NIE 11/13-80 SINO-SOVIET RELATIONS IN THE EARLY 1980S

Created: 6/5/1980

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SINO-SOVIET RELATIONS IN THE

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1 THIS ESTIMATE IS ISSUED BY THE DIRECTOR M1 -

THE NATIONAL FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE BOARD CONCURS.

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JUDGMENTS

discussion

j i. mTRODUcnoN

ii. THE INTERPLAY of variables to date

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Chlneae Penpectlv* The Border Iatue . The Soviet Perspective Tht US

The Japanese Factor

The Indochina Factor

Tht Althtn Situation' ll.

Tht New Forum for NetotUrlona mi FACTORS OF CONTINUITY AND CHANCE IN CHINESE POLICY lilt Cfctoaat Lajtdtra^

'Tht Ecoawnlc

Tht Two-Front Throat to China .1

Tht Afghan

Ountte Exportation* of the United SUtta and iht

TATIC AND DYNAMIC FACTORS IN SOVIET POUCY j

iof Potslble Soviet Military and Border Concession!

of Present Deployments

Iof Soviet Military

ISuocaeiion Variable

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[;iEY JUDGMENTS

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The probabilities over the nest three to five years strongly favor continuity over change in the Sino-Soviet relationship. There is latent dynamism in the relationship but changes, if they come, are likely to be Marginal. Nevertheless, there Is aone chance inlarger changes toward either armed conflict or significant improvement in the relationship.

The future course of the relationship is likely to be influenced more by an evolution in Chinese perceptions and initiatives than by movement on the part of the Soviet Union. The Incentives keeping China on Its current course are powerful, but the consensus support for present policies, although widespread, does not appear to be universal. Significant changes In Chinese attitudes toward the USSR, if they occur, would likelyyproducthinese reassessment of geopolitical factors, particularly the international role of the Ut.itcd States.

I The present Soviet leadership, although Interested In some amelioration of relations with China, is unlikely to pay an important political price to accomplishuccessor leadership Is likely to take the same view. The Chinese, in rum, also want to limit tensions, but also are unlikely to moderate their very high demands on the USSR. Minor progreu In the economic sphere, however, is possible even In the absence of movement on the intractable border issue.

Steady increases in as well as modernization of the Soviet forces opposite China are likely to continue over the next several years, but Moscow does not appear to have either the desire or intention to attack China, and probably would not do so unless severely provoked. The nature of what constitutes provocation in the Soviet mind, however, may bo in flui, and this couldomplicating factor In Chinas ajseaaments of Its

he situation In Indochina, and in particular current Soviet tiesanoi, hasew dimension to the Sino-Soviet competition andurther obstacle to resolution of the conflict. The Chinese appear to wish to avoid renewed hostilities on their southern border but have not renounced thisituation fn which Chinailitary threat to Hanoi or to the survival of the Vietnamese regime would be the meat plausible trigger for direct Sine-Soviet hostilities.

The United Statesentral (actor in the calculations of both Beijing and Moscow. The Chinese view the United Statesource of help ln the Four Modernizations,acilitator In their increasing intimacy with Japan and Western Europe, and as at least an ambiguous detei.-ent Ln Soviet military calculations about China. Thus, both SinoUS economic ties and especially the overall US posture in tbe international arena are likely to affect Beijing's estimate of Its ability to fend off Moscow.,

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Tbe USSR fears the possibility of growth in the Si no-US security relationship, but Moscow '* not likely to offer Washington majoro prevent such growth. The Chinese are probably prepared toonsiderable range of US attitudes on the

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DISCUSSION

INTRODUCTION

;ino-Soviet hostility and the worldwide conflict of Chinese and Soviet Interests have over the past two decades become one of the major geopolitical factors In International relations. The conflict todayaffects US Interestsroad spectrum Oi Issues, and those Interests are sensitive to anychanges in Sino-Soviet Interaction,irection of amelioration or of military clashes. |The.vof course.great number of variables Involved in thisIndication of the complexity !of the subject We believe that,ariety of reasons discussed In this Estimate, there are new areas of uncertaintyatent dynamism in the terms of the relationship. We emphaslie. however, that thestill strongly favor continuity over change; tnoreover, wo believe that If changes do come, they kre much more likely to be marginal than sweeping.

evertheless, over the next three to five years we some one! chance in

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the Interplay of the numerous complexInvolved could produce larger changes,fairly short notice. Such dlscontlnui ties |In eitherSino-Sovietor toward significant Improvement. [

HE INTERPLAY OF VARIABLES TOht Chirmt|"

We believe thatumber of rea*onsIn portions of this Estimate, the {course of SiroSoviet relations in the next fewikely to be Influenced more dir-cily by the evolution of Chinese percepHoni and initiatives than by those of the Soviet Union; More than any other singlet Is the longevity of present Chinese policy that Is at! Issue. But whatever the considerations that make for uncertainty, there are powerful compensating and jrobably overriding reasons to expect Chinesetoward the; Soviets to endure. j ii

jht* hostility is the end productultitude of experiences and Interactions whose effects havefor many years. Racial and nationalof Russian cxarist behavior merge withof ihe Comintern's mismanagement of ihe Chinese revolution In, the Soviet Army's despoiling of Manchuritn Industry after World War II, and Stalin's extraction of extraterritorialSuperimposed on theseong list of more recent perceived Injuries of the post-Stallr erathese Injuries resulted from ihe failedof the Sino-Soviet alliance systemime when the United States was regarded as the main enemy. The Chinese discovered that Moscow subordinated their vital interests to Its management of the bipolar relationship between the two superpowers.to this discovery were Moscow's ambiguous posi 'ion at the time of the Taiwan Strait crisis8oviet request that year for certain military rights In China; the reneging9 on promises to furnish China the atomic weapon, followed by Soviet efforts to keep China dependent on the USSR's nuclear shield; what Ihe Chinese remember as the treacherous and dcvastlng large-scale withdrawal of Soviet economic experts from Chinahe movement of large Soviel lorces lo the Chinese border and Monstolia to Intimidate China since the; and ihe use of some of these forces to humiliate China In the firefights

Ihese memories are given point for present policy by the Chinese sense of being forced today to confront and respond to an ongoing, long-term Soviet effort to "encircle" China In the world and In Asia, in the first place politically but to some extent militarily. The earlier ideological aspect of Chinese differences with Moscow hu faded away as Chinese policy has grown more pragmatic, but this has thus far been amply compensated for by Chinese perceptionsrowing Soviet geopolitical threat. Tending tothis view are such phenomena as the Soviet-Cuban: military operations in Africa; the attempted subversion of the ninalia7*ed movementro-Sovtet ends by the Soviet Union's Cuban ally; the Soviet intervention In Afghanbtan. on China's western border; the Soviet underwriting of the forcibleomese establishmentiueralnty over Indochina, on China's south* rn border, ihe large-scale maneuvers in Mongolia, on China's northern border; and theof Soviet naval forces In Ihe Far East. From the Chinese perspective, Ihe rate of accumulation of such evidence has been accelerating

"5TWftI_

6 Overn decade, the1 ol Chinese foreign policy has therefore been the eflort to build polilical bulwarks and '. strategic eounterwrights throughout Ihe world against the Soviet Union as the one aggressively eipamlve great power, portrayed and genuinely regarded by Ch'sa as Intent upon Increasing Hs political and military Influence and presencein the world In "hegemonlstlc" fashion This main thrust of Chinese policy has beer combined Ineersrudent awareness of Soviet military superiority and, thus far,areful and accurate calibration of Chinese behavior to avoid crossing the threshold thai might bring military con-

Tha Boroar Issue

1 Abo throughout the last decade, mutualhas preserved an Impasse in desultory Sino-Soviet negotiations over the disputed border. These rsegbnattorii are concerned will; long-held grievances which the Chinese were prepared to gloss over in the ^ears when they considered thariend. The Chinese have more recently felt unwilling to abandon them eicept upon terms which wouldovietajor political defeat on what Beiiing regardsentral frontuchuEgle

|he Impasse centers on the Chinese demandreliminary Soviet military evicualton prior to adjudication of the border of as much0 squarein the Pamirs and severalislands In the Amur and Ussurlthe Chines* claim ciarist Russia and the Soviet Union have illegally occupied. (BeUIng has also In the past Insisted ilsat the Soviets formally acknowledge ihat additional vast stretches of territory obtained byinh century were gran'ed In "unequalhe demand Includes at least one area the Soviets consider vital to their national Interests, and which the Chinese know the Soviets will nevernotably, the Island of Helxlail at the confluence of the Amur and Ussurl, adjoining Khabarovsk and Ihe Trarulberlan Railroad. The Chinese have scornfully refused Soviet offers totonaggretslon pad In place of the preliminary pullback. termingseless "paperhus the Impasse over the border Is used by China primarily as an Instrument of polilical warfare against the Soviet Union. The matter remains at one and the same time t> leading symbol, central Jsue, and prime hostage of the froren rtlatlon-shtp In the more than three years since Mao's death, his heirs have been unwilling to modify the substances of the rigorous negotiating position he has bequeathed them. In fact, they have added to ihe initial Chinese demands by asserting the Soviets must "pull out" of Mongolia and Vietnam These demands point lo the central Chinese grievance, the continuing buildup of Soviet and Soviet-allied forces on China's northern and southern borders. The question of whether and under what circumstances they will be willing substantially to modify their positions Is central to assess ng the future of the relationship

Tha Soviet Perspective

9 Moscow's ability to deal (lesibly with Beijing is reduced by strong perceptionsrowing Chinese thn.at to key Soviet Interests. The Soviets have their own particular historical Interpretations and ingrained biases to match those Iteld bv the Chinese. On one level. Russian collective memory of two centuries of Mongol subjugation affects Soviet approaches to the China question, both at home and abroad. Looking at the more recent past, Soviet leaders see Chinese hostility as gross betrayal In the face of what they deem Moscow's long record of sellless assistance lo China. During Mao's last decade, the Soviets believed that China was an Irrational force in world affairs, lacking only the military means to achieve its goal of dominance over Asia.ew concerns that Ire"pragmatic" successors to Mao may row succeed In rationalising China's economic and nJlllary policies while remaining Implacable foes of the USSR have been evident. Looking toward the, Soviet leaders may be tempted touge, modernlilng. nuclear-armedit seeks military ties with the Unileda growing menace to their policies.

he Soviet leaden see Chinese Implacabilityrustrating burden that has by now grown familiar, and they are inclined by long experience Inrudent pessimism They havr seen their dispute with the Chinese grow for many years under highly varied circumstances, pasaina undiminished fromolicy arena to another despite great changes In Chinere attitudes toward the rest of the world. The Soviets are therefore deeply Impressed by the continuity and enduring strength of whet they regard as thenationalist passionsem In Belling. Some optimists among Soviet observers, lookingthe future, see grounds for hope that these Chinese altitudes may eventually abate. But even such optimists assume that. In the best of circumstances, Chinese foreign policy Interests and obiectlves are

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likely to become harmonious with thoseoscow. At worst, on tha otheruture mililary" clash remains quite conceivable In Soviet eves,arUcularly so fit vjaw of th* February-Mar9hime attack on the Soviet Union'slly

ll II. Bounded by theia perspectives, indby tht Immediate reality of unyielding Chinesetht Ant Soviet prioriry In dealing|withto bt unrelenlina geopolitical combat,Important aspect of which Is the maintenance ofeaiUtasy forcep border. Thecontinue: to keep ample Soviet militaryfacing' Beijing as the prominent backdrop to'dialogue with theo strlv-bestto weaken Chinas political, economic..andInfluence In the world, lofforts to growoability to combine with others aaainstand lo suborn China's neighbors so asoutflank. Beijing.

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t the same time, however, the Soviets like to reduce Chinese hostility. They lee their conf "'et with Bellingajor negative factor for! their position on the world scene, complicating Sovietwith both the capitalist Industrial states and the underdeveloped world, and partially offsetting those political benefits the Soviets have obtained from their accretion of military power. Moreover, they are acutely aware ot theostile China presentsecond front They therefore hope that the Impetus provided to Si no-Soviet antagonlm by. Mao Will stow.'as hii era recedes, and that tae Chinese leadership will const to bt dominated by new forces desiring to conciliate tht Soviet Union. The Soviet leaden do not eipact tn the foreseeable future to'lose relationship with Beijing, but they wouldalm one. They would grtatly prefer to haveith China that were mutually accepted and legitVruxed-eans of broadening the relationshiphina, they would like to expand the economic deal-insts which haveinor factor for both countries' for twoi-" -1

n ^atttiispttii^ to glW'llft to these various wishes, hopes, andowever- tht Soviets remain greatly.hampered by the Chinese memory of J' their past behavior [toward CJUna, aiwi ev*ti more by 'j '> the ongoing effects .of present Soviet transgressionshines* interests, all of which tend lo perpetuate Chinese hostlUty. Thus Soviet purples areonflict) rr* Tha;Soviet* appearensitive to the counterproductive effects olcompetitive behavior upon the bilateralAlthough many Soviets may in retrrapect believe that Khrushchev mode tactical mlstukes In dtali'g with tht Chinese in the early years of the dispute, the Soviet! leadership Is not Inclined tothe legitimacy: and appropriateness of tht present Soviet behavior to which the Chinese objectrincipal goal of Soviet policy toward China appears to be tonormalization" of bilateral relations under circumstances which, the Soviets hope, would imply tacit acceptance of the legitimacy andof the.Soviet geopolitical gains registered at

China's

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! The! US !-

. li The United Statesentral considerationcalculations of both Moscow and Beijing.Its developing association with the United Statesmost Important of its new buhvarks againstUnion. The Chinese view this as aThey regard the United States assource of the capltol and technologythe Four Modernizations, Including, directlymilitary modernization, and ihey seerelationship as facilitating their Increasingwith Japan and their growing dealingsEurope. They probably Interpret theirconnection ax supplying some incrementhowever ambiguous, to Sovietabout China, while also adding theof leverage for Chinese diplomatic dealingsIn the absence of Westernfor weaponry, China could onlyontinuing decline In militaryto the ;USSR. That might make itto maintain China's unyielding stancerelations. But the key factorS resolv* and ability to counterthe Chinese hope through theirthe United States to Influence the UnitedIts allies to greater efforts to contain the spreadpower and Influence, Just as someime when they considered thetheir main enemy, they had sought toSoviet Union to more vigorous efforts against*T'?|

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he Sovieti see ihe present triangularas highly unfavorable to their interests, and they are concerned that it may get worst. They areeiercisediat'the evolving security relationship

ernerglni out of Slno-US normalization, and they vt beyond (hi, the specter of SI rK>-US-Ja panes*-NATO collaborallon against the Soviet Union. The Soviets are unwilling tc 'ike Into account the degree to which their own behavior may be impelling the United States toward beiiing. still less to offer Washingtonconaralons to prevent inch movement They long assumed that, In the but analysis, the United States would Itself consider Its multitude of dealings withhe many arms controlImportant to Jeopardiie through closealignment with Beijing, but they almost certainly no| longer have high confidence in thise Soviets may nowreasingly on Washing-tons European allies, who the Soviets believe ere more vulnerablehe consequencesotal cessation of detente, eventually to dissuade the United Stateslose security association with the Chinese. Mean-while.'they would of course greatly prefer ihat China itself cease to desire such an association, and they are therefore' prepared to explore various avenues Ihat might leadhinese change of heart, however pessimistic they are about the outcome

Tha Joponasc Factor

ecause of Biographical and historical factors and Japan's status as the third-ranking Industrial power, the Slno-Sovlet struggle for Influence In Japan is second in Importance for the two antagonists only to their contest over their relationships with the United States. In Tokyo, despite the importance of trade wilh the Soviet Union and the Japanese preference for moinlenonceominal "equidistance" between Moscow and Beijing, the Soviets are In factonsiderable disadvantage, which appears to have grown somewhat In recent years. The Soviets are handicapped In ihe first instance by Japanest* cultural affinity for China and historically generated distrust for Russia and the Soviet Union. In addition, the Soviels believe themselves burdenedro-Chinese cast of US policy In Japan: Symptomatic In this regard was the signing inith what the USSR believed to have been US encouragement,lno-Japanese Friendship Treaty containing what thechose lo regard as anti-Soviet overtones This occurredong Soviet diplomatic and propa-standa campaHrn. which had in effect made thisublic teal of the relative influence of China and the USSR Inj Japan More generally, the Soviels find the possibility of Japanese Investment In certain uf the largest protects once envisaged for Siberia obviated by

US unwillingness to participate. At ihe same time, the Soviets are concerned about the powerful long-term pull of the Chinese market upon Japan They continue lo display anxiety over the eventual effects of Japanese technological cooperalion wilh China and to complain bitterly about the Implications of growing Japanese military contactshe Chinese

These concerns have not prompted the Soviet Union to remove major irritants In Soviet-Japanese relations. In particular Moscow has refused to discuss the Japanese claim to the southern Kurillaim that has been slgorously supported by the Chinesen addition, the Soviets have ptrsistrd in an ongoing military buildup ia the Far East generally, and on the disputed islands of Elorofuunashiri. and Sh.kotan specifically, which continues to evoke further Japanese concerns and resentments that arc amplified by Retting Tl Is Soviet behavior is evidently motivated in large partesire to deploy forces In the southern Kurils to inhibit US naval entry Into the Sea of Okhotsk wMle ensuring Soviel exit from Vladivostok In case of war. Rut as in the case of Soviet policy toward China, the Inertia of conservative military conside ations has thus far been allowed by Soviet policymakers to outweigh what may prove lo be maior long-term negative political conie-qiiences The net effect of these policies has thus far been to further solidify the Japanese consensi's underwriting the Japanese military alliance with ihe United Stales and to furnish additional tacitfor the slow gravitation of Japan toward China as wellradual Japanese defense improvement

On Ihc whole, the structure of this quadrilateral relationship has thus fai served to reinforce theof dominant Chinese leaden In give no ground lo the Soviets The Chinese retard the US military presence In the Far East, anchored in the relationship with Japan, as an indispensable counterweight to Soviet military strength In the area The csUence of ihis presence probably serves in some degree loChinese willingness to remain intransigent in Sino-Soviet hi la! ml relations.

The Indochina Factor

n the last two years, another key variable has been Introduced Into the Slno-Sovlet relationship by event* In Indochina. From the Chinese perspective the Soviets have successfully sought to exploit Vietnamese conflicts of interest with China which had been submerged while Ihe United Slates was present but

which Ji'rfacod Increasingly thereafter. Landmarks in this process were the Vietnamese entry Into ihe Soviel Bloc Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CEMA) in8 and the signingoviet-Vietnamese treaty Inhich prepared the way for the Vietnamese attack the following month thatCambodia end by9 had displaced the Pol Pot regime allied to China. The Soviets doubled their military aid to Vietnam8 ami Increased their economic aid to replace the supply of petroleum and grain canceled by the Chinese in Mayince the month long Chinese border incursion into ,Vietnam beginninghe Soviets have more than quadrupled theli annual arms shipments to Vietnam, ln return,vlets have been allowed to stage naval air reconnaissance and antisubmarine(ASW) aircraft from Da Nang and to make combatant visits to Vietnamese ports. Port visitsextending the area of deployments for (Soviet units, especially to the Indian Ocean, and. provide the Sovietonvenient staging points from which It can conduct surveillance of sea lines of communications, monitor US and Chinese activities In the area, and provide facilities for crew shorei leave, replenishment, and repair without leaving' the South China Sea area. Use [of Vietnamese airfields expands Soviet aerial reconnaissance and ASW capability in Southeast Asian waters. Soviet ncluding

combatants, have also called al Kompong Som.

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he Chinese; for their part, soughttable incursion Into Vietnam in February and9 to impress upon Hanoi the dangers Implicit in flouting Chinese Interests, and succeeded in Increasing considerably Vietnam's military and economic bur-jden. However, t!ere unable to deflect thefromHirse In Kampuchea, and their incursion not only failed to shake therelationship but resultedubstantial increase In the Soviet presence in Indochina. While- Belling is gratified by the negative reaction of ASEAN countries and many other states to Vietnameseoviet behavior, the Chinese remain concerned at thethat these states may feel obliged to come to termsietnamese foil accompli. They cannot, moreover, lie certain about the long-term viability of Pol Pot's guerrilla struggle.

]Even without erosion of theietnamese diplomatic coalition, there Is little doubt that both the Soviets and the Chinese believe that, oneopolitical shift has already occurred in the areaesult of events In Indochina, which for the time lieing

Is at leas! partly detrimental lo China There is also little doubt that Beijing sees Soviet policy in Indochinaenuine and irreconcilable challenge tonational interests,ajor new increment to Chinese grievances againstignificantconsequence of the new situation is thefor which China also holds the USSR responsible--that China for the indefinite future must now deal with hostile forces north and south.

The Afghan Situation

urther and still more recent compliciting factor hai been the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. There can be little doubt that here again both tbe Chinese and the Soviets believehift favorable tn Moscow has occurred. Despite Afghan distaste for the Soviet occupiers and continuing guerrillaAfghanistan is being transformed to satellite status. The balance of power In Southwest Asia has 3U0 been affected, with immediate consequences formajor ally in the region, Pakistan. Psychologically as well as physically the Soviel "ring" around China has been ritended. and the initiative In this volatile area now rests largely with Moscow. The Chinese, moreover, cannot afford to ignore the demonilration of Soviel "will" lhatc into Afghanistan

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rom China's point of view there are. however.number of favorable aspects to the new situation. The Soviet action underlines and illustrates Beijing's warnings about the USSR's "hegemonistic" ambitions, which ore now likely lo be taken more seriously by thef the world. Soviet troops may become bogged down in extended fighting. India may see both the need and the opportunity to distance itself from the Soviet Union and improve its relations with China fn <tn effort to prevent any of tn; other major actors fromreponderant position In South Asia. The Muslim world's slroigly negative reaction to the Soviet move, moreover, was doubtless gratifying to Beijing. Of at least equal consequence. In Beijing's eyes, has Iieen the firmer anti-Soviet stance taken by the US Government, the accompanying Indicationshange In public mood In America on key foreign policy Issues, and evidence that Si no-US ties are likely lo deepen andIn security-relatedthe wake of the Soviet action In Afghanislan. Dut the Chinese leadership cannot yet be certain how permanent the anti-Soviet mood Is likely tn be In the Muslim world. In the United States, or in Western Europe. The Soviet military presence in Afghanistan.

on the other hand, appear) likely to be long lasting, in short] the Chinese leaders are likely lo conclude that tbe danger to Chinese security has increasedesult of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Thev may conclude also thai the political opportunities presented by Ihe negative reaction to that event could offset, at least partially, this heightened danger

The New Forum for Negotiation*.

A final factor added to Sino-Soviet Interaction in iheear has been the creationew channel for negotiations Inhe Chinese gave the USSR formal notice of abrogation of the long dormant Sino-Soviet Friendship Treatyroposal forof and in parallel with Ibe borderaddress broad bilateral issues. Chinese willingness9 to enter into such discussions, without the preconditiom that had previously ruled them out. was probably al least inonsequence of Chinese recognition of the dangers created by China's newinimum. China appeared loew mechanism of nestottation whose veryven if no results werereduce tensions wilh the Soviets somewhat. In addition, ihe Chinese clearly also hoped that such negotiations mightfissures between Vietnam and the Soviel Union

In fact once the first round of these talks was convened In the fallhina reassertedrecondition for meaningful progress essentially the same sweeping demands it had formerly citedrecondition to holding the negotiations. Thesethe Soviets of course regard as unacceptable, as the Chinese had good reason to expect The Soviet leaders may Initially have hoped, on the basis of some ambiguous Chinese private statements in the spring, that the Chinese would takeless Intransigent position in ihe negotiations, and would be willing toeneral statement concerning principles ofubstitute for the expiring treaty. The Soviets may also, have believed that some Chinese [were tempted to accepttatement becauseesire both to further reduce the possibility of military,

" nlitlon with the USSR and to expand Slno-irade. Although the Chinese proved Intransigent Int'ial round of talks ended without result, tbe do no: appear lo believe that Beijing'spostpmiement of the second round of lalks In the wafcejof tile Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan means the' discussions have been ruptured permanently.

III. FACTORS OF CONTINUITY AND CHANGE IN CHINESE POUCY

the other side of the ledger fromtoward continued conflict discussed so farbroad areas of uncertainly thai ecu id makeIn Chinese policy One concerns theof recent changes and possible furtherChinese leadenhip andecond,of possible Chinese economic motivesthe Sino-Soviethird,on Chinese behavior os posed bytwo-front problem and by the Sovietourth. Ihe question ofabout US and Western behavior. Allto some degree Interrelated and

Tha Chinas* Leadership Consensus and the Impact of De-Mooiiation

A central factor lending lo promote someabout the future of Chinese attitudes toward the Soviet Union has been the dynamism and scope of Chinese policy changes since the death of Mao and the obvious accompanying tensions and latent fluidity in relationships within the Chinese elite. The pragmatism and eclecticism that have swept over much of Chineseand economic life with the punuit of the Four Modernizations have placed the remainingof Chineseparticularly iheof the posture toward thesharp relief.

Associated with this have been uncertainties created by the gradual dismantling of Mao's personal reputation, the discrediting of his voluntartstlcaberrations such as the Creat Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, and the jettisoning of most of those Ideological constraints on the tactical flexibility of Chinese foreign policy thtt remained at Mao's death. To the degree that the Inflexible line toward the Soviets has been personally associated with Mao. It has necessartlv required new lustlficatlon In the eves of some members of the Chinese elite. The rehabiltlaMon of many of the former Chinese leaden purged by Mao over theof whom at the time of Iheir purge favored mote moderate tactics toward Moscow thanfurther highlighted the Issue of whether Chinese policy toward tbe Soviets Is not now on anomaly In ihe total context of Chinese foreign policy. Finally, those small steps the post-Maohas authorized toreater degree of civility in ordinary bilateral dealings wilh Moscow

"OTwaSil

i apparently have had the effect of encc waging tome ;lome in the Foreign. advocate that China ihould go9 We believe that these factorsatent, rather than an immediate, importance. The departure of Mao from the scene hasersonal dimension from the Sino-Soviet fruggle. and the domestic changes that haved his death have sharply reduced Its Ideological element, but these developments have placedsen higher relief the element that has underlain the conflict from the beginning: its gee political nature Domestic political tendencies pushingelaxation of the conflict with Moscow would have meaning and would rise to the surface only in an appropriateituation In which the Chinese leader-had serious reason to doubt the constancyily of the United States {and its allies]ounter-ghi lo the Soviet Union Inom.-stic debate the wisdom of reaching some degree ofceornwith Moscow would very likely be triggered by |irtei.iatlonal developments; it would be much less likely to arise spontaneously from purely domestic factors. . :

ur understanding of how the arguments might kr shape In leadership councils in Beiiing is cloudy,ew generalizations are possibK Some Chinese foreign policyare mostly not high-levelto believe thai China hasflexibility and advantage in the Sino-US-Sovlet triangle because of its unremitting hostility toward the Soviel Union In their view. China could extract concessions from both Washington and Moscow by positioning Itself more equally between Ihe other two powers. More obscure, but probably more Important.iew that has occasionally been ascribed Io some elements In the militaryChina, much the weaker of the two parties, cannot afford continually to offend thend must at least reduce the frictions and overt hostility with Moscow In order loonflict in which China could be badly mauled. We cannot be sure how widely or tenaciously this view Is held, but we noteersion of It wasfor tacticalformer Defense Minister Lln Blao shortly hefore his fallhis, ofccurred while Mao wasalive.

|ince the issue of how precisely to deal with Moscow is one that has bedeviled the ChliicseParty almost from its founding, we would not be surprised if argument on this subject became more acute within the next three lo five years Although (hereertain plausibility in the two arguments noted above for resolviri some Chinese differences with the Soviets, the arguments are not in themselves overwhelmingly compelling. Chinese diplomacy has made greater gainshen Beiiing assumed its present position In the triangle, lhan at any time since the Communists came to power in China.the Soviets, although holding most ofuiary cards, did not engage In max* hostilities with China either9 {it the time of the relatively minor border clashes) or9 (when the Chinese attack on Vietnam presented Moscowasus belli If the Soviets wantedboveignificant change In the Chinese posture toward the USSR would resultaior wrenching of Chinese foreign policy in nearly all areas of the world, not to mention seriouswithin the Communist Party in China itself We suspect that these changes would appear so painful to contemplate that for many Chinese leaden they would in themselves be an argument against majorof the relationship with Moscow. Finally, we believe that even if Beijing were to explore in depth the possibilityignificant accommodation withlose examination of the possibilities open to China might wellIn theany wide-ranging settlement of differences would occur largely on Moscow's terms, since Ihe Soviet Union is much the more powerful of the two parties.of this fact would very likely cause even some Chinese leaders who might have been prepared loettlement lo draw back.

In one ether circumstance, differences of view on how to deal with the Soviet Union could result in significant policy shiftsonciliatoryirect, immediate, and widely perceived Sovielthreat lo China without lufflelenl offs-as listed above.1would center on US behavior. Chinese behavior over the past decade suggests that Beijing has generally discountedhreat from Moscow, and itacted on this belief al the time of its attack on Vietnam last year. We think the consensus on this Issue will continue to hold, although we are somewhat less confident on this scoreult of development) In Afghanistan. In any cese, we believe that the lower the chanceslno-Sovlet conflict, the lesse re Isonciliatory change ir. Chinese policy toward bioacow.

Thus, we think the odds continue to runhinese move significantly to compose differences

with Moscowalculated act ofhe odd* shorten, however, if the elements in the currentoliticalre altered radicallyif China were to enter another period of interne political infighting Even in this care, however, geopolitical considerations would probably add weight to argu-mcnts raised for domestic political reasons. We do not, moreover, consider such an upheaval very likely. Mao's death has not eliminated the political itraini engendered during the last decade of hb life (nor have the economic and societal strains which long antedated him beenut the dislocations of his last yean have ledairly widespread consensus among Chinese leaders that maior political upheavals should be avoided, and steps ure being taken to reduce the prssibillty of serious instability.

ven within the general framework outlined above there fa considerable scope for differences of opinion about details, particularly on tactical issues or on questions which the Chinese consider of secondary importance. Such differences may easily recur In any Chinese leadership, and Iheir effect on policy il likely to turn on both the distribution of influence In the leadership and the political and natural longevity of key Individualsherefore possible that during the period of this Estimate the Chinese posture toward the Is will be affected to some degree by thehe status of Vice Premier Dengave made It clear that they consider him driving spirit behind Chinese intransigence the deepening relations with the West, ond we are inclined lo agree However, although we suspect It Is Ihe case, we can offer no confident judgment as to whether other mem ben of the leadership in fact have disagreed with Deng on points of policy involving the Soviets, (or the nature and extent of any such dlsa^ree rrient Tn any event. Deng's' personal position was enhanced, and the likelihood that his policies would be carried on into the future Increased, by tbe personnel decisions taken at the fifth party plenum in0 Nevertheless. If Deng were to die In offke. or genuinely "retire" evenumber of hit close associates remaining In Important positions, theof hit personal authority would complicate the Chinese decisionmaking process We see sometherefore that if Deng succumbs or loses aportion of his influence In the next three to five yean. China could prove more ready toimher nf'mall andargely tactical Inlis behavior toward ihe USSR lhan it has been to dole.

The Economic Arena

economic relationship IvlwpcnBeijing could be one such area ofIf other considerations could heneed lo conserve hard currency emphailred inChine-ie economic readjustment would lendincreased barter trade with the Sovietsmore attractive, ll is neverthelesstrong Chinese consensus behind theihe planned further expansion of foreignthe new readjustment should continue tolargely toward the West and Japan. Therea widespread con-ensus in support of thethat the Soviel economy is unsuitable as athe new. pragmatic China On both politicalgrounds few Chinese wish lo apent lo return to the dependentof, or to any approximationMoreover, the Chinese are unlikely In he willinghard currency for any Soviet goods,are likely to be encountered Insufficient volume of Chinese goods acceptable loto balance such an accelerated growth ofharler trade, at well as in agreeing on pricessides of this trade At best, therefore, eipansmnbarter relationship within the next few yean islo grow much foster than the expansion ofChinese foreign trade, and thus the Sovietsto Improve more than marginally on2-percent shore of thai trade.

somewhat greater political Importance, asof how far the Chinese might be willing to"normallre" the bilateral relationship, would beof scientific ond technical delegationsThis was one of the Issues raisedand Beijing in the summerilateral talks began. We believe there isthat within the nest three to five yearswill agree to such exchanges, but we thinkremains somewhat less lhan even OfpoliticalChinese willingness to accept Sovietonce again, even in token amounts.of accepting Soviet expert advben Intoafter an absence ofears,aw nerve In China In view ofand we believe lhat there il only athat In the period of this Estimate thewould agree to take thli step on termswould find acceptable

Tht Two-Front Thrtol to China

The Indochina situation, with 'Il mart)it bound to Influence Chlnete percepllon of the relationship with Moscow. DeUIng must, forconsider the Soviet reaction lo any furthermoves against Hanoi The Chinese today are probably uncertain about whether citcumstances wilt feud them again to become Involved In large-scale fighting wilh Vietnam during the nest three to five yean Ii appears reasonablv dear that ihe Chinese would now prefer ihat this did not happen, and have no present intention of launching another maforattack on Vietnam, particularly since they must recoarnlre thai their costly attack In9 did not effectively modify Vietnamese behasnor in Cambodia, drew the Soviets more deeply into Vietnamese affairs, and resultedizable increase in Vietnamese military strength

The Chinese nevertheless probably believe that there are contingencies which might aller theirof the balance of benefits and costs in staging another allack. It is conceivable, for example, that thr emergence of large-scale Vi^namese-Thai lightingesult of Vietnamese cross-border incursions could be one such continsiency. If the alternative facing China was the reorientation of Thai policy away Irom China to accommodate Vietnam

the event that the Chlnete. forrenew an attack on Vlrtnnm during ihethis Estimate, they are likely to do so inthat the Soviets will probably not offerresponse on the Sino-Soviet border atthe Chinese attack threatens Hanoi If theattack, they are likely again to adjust theiravoid creasing this threshold. Even If theythe Soviets might not attack them even ifendangered, they would probably considerexcessive risk. They clearly believe thatthe Soviet response accuratelynd Ihey probably assume thatif necessary, do so again' They alsothat the Soviets remain reluctantar with China, although their1on this score may have been reducedrecent events In Afghanistan

jhese conskJeratlonj suggest that during Ihe period of this Estimate, the Chinese are unlikely to

'MMa efagarabal al tW OWySortft parstsnphMecide that their two-front problem and ihe possibility of further hostilities with Vietnamew and urgent reason to accept the sizable polilical costs ofsettlement of the Sino-Soviet border Issue. Indeed, ihe Chinese know ihat. If ihey weie toorder settlement on Soviet terms, they would still face an undiminished Soviet military threat from tb- north. They would doubt that the chanceoviet military reactioni no-Vietnamese conflict would beevenorder settlement had been reached.

Tha Afghan Factor

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan will ptob-ably strengthen Chinese intransigence Beijing'sto the Soviet action has been strong and has Included ihe indefinite suspension of the new talks wilh Moscow' Indeed, to the degree that Sovietin this instance has lended to fulfill dire Chinese prophecies regarding Soviet "hegemonism" it lends also to reinforce the conviction among many Chinese leaders thai determined opposition to Sovietis the only viable course open to China Few Chinese of any polilical stature are likely to be willing to ignore concrete Chinese interests that have been challenged by tlie Soviel military expansion into Southwestwhich are particularlybecause they lie on China's periphery.

onsensus is likely to be maintained In the belief that what Beijing terms the Sovietpolitical and military posture In the world Is so fundamenlsl to Soviet policy as to be unlikely to be modified significantly by any but the most sweeping Chinese concessions. This Judgment may be reinforced in Chinese eyes by ihe consideration that Motcow could well become bogged downonsuming guerrilla war Indevelopment lhal would lend to sap Soviet energies. Just as theell eve ihe struggle in Kompurhre laps Vietnamese energy and material resources.

Although we think the odds favor theof this consensus view, we nevertheless think Soviel actions In Afghanistan could possibly have another effect The Chinese have called thisihe most important In Soviel policy since the Ctechoslovak affair ofevent which, coupled with the Sino-Soviet border clashes of the following year, caused China to reorient Its InternationalWe think ihe public linkage to Cxechoslovakla8 accurately reflect, the Chinese view of the significance of the Soviet thrust Inio Afghanistan.

VVnlie thb jwnmcnt tends to reinforce longstanding Chinese assumptions, if ihr Soviets were lo crush the Afghan resistance, ft could also leadeview of longstanding Chinese assumptions thai hostilities are not Imminent, ll i. possible that some Chinese leaders, impressed by the Soviet action in Afghanistan.nfer thai Moscow will be more willing lo use force in future disputes In this context ihese leadersonclude that ihe situation Is now more conducive to major hostilities that could Involve China

ontest of heightened danger ihe Chinese carefully the altitudes of the United respects they seem to believe thai some responses to the changing situation In South-ive been largely rhetorical and perhaps tsit.iitlon thai, in iheir view, could 'iet tensions without actually restraining behavior. If these views were sustained the could move lo lower the temperature of their quarrel with Moscow (reducing propaganda at-lacks, for [example, resuming pro forma political talks, and eschewing provocative actions of their own)actively moving toward reconciliation with the USSR. If, however. Beijing were lo perceive signs that the West; and the United-States in particular, were acquiescing In the Soviet occupation of Afghanlitan and were seeking to mute differences with the USSR, advocatesere conciliatory approach lo ihe USSR might belable to argue more convincingly lhat China loo must! buy"breathinge think these outcomes less likely than reinforcement of current tendencies But having emphasized the significance of Afghanistanest of willpower and determination lo resist the Soviets, tht Chinese to that extent are putting their anll-Sovlet strategy to the test. In such circumstances, the international behavior of the West, and particularly of the United Slates as the main strategic counterweight to the USSR. Is of particular Importance

i :

actaf tha United States ond tha West

hus, the key area of uncertainty concerns Chinese etpectatlons of the United States and Its allies, and the consequences for Stno-Sovtel rrlations If these espectalion* are disappointed

e believe that Ihe present Chinese attitude toward the USSR Is influenced by the perception that China's bilateral relationship wllh Ihe Unitedapidly expanding, and by Chinese belief thateasonable chance that the seciirity aspects of this relationship will grow over lime Rut Ihese eiprcta-tions are likely to be tempered with caul ion Almost certainly llie Chinese leaders do not believe thatnited States woulu now respond wllh military forceoviet attack on China, moreover, ihey may hove grave doubts that 'he Sino-US reUlkmshlp will develop over ihe nest five yearsoint whereS response would beiome probable Nevertheless,re probably convinced thai the evolution ofwhich foster the maiimum ambiguity and uncertainly on thisreatly lo Iheir Interest, since it complicates the Soviet calculus of rbks and thus adds to their net deterrent. The perceived value of ihe United Stales lo China In this respect will nf course be influenced by the degree to which US conduct throughout the world adds credibility to the possibility that the United States would offerhelp to China.

or these reasons, as well as for the broader economic and political reasons cited earlier, there probablyonsensus of Chinese leadershiploser security associalion with the United States. We believe that if other factors do not Intervene lo tliange radically the Chinese perception of the United Slates, Ihe consensus on thb point is fairly likrlv in remain stable Most Chinese are unlikely lo believe thaivolution ofelationship would provoke the Soviet Union into attackingif carefully managed They are firmly convinced that the Sovieis are both bullies, when the risks are clearly minimal, and realists, who will retreat If confrontednattractive odds.

he Chinese have evident hopes that iheevolution of their relationship with the United Stales willignificant transfer of modern US weapon and military technology to China. Although the satisfaction or disappointment of these hopes will be an Important factor shaping the Chinese attitude Inward the United Stales over the nest few years,ill by no means he the only factor, or eveniy the mncl Important one. Nor Is this factor alone-likely Inecisive Influence on the Chinese altitude toward the Soviet Union, which derivesfrom the totality of Soviel behavior affecting Chinese Interesti

owever, if Chinese disappoint menu overUS decisions on key areas of concern lofor esample, ihe transfer of armslo be combined with sigrlficant disappointments In other areas of US behavior Important to Belling. Ihis cumii-

luiivi'lv tniphi suffice to undermine thr crediliililt of the US statement tn9 identifying US security interests wiln the preservationirring and independent China The Chinese regard Ihiimade during Vice Preitdent Mondale'i visit to China,enchmark against which to measure US po'-cy However, shortecision that Ihe totality nf USChina, toward the world, and toward the Sovietso deficient as lo contradict Chinese interests across several broad areas, there Isonsiderable range of Sino-US relationships with which the Chinesefinding it riecessary lo alter their stance toward ihe Soviets.

c see three standards by which th- Chinese will measure the Uniled States:

probably the most important especial ion ; the Chinese have of the United States is lhal it

i-ill maintain its geopolitical function klssential and effective world counterweight Iotlie Soviet Union. This means, above all. the preservation of the US technological and military positionis the USSR The Chinese will therefore remain especially sensitive to trends in the US strategic balance with the Soviel Union, as well as to trends in the US conventional force posture, particularly In the western Pacific Beiiing Is also likely to regard as especially important Washington's ability to maintain its ties wilh Western Europe and. even more, with Japan, j

the Chinese wish the Uniled Slatn to so conduct Itself as to minimise the likelihood thai Ihe Soviets will continue to eipand their Influence incrementally, particularly in areas near the periphery of China. The Chinesebelieve lhal Ihe US ability to contain the growth of Soviet Influence remains hostage rn difficulties and potential discontinuities in US domestic life. The Chinese ore likely to perceive the US foreign policy consensus ai1 having been fragmented In the last ISthe authority of the US executive branch as having been gravely weakeoad. and the will of the United Stales in act as having been placed In Question. Under earlier circumstances, the Chinese found these phenomena reassuring, as evidence that the Uniled Stateseceding ihreat ti China; now ihey find them rcgrrttahle Although ihey may now perceive some different trends Inthey probahly nevertheless regard thestability and effectiveness of US policy as still uncertainfscience in the Uniled Slates is likely tn. lie adverselyChinese readiness to cooperate with US policiesthe degree thai Beijing perceives tendencies of instability, vacillation, andnf will persisting in US policies, particularly if quick changes in policy were lo leave China more exposed to danger

The Chinese are likely to regard ihcerosion of US influence in various Third World countriesesult of local factors, apart from Soviet effons to exploit ihem This may strengthen the Chinese view ihat visiblewith the United Stales would In many cases be counterproductive to Chinos ownincluding that of minimizing SovietBut this conclusion In itself is unlikely to translate immediately Into greater Chineseto conciliate ihe Soviets However, to ihe degree the Chinese perceive the Soviet Union likely over time to make incremental advancesirect or indirect resim nl US misfortunes, their apprehension of the Soviels will be reinforced.

Thirdly, rhe Chinese wish the United States to give major weight lo Chinese interests inUS policies, and minimal weight to Soviet interests. The Chinese ore well aware of the existence of differing currents of opinion in the United Stales regarding the appropriate UStoward China and the Soviet UnionIhey are likely to be fairly flexible in adjusting to specific US policies, Ihey will remainensitive lo any evidenceore generil US retreatolicy of helping to strengthen China's overall position against *he Soviet Union. Bul ihey would be especiallyconsequently more likely lo review basic assumptions about the Si no-Soviet-USthey concluded that US actionsto China were ephemeral, and subject to modification In exchange for concessions from the Soviet Union

n the whole, the Chinese are probably fairly confident Ihat objectiveparticular, Ihe momentum ofS returnetente relationship with the USSRind Ihat was widely' presumed lo exit! during theut the Chinese are ixobably somewhat less sure lhal the US and West European perception of

particular Interests, requiring Interactwith ihr Soviets will remain consistent wllh Chineseware lhat. unlikeignificance inelallvelv minor factor for much Europe, where security and trade relation-ith the USSR and Eastern Europe are muchImportant The Chinese may be especially cortcrrned over the fu'.ureesthose perceptible coolness toward China Ihey have probably Interpreted as symptomatic ofvulnerability to Soviet leverage. Nevertheless,trends in European behavior toward the Soviets prc-baMy will not ilnnificanlh affect tin-posture toward the USSR unless radical changes rnstM'. In particular, any Western agreement with theaicll or explicit, which was pr-tceivrd by IViung to facilitate Soviet transfer tn Asiaignificant portion of the Soviet forces or weapons in Europe would he interpreted by tbe Chineseevelopment requiring rectum irut inn nfuvior toward the Smict Union (her the pcrmd nf this Estimate, however, the Chinese po-buhly comliler this contingency remote

IV. STATIC AND DYNAMIC

FACTORS IN SOVIET POtlCY

ver the next few years, Soviet concern over Sino-US cooperation against Soviet interests is likely lo grew, and the Soviets are likely lo continue lo wish, in principle, tn lie able to conciliate Belling Because the greater portion of Soviet competitive efforts on the world scene will still he directed against the United States, the stronger and global antagonist, rather than China, the weaker and resinnul one. tlie Soviet* will continue In hope lo belter their relationship with China and thus Improve their position In the mangle They would thereby reduce ihe Inclination of both tlielr adversaries to use Sinn-US associationource nf leverage on Soviet policy.

ti I

he present Soviet leadership Is likely tounwilling, however, to pay an importantprice! to Belling to accomplish this As In their dealings with the United States, so with China, the

villi urohably continue to refuse to accepthat is, tbey will nol be willing, for the sake of the hielationship, to forgo seizure of

. gee-political npporlunities which Injure ihe interests of

oiher pany unless Ihey are sure ofthat' tr)ev!consider of overwhelming Imporlonce. They thus appear unlikely, for ex-niplc.I1x1 support nf Vietnamese ambitions against thoseChina with* out.inimum, the advance um-iiierisatiuii nf evlremely Urge. Indeed radical, improi einiiils in llie Chinese posture toward the Soviet Union Minor Chinese changes almost certainly willsuffice.

f. however. Ihe Soviets conclude over the nest several years lhat the United Stales and China arelose security relationship. Moscow's petccptmn of its Chinawell as nf the worldwide balance ofshiftWe think it likely that the page and scope nf this rrlationOilp and cooperation 'vould be crucial in coloring Moscow perception ofevelopment The Sovieis would grumbleelatively gradual gnm thino-US security relationship butroiMhls adjust calmly lo newapidof the relationship on the other hand, would almost certainly appear more thn-alcningiiw This effect would he intensified If Soviet leaders were lo conclude further lhat their hsksie military superiority ovr* China was Isriugeroded, partly because of Sino-L'S military cooperation In view nf the fact that theililaryetween the USSR and China is still expanding rather than diminishing, we Iwlieve the Sovieti ure unlikely In reach ihii coitcliuion unless US military leclinologi-cal aMl In China is carried tn great lengths Hi it If the Soviets did perceive an adverse trend developing inthis military balance, we think thai iheir response would emphasize pressure and threitls rather than conciliation of China

n ihe absence nf fundamental changes on the part nf Ibe Chinese, tlie Soviets will try to get Rciitng to agree to more modest bilateral improvements while refusing to abate the competitiveand many otherto which Bellinghus far, In Iha talks with the Chinese begunhe Soviets have found themselves frustrated In this effort by the Chinese insistence on such linkage, at well as Iry the Chinese demand for military disrn-gagement by the Soviets so extensive lhat both sides knowill never be considered by Moscow. The Soviets have not abandoned hope, however,haiuting world "correlation ofshift In Ihe Chinese itrrceptliMt of Ihe utility of the United Slatesmrlnrr, and an extension nfnn to Beijing'" USSRevenlmilly alter Ihisposition. In that evenl the Soviets are probably prepared tn make bilateral concessions to Beijing in mailers they consider secondary.

The Economic Relationship

he bilateral economic relationship noiir mm fnr where such future Soviet initiatives could occur TheI USSR in pa it veers hasumber ofainly tendered proposals that the Chinese resume the whole-plant purchases haltediim long-lerm trade agreement, and agree to the large-scale return of Soviet economic eiperts and advisers to China; and there tt fragmentary evidence lo suggest that the Soviets may have revived ihe Issue of Soviet technical assistance to the Chinese coal .ndustry Ins the summerhe Soviets may have erroneously concluded that Chinese interest inrade wilh the USSR was sufficient to create Soviet leverage in the political negotiations which began in 5 B. Instead, the Soviets ultimately found In these ; negotiations that the Chinese leaders would not agree lo improvement in the economic reUllonshlp without unthlrutabte prior Soviet military coocessioru

'espite this impasse, we believe that thereubstantial chance that during the neat few years the USSR will resurface economic proposals lo China

j'l without Soviet prerequisites The Soviets evidently assign great weight to the difficulties China has esper-lenced In aralmllatlng Western tecOrsology, andlieve that thereignificant body of Chinese opinion .hatajor eipansion of Sino-Soviet econornic dealings likely lo be economically beneficial to China. We think It probable that the Soviets oVerestimate the client of such sentiment Wethink It likely that tha Sovieti in the net! few Inters will find occasion to revive proposals for trade eipansion, long-term trade agreements, and techno-iiBfirai cooperation.

i U

Ration of Possible Soviet

Military and Border Concasslom

n issues relating to the border negotiationsdeployments, future Soviet fleilbllity willmore severely constrained, chiefly becausemust confront specific Chinese demandsIhe table which define the framework ofwhich the Soviets consider Inimical lo iheiriWithin the period of this Estimate, weno chance that either the present Soviet

eaders or their successors will yield to thedemand for total Soviet military evacuation of all the "disputed areas"rerequisiteorder settlement.

.However. It is possible ihat the Sovieli would offer China minor concessions as facr-savina indiicementi if Ihey were to conclude thisnduce China to retreat from lis rigid negotiating position. The Sovieli could reiterate previous offersccept some very minor adjustment! of ihe Sino-Soviet border, provided these wereand provided that they did not Involve claims which the Soviets consider nonnegotiable for strategic reasons, particularly the claim to the key island of lleiilazl, near Khabarovsk

c also consider it extremely unlikely that either the Brezhnev leadership or its heirs will in (he nest few yean acccot the Chinese demand for' 'irr.il withdrawal of all Soviet forces fromond ;be reduction of Soviet forces In Asia to Ihe level of theartial price to be paid In advance forrall improvement In Sino-Soviet relations. Indeed, we believe it Improbable that the Soviels would seriously considrr es-eneversal of the prolonged military htilldup in Asia opposite China until far-reaching prerequisites hod been satisfied These would probably include,inimum, ihe achievementorder settlement satisfactory to the Soviet Unionadicalof the Chinese posture of global polilicaltoward Ihe USSR

Even under these hypothetical greatly changed circumstances, it would probably be difficult for the Soviets toeduction of Iheir forces opposite China If the Chinese remained hostileietnam allied with ihe Soviet Union and if Ihe possibility of Sino-Vietnamese hostilities remained. However. In the unlikely circumstances that Moscow believed there was Ihe near-certaintyadical improvement In Slno-Sovlet relations. It might pay the inevitable price of Impaired Soviet-Vietnamese relations.

We also believe II conceivable thai. If the Soviet leadersignificant possibility of Imminent radical change in the Chinese attitude toward the Soviet Union, they might be willing to hold out tn the Chinese the proipect of some future concessionsSoviet forces opposite China In this unlikely event, the Soviets might suggest that appropriate changes in Chinesebut notlo, Chinese agreement to what the USSRa reasonable borderbe followed by some reduction of Soviet forces In Asia. Evenimited ond conditional offer might be controveniol In the Soviet Union, and. at best, any such hypothetical oiler would almost cer-

Ulntv fall far ihort of what the Chinese have thus far been demanding In particular, we foresee virtually no chance that any Soviet leadershipywould be willing lo remove all Soviel forces from Mongolia, whose defense Is considered essential lo lhat of the Soviet Union.

n short, there Isimited range ofSoviel concessions to China in the border andim Significant concessions in this area are Improbable, even when predicated upon priorconcessionscope which is Itself highly improbable

Tho Momentum of Present Deployments

n fact. Soviet deployment Is moving steadily In the direction of increased strength and capability The number of Soviet divisions deployed agair.sl China, and the Quality and quantity of their equipment continues to grow in Mongolia as well as tbe USSR Exercise* for forces already facing China and those oul-of-area forces evidently Intended as potentialwere conducted9uch larger scale and nwre reali'tlc manner than heretofore. Also it appearsew higher level command echelon has been created to command some, and perhaps all. of the military districts opposite China, with asenior officer Installed as commander. This new command may be second In Importance In the Soviel armed forces only to that of the Warsaw PactIfhrte ore also Indications that In regard lo one important slrai,-wic weapon system now beingSoviets appear lo have dec id ed upon an unusual equality in the allocation of resources iggalnst iheir Chinese and WeslemThe force structure confronting th* Chinese adversary has thus been made more nearl/In form, scope, and polilical significance to the structure opposite NATO, although the site of the allocated to Asia Is,ikely lo continue to less than that deployed In Europe

wJ;canr-ot be certain what force goals the itstU now envisage achieving In Asia wllhln the three-to-flve-year period of this Estimate. We have reason lo believe, however, that the Soviet leadership within the past three years decided on furtherground force and air force Improvementssome force rein force men ti) In the not too distantarticular for the Trarshalkal Military District and Mongolia, ihe subject of ihe most bilter Chinese complaints about Soviet deployments. We helieve lhat some. Uthough not all, of these espected Improvements In unils and materiel have by now been effected, and lhat more are likely to appear during the period nf thb Estimate In addition, the Soviet Pacific Fleet continues to be upgraded with the newest classes of mbmannes. surfacend ASW aircraft. It Is eipected that the newest Soviet naval slrlkaBackfire) will be deployed to the Far East during the same period.

Chinese response lo ihese changes bbe measured. In the wake of the border clashesChinaonsiderable number ofand withdrew others from theentral reserve Although the borderthis realignment of forces,eadjustment lo the entire Sovietalong the Imtder lo llul lime; It probablyan augrnentaiton of similar scope of theof the hurder for the Chinese lo undertake aredeployment of their own forceshave altered slightly itseployment

, pattern to meet the continuing and long term threai from Vietnam on Us southern border, but thb added strain has not affected deployment of Chinese forces In the north. They remain In greater number than the Sovieis facing them, stationed well back from the border, and armed with the best equipment In the Chineseof course is no match for ihe Soviets In firepower or mobility. The Chinese

I Navy's capability to respond to the Soviet Navy's buildup and presence in ihe Far East will remain minimal throughout the period of thb Estimate

believe the continued strengtheningforces facing China flowsonfluenceAs the capabilities of Chinese forcesthe Soviils remain determined tooutmatch them, and to be seen as doing so. atup the ladder of escalation. As ihe possibilityChinese may acquire Western militaryconservative Soviet military planners tendlo offset thb eventuality long before Itfruition. With the evolution of Sovietand the coming Into being of newihe forces ln Asia automatically benefit.Ihe military development of the Soviet Faribe size of ihe military forces deployedarea will abo grow over the long term. Finally,Soviets perceive their political Interests In EastAsia to behas vblbly occurredandare inclined tothe weight of their military presence In the area

asmeans of tacit pressure upon their Chinese rival. In turn, the Sovieli ere impelled lo reinforce ihe Chinese border not only aideterrent, but aim to provide them with the capability lo carry outr operations if necestary.

Th* Chcances of Soviet MulTeity

e continue to believe that derpite the growth In Soviet military capabllltlet the uncertain outcome of any conflict wilh the Chlnete argues against my premeditated attack on China unless severelyThe nature of what may constitute provocation in the Soviet mind Is itself in flui. however, and will be consideredMeanwhile, the Soviets remain sensitiveariety of deterrent factors:

- As to strategic nuclear attack, the Soviets are likely to continue lo perceive as unacceptibly high the likelihood that any such Soviet strike at China would leave the Chinese with an unor undestroyed residual capability with which they would be able to attack and destroy some Soviet cities.

As lo conventional ground attack more serious than limited border skirmishes, tne Soviets are likel- 'o continue lo find the prospect ofengagement wilh the Chinese probable and discouraging. Although present Soviet forces in Asia are probablv sufficient to defeat the Chinese locally and overrun northern Manchuria orthe Soviets are unlikely to believe that they could eliminate Chineseee or to visualize clearly how they would endar. The Soviets are likely to attach great weight to the unpredictablees ofand war in Asia against an opponent of China's size, population, andfor implacability and tensdty

Asorder engagement, the Soviets are likely to think that such limited action would not provide sufficient pressure on Beijing to cause il to modify Its policy. Border skirmishes wojld not permit the Soviets to do serious damage to Chinese military forces, but would nevertheless risk art escalation which Moscow could not be sure It could control

In addition, Iheconsider

the probableolilical confor their relations with Asia and the West lo be an Import consideration Although th* adverse coiisequences for relations wilh the United Slates in particular might be somewhat less importanl for. the Soviets, than tormerly because of the recent deterioration of Soviet-US relations, even this would be of some importance.

IMoreover, that the United States iseasure of security cooperation wi.'h China

j raises the possibility of US military Involvement. Even if the Soviets Judged this to belight probability, it would nevertheless add to Soviet

; uncertainty, and thus to deterrence.

iFinally, the Soviets In the period of this Estimate will continue to be acutely aware that hostilities

I with China would probablv further poison the Sino-Soviet relationship for many years lo come. They would have little hope ofooperative Chinese regime In any area not firmly held by Soviet troops. Far from bringing

I abo'i* the creationavorable government In

h.iii, such hostilities would make it politically imuuulbte for Chinese authorities controlling the bulk of the Chinese population and landmassonciliatory stance toward the Soviet Union for the foreseeable future. Although the Soviets do not at present have great expectationsavorable evolution of attitudes In the Chinese leadership, ihey have sufficient hopes for change over time to give them reason to be reluctant to cast these hopes away without great provocation.

here are circumstances, however. In which the Soviets would be forced to weigh all these factors against opposing considerations. Not ill suchcarry an equal order of probability. We would rateather low probability, forcenario In which Moscow contemplated an attack on Chinaesultrain of events In which China had threatened India with attackesult of Indian efforts to destroy or heavily defeat Pakistan. Another relatively unlikely scenario could arise out of Soviet concern over the Implications of military ties between Washington and Beijing. We consider Soviet hints thai Moscow would act decisively If future dealingsthe United States and China crossed anthreshold to be largely saber rattling for short-term effect. Butituation in which the Sino-US security relationship was growing rapidly, the Soviets might consider accepting the costs of striking at the weaker link In the nascent tacit alliance. In any evert we think that Moscow's response would probably

Include Intensified military preparations In Eastthese would probably occur before ihe Soviet leadership fell it necessary lo review ihe option of usim force against China, either lo preemptmilitary Improvements or loerceived Chinese challengeensitive area such as Indochina.

ine-Vietnamese conflict is In facl thewhich has the moat serious potential for causing Moscow lo consider In detail ihe factors favoring military action against China. In the eventhinese attack on Vietnam these factors wouldore important to Moscow' In proportion lo theof the Chinese threat to Hanoi or to Ihe vUblHlv of tht Vietnamese regime We believee re Isair likelihood thai the present Soviet leadership would again refrain from any military response on the Slno-Sovlet border if It were Inclined to believe that the Chinese intended to penetrate no further Into Vietnam than they did9 If tbe Vietnamese forces were decisively defeated and the Chinese appeared likely to go farther,he Soviets would be most reluctant Io accept the political costs of allowing their ally to be humiliated, the fail accompli in Indochina to be reversed, and the Soviet deterrent against China lo be discredited We believe there is at least an even chance thai under these circumstances, the present Soviet regime wouldtake some military counteraction against China. If ri_ie permitted, this would almost certainly be 'preceded by steps designed to Induce ihe Chinese to hah and withdraw, such as warning messages and military demonstrations. If time did not permit, how-r, theiSovlets could be led to act more rapidly. Allsuggest that, depending on the of circumstances, there might be consider-for miscalculation by both sides about the ite Intentions of the opponent

_ (iTrW Sovftt Succession Voriable

hese and several other contingencies for Sino-Soviet relations may also be affected by the fact Ihe Soviet leadership is likely toignificant change in membership during the next three to five -years. General Secretary Breihnev, Premier Kosygin, and possibly several others In the aging Politburo may bearge number of factors whose ultimate effects cannot befor example. Ihe order in which different leadeninteract ir> determine the shape of the succeeding leadership. The foreign policy inclinations of the successors will also be affected lo sumdegree, and perhaps significantly, by major Soviet economicwhose consciences will increasingly affectduring Ihis period In addition, personal consider-alums which have little to do with Soviet national ii.teresls. such as the ambition political adroitness, and degree of opportunism of various contenders, will also probablyajor effect on the emergingin all policy areas, including that of policy toward Chi,sa.

T| It is possible thatuccessor leadership will be primarily concerned, at least during the period of transition, with ensuring Internal stability by

mini-miring the likelihood of external disturbances and adventures If so, this would Increase the likelihood of new Soviet overtures to the Chinese intendtd toeduction of tensions without significant Soviet concessions In this case, new Soviel offers to improve Ihe economic relationship would bemore likely.

For the reasons discussed in this Estimate,we do not believeuccessor Sovietwill fi id It possible to go beyond the limited and highly contingent concessions lo China on border and force disposition issues described earlier Moreover, these hypothetical concessions are themselves marginal possibilities, to which what mayew, weaker, and more divided Soviet leadenhip than the present one may find It even more difficult to agree.

At the same time, the successor leadenhip may value an image of constancy, and may find II even more difficult than has Ihe Brezhnev leadenhip to resist policy choices which flow from existingchoosing not to believe that such an approach may ultimately lead to greater risk* This tendency may be furtheredontinuation of tht visible growth in the prestige and Influence of the Soviet military establishment, on whom ihe new General Secretary may be increasingly dependent.

These considerations widen the area ofrelating to Interplay of factors bearing on ihe future of the Slno-Sovlet dispute, but In the absencelearer picture of the Soviet succession and of the circumstances in whichill occur, we cannot say -vith certainly whether this factor will increase or decrease the odds lhal in ihe future Moscow will take somewhat neater risks in response to perceivedprovocation. We believe, however, that ouron this score will be shared by the Chinese.

to the degree that It therefore raises the risk of Chinese miscalculation. It may marginally Increase the Irlsk of Slno-Sovlet military conflict as well. !

V. PROSPECTS

he Interplay of the factors and variables con-itdered In this Estimate appears most likely to produce the following results over the next three to five years

esolution of the Impasse In the Sino-Soviet border negotiations is unlikely, particularly since the Chinese continue to insist that movement In thii area precede rather thaneneral rapprochement It ts very improbable that the Soviets will begin to reduce their military dispositions along the border and in Mongolia as China is likely to continue to demand, and probable that these dispositions will Insteadto be improved.

n balance, we believe there Ismall chance of Slno-Sdviet hostilities durlne this period. This chance could be somewhat increased in the eventew Chinese attack on Vietnam, which we consider possible but not probable, and would Increase further thereafter In proportion to the depth and persistence of the Chinese assault. However, thethat these variables will cumulatively net out differently Is considerable. The likelihood of Slno-

Sovlet military conflict thus willigh degree of uncertainty over tbe next few years.

he Soviets will almost certainly persisteir support of Vietnamese ambitions In conflict with perceived Chinese interests, will continue theirpresence in Afghanistan, and will very probably continue military and political activities in many other places throughout the world and around China'swhich will reinforce Chinese fear of aSoviet geopolitical threat. Chinese antagonism toward the Soviet Union will, on balance, not decline, although arguments about how best to deal with the Soviet threat could arise fn China On balance abo we believe China will continue to demand far-reaching and uMcceptable pterequlsites from the Soviet Union for any notable Improvement in the rem ship, as these demandsesult, ratherause, of the anlagoniim.

n the event of Important changes in the US posture toward China or the Soviet Union favorable to the Soviet Union and adverse to China, the likelihood of which Is outside our consideration, the Chinese leadership might make some concessions to the Soviet Union that would otherwise be uriacceptable. The extent of such possible concessions cannot now be judged; we believe In any event that they willunction of the Chinese assessment of how Immediate is the threat China faces from the USSR.

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