY

Recont Chinese press commentary underscores Bailing's concern mat iho Strategic Oefenso initiative (SDl) couldew US-USSR arms race and cause lha Soviets to abrogate2 Amiballisnc Missile (ABM) Treaty Tne Chinese 'ear thai this would causs iho Soviets to build up their ballistic missile defenses, which could nullify Chinas independent nuclear deterrent In response to inese concerns Iho Chinese arc appealing ta European and other world leaders in an cf'on to increase the pressure lor limitations ol sirstegic defensive systems At the same Hme. the Chinese are attempting to improve Ihoir capability to Qestroy defended targets such as Moscow

il mi;.

ese Position on SDl

Articles Inofficial Cnmete press and individual commentators Mrt expressed the fei mat the US Strategy Defense Initiative and ma development cf antoatellrle wiipom by Bothnd accelerate the arm* race Between tho Untied States and the USSR The Chinese argue that tne Soviet Union will (l) claim SOi violatei2 ABM Treatyssurances that rt doesOrogate tne treaty,mprove the missile defensesMoscow and througnoui meChinese propaganda has Cegun attacking me SDl snd thef amnateltite weapons as an extension of me US-USSR armsontinued quest tor hegemony1 superpowers,rave threat to world peace I

Official Chinese statements on arms control itself have oven limited1 proposal- since repeated frequently "that (he United States and the Soviet Urnon each reduce their nuclear0 percent, at which point tne Chinese would join further arms reduction talks that included all nucleai weipona states In tact. Beijing almost certainly does not expect toirect efiec: on renewed arms negotiations, noi Ooea it want to place Ki own small strategic force on the bargaining table Bather, we believe, the Chinese are appealing to European and other world leadersnified stance in favoreneraluclear armsalt io the development of space-based weacons J

The Chinese commentator* warn West European leaders that whether or not future superpower defensive systems are effective agamst each other's missiles, they could be effective against the much smaller strategic forces of France and me United Kingdom According to one article, the results could include

of an independent French or British nuclear deterrent

weakening of European political influence in the rest of the world.

vulnerability of Europe to nuclear blackmail from the Soviets.

greater dependence on the Umiod States lor nuclear protection

The author ot tho article does not directlyarallel between the European and Chinese situationsis me Soviet Union but its implication is unmistakable |

in December, before me talks between Secretary Shulii and Sou.eiGromyko on the resumption ol arms negotiations. Ihe Chinesehat the United Stale* had io approacn the Soviet Unionositionorder for negotiations io be successful But he said the SOIlead toand expensive arms race an outer space The Ambassador wasthat the US offer to share new defensive lecnnelogy with tne Sovietslo avmd an accelerated erase race Meai other countriesalsoabout an* cooperative effort between me UStates and Ihe Sov-ct Uniondefensive systems

MTl SEP UtO

new Soviet surlace-to-air missilesor example team visiting Beiiino was asked repeatedly about Sovie:

b

efmg keep

discussion on the SLH

A porfectly timed attack using all of Chinas deployed

could theoretically overwhelm Moscow's defense* if tne Sovie^HE^TajT^were unable ro distinguish between incoming decoys end rotrtry vehicles^rie more hkeiy event thet some of Chinas CBM* were destroyedoviet preemptive enact the eftjnees of successful retaliation against Moscow would be reacted Inituation Cmna's ability to carrynd coord-natec attack would be doubtful Certainly, th* Crunete could no: be confident of its success. Out ftiMltf could th* Sovietsssured of Moscow's safety, gwen the imperfection ofefense.

Moreover, some of these sam* uncertainties wiir remain even if--asirretegic defense of Moscow outpaces Chines abiuty to attack itt in anv. no defense wouldercent Affective

2 ABM Treaty is abrogated, or if the Soviets develop their own version of the Strategic Defense initiative, however, they could significantly improve their ability to dofond against any retaliatory missile attack by China. Abrogation or the treaty would Dnabto thf tSovifits to expand Moscow's ABM defenses and deploy ABMs nationwide Such an expansion would reduce the measure or deterrence the Chinese now holdesult of their ability to threaten undefended population centers in the European USSR And cities in the Soviet Far East

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