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

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Chinas Concerns About iho Strategic DefenseUMMARY

Recent Chinese press commentary underscores Bailing's concern mat ihe Strategic Oefenso initiative (SDl) couldew US-USSR arms race and cause ihe Soviets to abrogate2 Amioallisnc Missile (ABM) Treaty Tne Chinese 'ear thai this would causa iho Soviets to build up their ballistic missile defenses, which could nullify Chinas independent nuclear deterrent In response to these concerns the Chinese arc appealing ta European and other world leaders in an effori to increase the pressure for limitations of strategic defensive systems At the samethe Chinese are attempting to improve Ihoir capability to Qestroy defended targets such as Moscow

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ese Position on SDl

Articles in the officialress and individual commentators Mrt expressed the fea mel tnt USense Initiative and me development cf antiutMUtt weapons D< Both superpowers wm expand and accelerate the *rmi race Between tho Untied Siaies and ihe USSR The Chinese argue thet the Sovel Union will (l) claim SOi violates2 ABM Treatyssurances that rt doesOrogate tne treaty,mprove the missile defenseaMoscow and througnoui the USSH Chinese propaganda has Cegun attacking me SOI snd the development of antnateltite weapons as an extension of the US-USSR armsontinued quest lor hegemony By OOlh superpowers,rave threat to world peace I

Official Chinese statements on aims control Use" have Been limited1 proposal- since repeated frequently--ihal the United Slates and the Soviet Urnon eac reduce their nuclear weapons Byercent, at which point me Chinese would join further arms reduction talks lha! included all nuclear weapons states ir. fact. Belong almost certainly does not expect ioirect effect on renewed aims negotiations, noi doe* it want to place Ki own small strategic 'orce onBargaining taBie Rather, we believe, the Chinese are appealing to European and oiher world leadersnified stance in favoreneraluclear armsalt to tne 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, ihe 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 ihe Umiod States for nudear protection

The aulhor of tho article does not directlyarallel Between the European and Chinese situationsis me Soviet Union But its implication is uwmstakat Bj

in December, before me talks between Secretary Shulii and Sov.eiGrumyko on the resumption ol arms negotiations, me Chinesehat the United Stale* had to approacn me Soviel Unionositionoider for negotiations io be successful Bul he said the SOIlead toand expensive armsuter space *he Ambassador wasthat the US offer to share new defensive tecnnology with me Sovietslo avoid en acceleratedrace Meat otherlsoaBOut an. cooperative effort Betweennited Stales and Ihe Soviet Uniondefensive systems

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new Soviet surface-to-air missilesor example team visiting Beijing was asked repeatedly about Sovie:

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discussion on the SDl

A porfec.lv timed attack using all of Chinas deployed

could ineoretica.lv overwhelm Moscow's defenses if thero distinguish between incoming decoys and rotrtry vehicles^ne more kfceiy event that some of Chinas CBMs were destroyedoviet preemptive attack, the enjnees of successful retaliation against Moscow would be reduced inituation Cmna's ability to carrywd and coordinates attack would be ccubtfui Cenairuv lh# Cninese could no: be confident of its success. Out ftiMltf couldSoviets be assured of Moscow's safety, gwen the imperfection of their def+nse.

Moreover some of these same uncertaintiesremain even if--asstrategic defense of Moscow outpaces Chinas abiuty to at;eck it an<tt in anv. no defense wouldercent effective

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 anabte thr /Soviets to expand Moscow's ABM defenses and deploy ABMs nationwide Such an expansion would reduce the measure of 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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