Created: 4/15/1983

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US-China Relations

Beijing's dissatisfaction with US policy toward China apparently has led it to redefine its objectives and interests in dealing with Washington. The Chinese, in fact, have stated that they expect little progress in relations over the near terra. As a result, Beijing appears determined to restrict cooperation to arjtos that offer China clear and immediate advantages. -Events since the Secretary of State's visit--particularly the decision to grant asylum to tennis star Hufurther reinforced Beijing's inclination toomewhat distant geopolitical relationship jitji Washington while continuing to seek VS technology,

Concern over US policy towardSBeijing in1 to begin questioning theits ties to Washington. Inhinathat Washingtonate for terminating itsto Taiwan. Although the Joint Communique ofugustdefused the arms sale issue and allowed Beijinoits interest in strengthening the relationship, have not yet indicated,how far they wish to aobilateral ties.

Part of this uncertainty stems from the fact that the Taiwan arms issue reinforced- the general movement in Chinese foreign policyore self-assertive and nationalistic style that began1 In stressing its independence, of both superpowers and reeraphasizing its ties to the Third World, China has distanced itself from the United States, which Chinese propaganda labels, as it does the Soviethegemonist" power

At the same time. China also his begun to explore ways to reduce tensions and improve relations with the Soviet Union. While still regarding the Soviet Union as its main adversary, Beijing has broadened bilateral contacts and increased trade with Moscow. The Chinese not only see valueeduction of Sino-Soviet tensions but regard itseful reminder to Washington that China has other options

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After theugust .communique, Beijing aired further complaints about US policy, the chief being policy toward Taiwan. China increased its attacks on the Taiwan Relations Act as inconsistent with the normalization communiquend continues to view the provisions of the act an obstacle in the relationship. Beijing's dissatisfaction over US restrictions on advanced technology has become the second major issue clouding Sino-US relations. Already sensitive about allegedly unfulfilled US commitments, China isetter response on this subject. Beijing desires access to as much advanced and restricted US technology as possible, and argues that the Unite'd States is not treating China as an equal. The theme of unequal treatment hasonsistent Chinese cbmplaint about Soviet behavior innd its extension to relations with the United States may be fuelino_-tb& more recent nationalistic tone of Chinese foreign policy.

also has raised several other complaints about US policy, and most recently retaliated against the Hu Na decision by cancelling the remaining Sino-US .cultural and sports exchanges3 and.the visitS legal delegation. Although such actionsemporary chill over relations, the Hu Na issue as well as others are clearly secondary to Chinese concerns over Taiwan and the transfer of U5 technology. While emphasizing its displeasure with Washington, Beijing continues toesire for improved relations. The Chinese may still view the upcoming high-level visits and joint- commission meetingseans for improving the relationship

Nonetheless, Beijing appears to have reassessed Sino-US relations. China has shown little interest sinceugust in exploring an arms supply relationship with the United States and has also played down strategic cooperation as a. basis for developing bilateral ties. Still, China has clearly not written off its relations with the United States. Despite its diminished emphasistrategic relationship and its.pursuitore independent foreign policy line, Beijing continues to seek US technology and to evince an interest in developing economic and commercial ties with Washington. Indeed, China's continued emphasis on modernization suggests that economic and commercial ties--at least in the near term--will be the fundamental underpinning for better relations with the United States.

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