Created: 10/25/1973

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Possible Changes in the Sino-Soviet Relationship




The following intelligence organizations partidpaltd in Iht preparation of the ettimata:

Tho Central Intelligent* Agency ond the ir.ieliigonc* organizations of theof Stole ond Defense, the NSA, rhe AEC, and the Treasury.


the Deputy Director of Control Intelligence

The Direclor of Inlelligence and Research, Oeporlmenl of Stole The Director, Detente Intelligence Agency The Director, National Security Agency

The Assistant General Manager for Nationo! Security, Aromic Energy Cornmruion The Special Aisitront to Ihe Secretory of the Treasury


Tho Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the subject beWig outside of his jurisdiction.


V' 3



SEsfst r









War 13


Limited Improvement in15




Significant improvement in Sino-Soviet relations is unlikely in llie next year orif Maoentral clement of the impasse at this stage is the absence uf any visible inclination in Moscow to leducc its military foices along the Chinese border.

War between Moscow and Pekingossibility, but wc rate the odds ashigherhina, clearly the weaker party, would not atiack. The USSH would mainly be deterred by: China's strategic missile capability, however modest; the chance of becoming bogged downrotiacted ground war; concern over the potential impact on its economic relations with the West; and, uncertainty as to the nature and scope of US reactions.

Military action againsta disarming nuclearcontinue toertain appeal to some Soviet leaders, and argumentsisarming strike would probably gain strength if the US appeared to move toward an anti-Soviet alliance with the Chinese. Even in this contingency, however, the counter-arguments would seem far more compelling. Thus, it is likely that Moscow will holdote measured course, one which does not foreclose the possibility of some accommodation over the longer term.

[DIA and Air Force would differentiatearge-scale invasionisarming strike, rating thc likelihoodisarming strike as markedly greater titan that of an invasion.]

Indeed, die longer the Sino-Soviet peace is maintained, the better the chanceseduction ol tension in the reJationsJiip. Mao's death, for one thing, should ease the way toward accomiitodation for both sides. Soviet or Chinese disappointments in dealing with the US might provide other incentives to bury the hatchet. So would the growth of Chinese nuclear strength and overall self-confidence tn dealing with bolh superpowers. There are also the cumulative costs of years of tension and military preparedness, which may dispose both sides toward less risky, more controlled forms ofnewin which differences are muted and third parties prevented from exploiting Sino-Soviet cleavages

But movement beyond limited accommodationsenuine and durablecollaboration andewhigliltj unlikely, evenalionaland basic clashes of interest run too deep.

A long-term improvement in the tone ofl at ions would not necessarily mean communist unwillingness to do business with the Wesl. There would slill be strong interestontinuingof trade and technology. Hut (here would be adverse effects. The Chinese would be less interested in improving relations with the US and less tolerant of the US miliiary presence" in the Far Easi. The Soviets would he less concerned with detente in Euiope and more willing to compete with the US globally. Japan would have less room for maneuver between Moscow and Peking, both of which would oppose the growth of Japanese influence abroad.

The most significant result of any major reduction in Sino-Soviet strains might welleneral fear in the West and in the Third World lhat something like full-scale rapprochement was in the wind. This would stimulate interest in regenerating alliances wiih the US and could, in certain circumstances, increase resistance lo (Wilier detente efforts among Western leaders.





ackground. Tin? Sino-Soviet dispute oavcs as much to old national rivaliies as to the ideological battles of the but decade or so. Before Mao won control of the Party in the. however, the relationship of the Chinese communists with the Sovietsthat of pupil and teacher. But even then, the Chinese fouisd Soviet adviceand often hazardous, and thc effort* of Moscow to contrnl the Chinese Communist Partyasting mistrust andAfter the Chinese communists won their civil war,9 pilgrimage to Moscow was marked by lengthy and loughions over the Sino-Soviet Treaty ofAlliance, and Mutual Assistance. Stalin was concerned that Mao mightew Tito, and was quick to lake exception to Chinese claims for Mao's doctrinal originality.

ith this inauspicious begin, ing it if surprising that the Sino-Soviet boncsTuoon lasted as long as it did. During, thc Korean War and its lingering effects onin Peking and Washington, and China's urgent need lo develop und modernize its economy, tied Peking to Moscow. Al! the

while, ol course, Peking hoped to become nil irli.n1 ,uid (eared lhal StwMMalN freeze Chinaermanent state of de-{xiwinice and inferiority.oorly eiecuted atli-inpl to achieve an economic btiukthroueb. Pi-king launched its Creat Leap ForwardI systemhe Sovietst as an ideological challenge as wellisuse of (hcli technical aid.

On yet another track, the death nf Stalinncouraged Peking to promote Maotlie lop ideologue and senior leader ol lhc communist world. The Soviets mad*foit to conceal their contempt lot thisthough it was after Khrushchev'sh Congress of Ihe CPSU tnIhis facet of thc dispulc liegnn to intensify. China'sIn thc Polish and Hungarian crises of lhat year confirmed Peking's neweneis in competing with Moscow on mattersinternational communism.

Moscow's refusal to provide tlie kindrii aid demanded by China, coupled vsith Soviet rdnctance to |oin China inlhe US in8 Taiwan Straittcdiontlni



Hie Soviet withdrawal offrom China0 brought thcinto the open and marled Ihc end of attempts to develop cooperaiion in economic and technical fields. As the dispulc worsened through thc polemical exchanges ofas the Chinese sulsscqucntlythat thc fall of Khnitbchev meant no softening of Sovxt policy towardthe stage svas set for an escalation intocompetition Indeed, lhe Peking meeting bctsvccii Mao and Kosygin in5 left neither side in doubt about the depth and enduring nature of their conflict. Italso served to Rive final impetusoviet decision to strengthen their militaiy foices along rjio Chinese border.

Uliianjhe military buildup along the Sino-Soviet bolderon the Soviet side, remains the most dramatic and convincing evidence of Ihe deep hostility between Ihe two powers- Soviet da-visions near the border5 numberedrow there ar*ombat divisions which could be used in the early stagesajor confllcr with China. In thc same period. Soviet tactical air strength near the border has grown bom lossircraft to. 'llie buildup has been relatively fast though it Appears toong-range plan for methodical growlh. While someSoviet military personnel and some air units have been drawn from the western USSR, no ground unils opposite thc NATO central region Iiave been used in thc buildup. Soviet deployment of new forces to tbe Sino-Scrvict border area appears to have tapered off. /

For-fTieir part, the Chinese made" "no effoit to concenlrale additional tioops close to Ihe border, though aware of the Soviet

'SeeIhr Sino-Sovietlir Military .sajiests,'* .dai'dOP SECRET ALL SOURCK.etailed uarym ofsubiect

buildup shortly after it began. In Ihc. China was deeply enmeshed in tlte Cultural Revolution, which involved theparticipation of the People'sArmy. Peking was also sensitive to the threat [vised hy US foices in Indochina. China's relative military weakness required that it offer no serious provocation to either thehe US. Thc chosen strategy was to hold Chinese forces svell back from tliewhere they might easily be cut off by thc Superior mobility and firepower of enemyorder lo maintain balancedof vital centers against all potential threats

hinese fear of Soviet attack reached its peak, following the Soviet show of force in response toorder incidents along the Ussuri River. Peking'scounter was lo impose greater rc-slnliiit Over US frontier units, to agree to border lalks with Moscow, to shift some army units northward (though still far back from thend to intensify the construction of underground shelters and facilities. Chinese concern over Soviet military intentions was also used at this time to justify phasing out those aspects of the Cultural Revolution that had become incrcaiingly anarchic and"Red Guard Diplomacy" wasew image of respectability andin the West. Peking's confidenceis the Soviets rose dramatically1 with its entry into the UN and the irnpiove-ment of its relations with the US. While Chinese fears of Soviet attack arc real and ever-present, these diplomaticwith Oiina's progress in theof strategicreduced their intensity relative to thc peaks.

8 Current Levels of Contact. Apparently as thc resulteliberate Soviet decision to intensify thc propaganda battle, exchanges



Mumow and Peking havehe11it level ofU Soviet moves ut tliB latest scriespu littcal csehaiisjes have uidiKietl anutlirt iifltrnil ul in treaty tun June (which .icciiiilnij! tu Btr/liiicv, "China did nut even deign tomi an initiative at the Cilinenn Conference uf Warsaw Pact paily leaders in July tu prmokc iitcutsinn of lhc "China pioblem" Tliese actiuns were followed in August by (wu milhurttalive Puvda articles which seemed tu argue thai China had by its own actions andoved it**If from tin- socialist cunimuiiity Tho Soviets have been Mmd in all this hy their concern over Chinese meddling In both tail and West Europe In the inMltt ofd CSCE negotiations, b> then Impe to influence intia-Paity debate in China, and by then desire to limit China's .ijipe.il to the non-aligned states (especially (hiring the non-ahgned conference in Algiers inlse Soviet campaigno reflect someby Moscowis the Smopluhi Itonianians and )ierhaps snme preliminary efforts to set the stage for an international communist cimference whkh would denounce the Chinese

S) Tlse Chinese, leading to these Soviet efforts to condemn them in the eyes of Eastern Europe, io isolate thetn politically from the socialist world, and possibly tohinese internal affairs, responded with pic-ilirtable vehemence. In his definitiveatty Congress In August. Chou En-lai left no doubt that Peking coniideri tlse Soviets as its number-one enemy He charged that lhc Wthave icslored capitalism,fnsctslttd used militaiy force ta back their foreign policies, he Stated that China should remain on guardsurprise altack" by tbc Soi lets. For all his bill of particulars against ihe Soviet leadership, Chou was catch il not

to rule uul improvedat least mrt to Ware China vulnerableharge of rejecting compromise. As Chun put it. 'The Sinn-Soviet controversy on matters ofshould not hunter the nurmalizahon of tel.ilhins between lhe two states on the basis ul the five principles uf peacefulespite this gesture on Cbou's pait. the net effect of these exchanges has been to further poivun tlie atmosphere in the bilateralill p.

part from these well-known polemics, there is little evidence on live stiueture and functioning nf thc coircut Sino-Soviet rela-tiuiitbip. On Ihc covenunental level, tradedipkMii.itK mailers (including border talks at the vice-minislerial level) arclcd correct I) though culdly And these gov-iiimicntal channels appear to be theil not the onblines of contact between thc tvi'O countries. There is no indication ol any regular liaison between llie twoparties; indeed, it would be remark, ubli if any direct parly link had survived the yean of acrimony. Hosvevcr, the diplomatic t'Lxhaniim is always available for quick and securend if the situation should warrant, new channels could be hastily staffedloser liaison So long as fundamental dis-aerectneut persists, ho>vevej. both sides aie likely to ciiiilinuc to air their differences in public as well as in Iheir private ea'clianges.


hc ruplure of the Sino-Soviet relation, ship has helped establish the preconditions for new patterns of relations among the powers. Tlie rivalry between Moscow and Peking now affects virtually every aspect of their foicign policies and, on balance, haseavy price from each of them in their dealings with otber nations. Theirand resources have been diverted fmni



piublcms lo deal with what liasigh prim ity forlheof the oilier. Thc Soviets fear thcboost in economic nnd military strength which China could achieve over time from the unrestricted import of US and otherchoology The Chines* fear tlso isolalion and vulnerability that would result from US-Soviet "collusion to achieve worldVking and Moscow are sensitive, of course, to Ihe efforts of olher powers,the US. to exploit their rivalry; and this makes calculations of balance nndamong the majorjapan and WesternAll Chinese and Russian policymust now be weighed in Ihe light uf how they might affect the balance of their rivalry.

ew third parties, the Sino-Soviet competition has brought undesiredand disadvantages. North Vietnam was able, during lhe crucial. lo play Peking and Moscow to its own advantage Hanoi, however, would have prefened tlie resolute backingniled communist bloc during this peiied. And now, Hanoi finds the separate and competing approaches of thc Soviets nnd Chinese to Washington distinctly harmful to its more parochial inleresls in South Vietnam For Northegree of dmbetween Moscow and Peking xvas for many years welcome, it provided Kim Il-song the oppoitunlty to assert his independence of both Ihese powerful allies. Bui Ihe intensity of the Sino-Soviet dispute and ils profound effect on Soviet and Chinese relations with the US have served to foreclose eiternal support foe any North Korean military appioach to the unification Issue.

oi most ol the world, the present status of the Sino-Soviel relationshipieatei sense of opportunity and security. Japan now

finds Ihe Iwo communist powers fnr lessas they compete,egree, for ils favor. Peking is even picparod lo accept, at least at thison tinning US military presence in Japan Chinese fears of the USSR areajor fad or in Peking's more moderate poslure Inward local governments in South-cast Asia and In ils current willingness loontinued US presence in (hat region These changes in Peking's posture have by no means meant assurance oficstraHits on North Vietnam, or Chinese collaboration wiih ihc US to adiieve asettlement in Cambodia, or Chinesefrom the aclivc communistin Thailand and Burma But thc shift has opened llie possibilityess disruptive Chinese role in thc area in Ihe future, and even of some collaborative efforts with the US and Ihe local anttcotnmunist states, all designed lo serve Chinas broader strategyii tho USSR.

bl. Moscow's push for delenlc in Europe is in part motivatedesire to improve its ability lo deal with the problem of China Recognizing this. Peking lias activelylhe nations of Western Europe to ignore Soviet blandishments and to strengthen

Ik-, mill ltl'.'v en.'oiji-

agementonger NATOhield against Soviet pressures is helpful to US policy' The Chinese position on MBFR. how*pposed lo that of the US. andarguments about US Soviet "collusion" tend to teiiilorce suspicions of lhe same in places like Pails. China's relative lack ofIn Europe, though, limits the impact of its views on ongoing substantiveconcerning lhal area

hina's effort to shake Moscow'sover the communist parties and the slates of Eastern Europe probably represents more of an irhlanlhreat to Ihe Soviet posi-



there. Hulino-Soviet conflict lias complicitcd Moscow's dealings with il* War-sat*nlroiliiclng another ronton-tioui issue and giving some ofcgiec of leverage against the USSR ll has also cu-coviinged ji naliinil tendency among some East I'jiiiopcan stales lo seek as independentorngit policypossible without Inciting Moscow's in Romania's ostentatiouswith Peking nnd refusal lo cooperate in Soviet propaganda against Peking is purlieu-larly frustrating lo Moscow.

hina's admission lo tl. US brought thc Sino-Soviet conflict directly inlo lhat body, further compile ul ing international efforts toonsensus on majorarms control and the Law of tlie Sea While Peking continues to oppose US positions In the UN, ils most biting attacks there have bcmat thc Soviet Union and lhethreat. The US has not been able to lake direct advantage of thc Suso-Sovict dispute in the UN to secure favorable votes, but Peking's atlncks on the Soviet! have taken some of tlse itileinAtional heal off Wnn. long the favorite target for Third World rhetoric Moreover, with the Soviets andfiequently (Hilling their clients in dif-feient diicctioni, anti-US foices at thf UN have had more lactical difficulty mustering support for Iheu positions.

eking hat regularly tried to rally Third World countries against the US as well as Ihe USSH. however, and has attempted to warn newly independent nations of the "threat" which dose relations with either powerCurrently, for example, Peking is busily denouncing Ihe US and the USSR for per-petuating tensions in the Middle East at the expense of the Arab cause.

he Sino-Soviet rivalry has also caused Peking to greatly reduce its involvement* bl most revolutionary and guerrilla movements In

recent years, and to devote attention to or> MCnflng tics with existing power structures almosthe Third World. This has contributedowering of tension in various Iroublcspots ami to belter relations between Peking and many non-communist states important to Washington. China has dramatically improved relations with Iran, for example. Imping to help block lhe furtherof Soviet influence in tlie Persian Cull legion In Africa, the Chinese have been aggressively expanding slate-to-state relations,ew casesomalia) in directwith lhc Soviel* and virtuallywith an eye toward weakening the in-fhi-iiri- of the superpowers In Latin America, where Chinese interests are still limited, there has been far less maneuvering between the two communist powers for influence.

eking and Moscow have backed up their compost ion for influence in the Third World with trade and aid. Tlie USSR provides by far the greater amount and is engagediojd-bascd contest for influencethe Third World, against thc US as well as China Peking has perforce been more selective with Ils .ml. and (ts substantiallyaid programs appear designed for Ihe most part to counter the Soviets. China has moved aggressively lo edge out the Soviets when targets of opportunityby offering substantial aid to Sudan after its serious rift with Moscow. Peking basicitdcd generous aid offers to states wiih which it had little previous contact, as in Zaire, despite the displeasure such initiatives raised in other, less. liberally treated, diem: states Irk* Congo Brazzaville The Chinese hive not abandoned theii established allies, of course, andvirtue of Ihcir large aidenjoy far greater influence than risetates like Pakistan andIn fad, in most cases one or tbe uther of lhe communist powers islearly more



positionis (he other, so that despite the world-wide Sino-Soviet competi-tion. there has notild bidding war between Moscow and Peking for economicin the Third Woild.

eking and Moscow still compete for the favor of selected national liberation and subversive organizations world-wide, but the fervor ol their competition has dimmedin recent years. The seriousness of the Sino-Soviet competition has focusedand Soviet attention on moie crucial areasurope and thcs well asthem to deal wiih existing govern men! s. In only three areas is thereignificant com pet it ion for influence with nationalgroups. In Indochina, both Moscow and Peking, while paying proper deference to Hanoi's leading role, still compete forwith the liberation forces in Laos and Cambodia. Iu the two otherthe Arab fedayeen and thc revolutionaries of southerncompetition between the two has been low-keyed, with the Sovietsholding the upper hand without serious challenge. Since the Chinese appear unwilling to commit the resources lo oust the Soviets from their dominant position, and thr Soviets equally unwilling to up the ante to make the liberation groups more serious threats, thefor influence seems likely to stay within cmicnt parameters.


he fundamental issues and basic clashes of interest svhich separate the two powers appear sooe prolongationompetitive ond adversary relationship. Sino-Soviet antagonisms, rooted in historycultural differences andonears of insults, threats, and ideological disputes, have grown deep and strong. Shifts in both Soviet and Chinese

foreign policies In recent years have added new dimensions to their conflict. Iu particular, the efforts of each country to cultivate better iclatiom with Washington have fed mutual distrust and helped fuel the rivalry. So have thc effoitt of each to expand economic ties with tin- Wesl. And neither development seems tohotl-term proposition: the firstelief In both Moscow and Peking lhat casing tensions with Washington serves their national interests and strengthens theirposition, and the second is in both cases the result of basic and probablyiii'inx needs, especially for protein sup-plernents and advanced technology. Thecompetition in contiguous ateas has also heightened the level of distrust andChinese efforts lo encourage Eastlo loosen iheir ties with the USSB provoke Moscow's ire. Moscow's efforts toits Asian Collective Security concept have intensified the Chinese conviction that tbc USSR is determined to tackle China aisd check ilt influence throughout Asia

In sum. the Sino-Soviet dispute has by now gamed inch momentum and has solhe pcisonal prestige of theparticularly on the Chinese side, that any significant amelioration seems unlikely in the near term. Thus, for the next year orparticularly if Mao sumves-it seems most likely that tbe present level of tension will ptisisl. This is not intended to imply thm Sino-Soviet relations are fixed for the immediate futiue- The tone of thewill surely vary from lime to time. Border friclinns, domestic political needs, or unusual troop deployments could contribute at any time to eniptions in the relationship- The level of propaganda invective will vary in any case. The possibility of war, of course, will remain.

The Soviets have shown no inclination to respond to Chinese demands that Ihey pull back their forces along lhe border Moscow



lecb real concern about securily in Sovul (cTfifory bordering CIhiij andloved what it probably ctmsidi-rs tlie mini mum force capable of handling anyon ilt frontiers. Bul lhe Own m- ctc.ulv seeiiprojHMlion.ile nnd nupislified display of slrcngtli. and aie disinclined tu make concessions under what they chouse to interpretoviet show oft this point, it It doubtful that cither tide would reduce militaiy foices aking the butdeifur fear that tint would signal incsutiitMni or lack of slaying power to the other side.

llhoiiRh lie rate i'icmVit if lurcenary to givef Chinese aware-

ness of Soviet military superiority, the chances are remote that Peking would dehberatelv tafce actioris leading to war. Bul various moti vatiems arc conceivable for major Sovietactions against (Thiua. In the impruliable event that China engaged in persistent borderhe Soviets might move bevund local reprisals and cross tlic border instrength in an effoit to hallr-i. Larger military operations,penetrations of several bundled miles into Manchuria and Siiikiang. might beto exert pressure on the Chinesein some utliei context as well. Deeper penctratinnt, which svould requite moremobilization of Soviet forces, would have the purpose of solving the more basic "Chinan rtpportunity for such action might occur in thc unlikely cont-ngencyhina sharply divided by an internal struggle forn this case, the Soviets

'The idea that China might still*!inti-riial dlvuioniaverr weakening of lenlril aulhurlt) gained eurrency i'" Chinahe Cultnral (tevohatlon In retraapett.ran toe that there were ttrama. bat (he morert was the coMinuinf mpoiaivtmi tn celml aiiihorily iletpilerinxgri within lhe kviilriwiip al nil levels.

mighl intervene with fhe aim of supixminij oraction more favorably disposed toward coOpcratsoti with fhe USSR.

hatever the ciicuiustjueesoviet mine inlo China. Soviet leaders would nlmustpeel Chinese resistance to develop and to be stubborn. They would have nothat the war could be brought to an end on Moscow's terms nor that Soviet forces would not get bogged dosvnrotracted and costly struggle- Moscow might foresee being confronted eventuallyhoice between withdrawal or tlie use of nuclear WMpOM in an cfbm to end the conflict. The use of nuclear weapons, even if successful, could have far-teaching adverse rcpercuilons for the USSR's position in theoscow would fear that the US would turn hostile, mote close to China, and attempt to rally wai Id Opinion in favoreneral policy of condemning and isolating the USSR. In any event. Moscow's general policy of detente with the West, particularly its effoit to fosterlies with thc advanced Westernwould he Imperiled.ajor ground attack on China, especially onenucleai weapons, would involve not only accepting ter.ous new riiks. but.m policy that has reduced conflict on Ihe border with China and promised pultKil and economic benefits ebesvhere in thc wortd.

2ii While Soviel planners probably recoil al the thought of becoming bogged down In ground aetsous in China, there no doubtthe temptation to deal with the more critical aspects ol Ihe Chinese threat before it is tooto knock out Chinas still mudest but glutting strategic capability with

AstOuxfe. USAF. Letloei lhal theol nuclearagainst

beby lhe Smi-ti astlrablr- repcr cuss Mini, eitheractual or urafrnir/ pallidal nature.



disarming nuclear strike. Arguments lor lliis touiic as ilie only means ofasic nnd unfavorable shift in Ihe world stra-

tcgicwould probably gain strength

if. in Soviel eyes, Ihe US appeared lo move from an even handed poslure betweenand Peking toward an anti-Soviet alliance with the Chinese In this event, il could be argued in Moscow lhat detente had failed andisplay of naked force which destroyed Chinese strategic eapabililies and instdled an abiding fear among lhe peoples andof Asia. Europe, and Ihc Middle East would bring gams lhat mote than offset Ihe damage lo the Soviet image

he counter-arguments seem far more compelling. Tlie Soviets could not be cert.iin that some Chinese missiles would not suivive the blow or lhat the Chnnse would refr.iin from launching them against Soviet cities. Nor could Moscow hc certain lhat China would not attempt to engage Soviet general purpose foicesrotracted struggle. As In the caseround invasion, there would be much concern aboul hostile US reactions As forthese rcactioni andeneral poslure designed toetploit

fear of Sovietower, most

Soviet leaders would probably view this as bringing with it all tlie disabilities of the Slahn era.

ur Judgment, based on weighing all these and otherhat the chancesremeditated large-scale Soviet aitack oncertainly still such as to demandquite low. say on the Orderhile Moscow isto punish the Chinese at any point on the frontier where lhc Chinese might act forcibly to assert territorial claims. Ihe main Soviel policy lo counter China is centered on diplomatic efforts and on activities within Ihc world communist movement. These efforts will not cause the USSIt's "China problem"

to go away; and military action,isarming iiucle.it strike, may continue toertain appeal lo lotnc Soviet leaders. Ikit whenight of the calculable and incalculable risks id militaryore measiiied course which holds open thc possibility uf sonic accommodation and even reconciliation over tlie longer term aie far more likely to prevail within Ihe lop Soviet leadership.

2S. Most participants in this Estimate' feel that the judgment above applies toarge-scale Soviet invasionisarming nuclear strike. While the latlei courserates rnore serious cot aider at ion byplanners, tbc chances still stem low thatourse would actually be approved and implemented DIA and An Force, however, would differentiateitaiming strike, ralingisarming strike as maikedly greater lhan that of nu Invasion.

If war does noi intrude over the next few years, the odds on this contingency will decline as the Chinese deterrent grows. Iu tlie meantime, other (setors may emerge loa trend toward reduced /certs of ten-notove tonirolltd competition. An unpredictable yet potentially crucial factor affecting the future of Suio-Soviet relations is the post-Mao leadership situation in China. Given his peisonal involvement in lhe whole process of the detci ioi ation of Ihe Sino-Soviet relationship, Mao's passing will piesent an opportunity (oi both sides lo reassess tlieir postures.

U is doubtful that any single successor to Mao. even Chou. will be able to command tbe power and autltority that Mao haseriod of persistent pulling and hauling ap-pcars likely; there are bound to be disputes on matters of authority, style, pace, andami these dispules will leave casualties lliv-alrics might become paiticularly intense


if Chou should predecease Maw. Amio and Chou were to leave the scene nl abonl the same time, Chinese polities might become seriously unstable and Peking's internationalthe course of relations with Ihe

arious possibilities could be imagined in lhe post-Mao environment 'Ihcre couldreakdown in central authority asfactions In Peking formed alliances with regional leaders; in this event. China might cease to play an active international ioie until unity had beenecond possibility is the emergence in Pekingactionor without covert Sovietmove China back into close alliance with the USSR.

Extreme changes of this sort arcin the light of present circumstances and the history of the Chinese Communist Party. Theretrong eommilmentnified China within the armed services and the Party, and il is likely that theegionally based challenge lo central authority ssould serve to unite oilierfactious in defense of Peking's authority. Aspro-Soviethere is noevidence for thc existence of any such group in the Chinese Communist Party since at least the, much less.o indicate any significant Sovietto manipulate Chinese leaders *

Tin. brief discussion does not exhaust the alternatives. But thc most likelyof the leadership after Mao and Chou

*i Piao Mid Pcne Te-bswi. then ptoblrat* "nils Mao almost certainly arose from iSonritic policy aadFomfnr lha proper balance alcm irhe US and lhe USSR, mayecome involved in liter itagrs ii both aflalra. builiis is tbe cave, litem Is no evidence to suitrr" Ban" cither Lin or Peng were ticintf mjiilpulutril by lhe USSR or weirseeking In advame Soviet internti.

svill be some combination ol the military le.ideis. party cadie, and experienced civilian bureaucrats now visible on lhc scene atand regional levels While these menange of views, ihe political balances somewhat lo thc right of theactivists who reached Iheir high point during Ihe Cultural Revolution. While thesewould undoubtedly oiler lip service tu the revolutionary ideals of Mao. andcertainly ssould persevere inocialist China, they would nevertheless tend to be more pragmatic than idealistic, rnore moderate lhan radical and more concerned si ilh China's material future lhan with the world's ideological struggles.

eadenhip drawn Irom this group would probably retain an interest inrelations willi the US and the West. Bui it might also be disposed lo place relations with llie USSRore businesslike basisariety of strategic, political and economic reasons.

n the Soviet side, leadership changes do noi seem likely to result In major shifts in Soviet attitudes or policies tosvard Peking. While differences undoubtedly exist on how best to handle Moscow's China problem, il is nut possible lo discern precisely how these, differences svill affect decisions on the tone ami pace of Moscow's approaches to China What does seem clear is that the USSRal le.isl over the longeress lense and more businesslike relationship with Peking

3T. Should Moscow senseeadership similarly disposed liad emerged in Peking, it isII would lake Ihe initiative to explore Ihe opportunitiesore relaved relalionship. The Russians might offer to make certain political gestures They mightisit to Peking by thc I'sslt's current lender, or extend token con-cessions indicating respect for Chinese Inde-


pi'iiilciux and doctrinal originality. (Thcic arc precedents fot both these actions in Soviet relations withlic Soviets might also offer to expand trade and to resumeand. perhaps, military aid. They might even offer to reduce their competition with Peking for influence in Southeast Asia infor similar Chinese restraint inEuiope and the Middle East. Moscow would hope thai Peking would reciprocate by suspending its anti-Soviet politicking at the UN and in diplomatic conversations with third nations, or at least quieting its anti-Soviet propaganda, restraining its missionaryin the communist world, and tacitlythc status quo on thc territorial issue

3S. Indeed, any genuine reduction of Sino-Soviet tension is difficult to foiesee without somef concurrent move towardof the longstanding border Issue. Tlie problem could be negotiated If China holds to Its preseni position that the current border us defined in thc "unequal treaties" of the czaiiit era is an acceptable basisettlement In such case, thc border problem is essentially one of agreement on certainadm si inputs, in lhe Pamir region and, most importantly, along thc riverine frontiers of Manchuria. It is just suchhe strategically important islandrhe Soviet military center ofthat Peking is prone to cite when it claims that Ihe Soviels are occupying territory beyond that obtained under thc "unequalhus, theasualty of the overall poor tenor of Sino Soviet relations ratheresult of intrinsically irreconcilable territorial claims.

nother set of factors of possiblenge significance concerns Peking'sof the Soviet threat. Thc view that the Soviet Union is ihe principal military threat underlies much of China's cuiienl foreign

policy. The Soviets are seen as being in an aggressive, expansionist phase while the US is described as beingtale of decline As the develop"nd iicptoyment of China's strategic weapons progress. China's concern with lhe immediate military threat should decline. Furlhei, the mere passage of time without an actual attack shoold of itself be reassuring to iho Chinese. As such pcrcep-lionsomewhat less antagonistic relationship with the Soviels may appearsuilcd to China's Interests in the eyes of its leaders.

volutionary trends in the complex Sum-Soviet-American political triangle may also contiibute to the amelioration of the Sino-Soviet relationship Indeed, both Moscow and Peking may One day conclude that the US has gained excessive- advantage from com-mtinist intramuraloreover, in thc case o:esire for better relations with China might be encoutaged by serious setbacks in US-Sovietas might flow from difficulties in arms negotiations, trouble in trade relations, or problems grow-ing out of third-party conflictshe Middlel for Peking, an inclination to move closer to thc Soviets might beby, say. certain developments in US retibons with Taiwan or Japan.

ess dramatically. China and thc USSB might just conclude independently that, in any cue. they had gotten all they could out of detente with Ihe West, (hat there was not much more mileage lo be gained bywith one another for Washington'shift of this type in China's attitude svouldogical outgrowth of increasing Chinese nuclear strength; as the deterrent grew.self-confidence would increase, and con-cessions to US positions would appear less necessary-.

he main theoretical line in China's current foieignto "super-




uinalist ami id<ulogHstivationsning tu one side and ib long-run intenthin to uiHlcrcut both Soviet and US inllucuce At present China's preoccupation with lhe Soviet threat predominates ml dictates the need to lean towards thc US. However, as China grows lit strength and confidence.leaden may find it possible, eveijto oppose US and Soviet inllueucc intenia!tonallynuie eipial basis, while mil necessarily sacrificing odicr productive aspects of its1ith tlie US.

In sum, it appears lhal lha Siiio-Siuu" relationship, ivliilc it wilt continue lo move through varying degrees of tension. Is more likely to move toiianl lessened tension than toivarxl uar In time, the cumulative cost of years of tension and military preparedness are likely to predispose the leaders in both Peking and Moscow toward less risky, more controlled forms of competition The basic nationalis likely to remain as deep as ever, but lather than leinam poisedn the brink of military confrontation, both parlies are more likely loewin which the ddfeienccs aie muted, thc virulent debates withdrawn from international foiums, anil thlid patties prevented from cx-ploiling Iheir conflict. Peking and Moscow have had many yeats to assess thc potent risk of their rivalry, After Mao, both parties will probably seek to cut Ihe costs and reduce the risks by moving the competition into safer realms.

ove beyondenuine and durablein which thereenewal of broad collaboration and perhapsof theout of thein the neat term and highly unlikely in this decade- This is so not only because of all the factors which niguc fur conliuued conlenliOn, but because any mapor amelioration of thc

contest (with its attendant implications of iiiu-.it foi the non-communist world) wouldach side's policies and investments in the West.

inT.il change fnmi thcel .it ion dup would be likely only if Iheieili.mm tie turnover In leadership inPeking (which is highlyrparty or both came to see newthreats from the nonIt is difficult at this time toa threal of such proportions as locommunist adversaries to set asidePresumably, it would have toa thriMlenlng move by the USf:mlli'iizi-ci

anil aggressive Japan. The US action would have to be seen in Moscow and Peking as distinctly narlike. the souring of the present detente would not likely serve as sufficient motivation



ar between the USSR and China wuuld, of course, have global repercussions. Assuming the Soviets were the aggressor, in.lial world reaction would be one ol awe at Soviet boldness and ruthlessiiess. and fearrocess had been set in train which might soon result in severe instability and disiuption throughout Europe, the Middle East, andnot in timehird World War. The attention of thc nations,and in concert, would bo focused on tiimluig lire arena of conflict and,discouraging any Soviet effort to pur-wmt nisvunurn goalsis China

n tlie caseoviet disarming nuclear strike, il would be impossible lo restoreresembling lhe status quo ante, hence



to foresee any willingness on tlir. Chinese side lo Ml aside their outrage andettleineiit. Thus. there would be thelliat military action atd would continue following the initial nucleai iti ike.

nlion svould look to the US as Ihe only possible leader in any effoit to restrain the lloisinns. mollify' tlie Cliini'sc. and halt the shooting war. While China would hove the sympathy of much of the world, theie would be little sentiment favoring US militaiy inteiventioii on Peking's

Bul neitherosture of neutiality on the part of the US meet appioval Rather, the US would betoirm hue against the aggiessor. provideto other nations against possible Soviet intimidatinn. and lake the lead insvorld effoits to contain and end the conflict Few nations outside ol NATO would caie to join the US inonspicuous posture in opposiUon to Soviet ambitions: communist leaders In Eastern Europe and East Asia would be especially reticent.

f Washington were successfuleace ef tort, much goodsvill and respect would accrue to the US. On the other hand, even if it ended quickly, the Sino-Soviet conflict wouldciiodear 2nduption. clearly iceisinpj the present trend tosvard detente among the poweis and pre-occupal.nn wiih economic growth and social change among lhe smaller nations. Tlie arms race would be given itu|>ctus all along the Sino-Sovicl periphery. Japan. India, and Israel, among others, svould think more seriously about achieving nuclear deterrent capabilities US allies in East Asia and Western Europe would expend mure fundi on weaponry and diasv closer to establislied alliances with the US. The US would cotrre under heavy pressure from friends and allies to eipand Its ownprograms.

Rappt or fi

tobal reaction to the hypothesizedn ei hat ion mnild be heavily contingent on its cause If irs-oncilutioii were to come aboutornmuiiitl pplptWltf to US policies or actions (initiated perhaps in collaboration with the Japanese) whichto menace Russian and Chinesethe nesv Sum-Soviet unity wouldbe seen as essentially defensive and probably of limited durabilityubject toi'.ioii once the presumed US threat had resut. in tlie interim, most world leaders would focus on peacekeeping efforts and would try lo avoid giving offense to either side, especially if events seemed toangerous great-power

f tlie rccotic ilia lion had einetged,of actions by othermainlyonsequence of aiiangements be-tsvecu Moscow andconcerns wouldifferent focus. The geopolitical realitynified communist bloc,thi- Eurasian lattdmass and far stronger than before, would beify bloc protestations of peaceful and beneficent intent.

he world would piobably returnorm ol bipolanly. Thc US svould be viewed as the only possible leadereconstituted military and political counterweight lopower, though Western Europe and Japan, far stronger thanears ago. would be much more important components of any rebuilt securily structure.ew Tliird World countries might seek security from anticipated Sino-Soviet pressures Inof neutiality. many more would move closer to the US and seek its protection Thereeep eoneern.sia and the Middle- East, that the US might not be as responsive to the securily needs of small



remote stales at it was during the cold war.

ut whither lhe world would (lien turn backeriod ol Icrulons and troubles reminiscent ol the cold war at Its worst would depend not only on the power and purpose of the renascent communist alliance but abo on its needs Certainly some of lhe Soviet and Chinese leaden, no longer constrained by their own rivalries, would be drawn initially toward harsh and expansionist foreign policies. They svould wish lo use live fact of their ic-newedthe Image olcommunistcxtoitfrom olher powers, especially those on the bloc's periphery. Hut Ihere would he some sobering second thoughts in bothThe actual strategic balance bctvvcen the two opposing sides. East and West, would not necessarily be altered appreciably by the joining of Soviet and Chinese forcesew alliance Thb would depend essentially on when the joining tookwill be some years before the Chinese can deploy anforceany grealwhat the level of opiwsing Western forces happens to be at lhat time. Moreover, some Of the imperatives which have brought both Moscow and Peking into postures ofthe requirement for high-quality imports from thee'en complete Sino-Soviet reconciliation Finally, even in the best nl circumstances. Sino Soviet reconciliation would not (could not) erase mutual distrust or eliminate the legitimate fear in both capitals that Ihe new confederacy was perhaps destined to be short, lived

Limited /mprovemenl in Relations

imited improvement in Sino-Soviet relations, of itself, would not Imply aunwillingness lo do business with llie

"VVsl 'II i- Ml' ll,

Moscow and Peking would remain interestedontinuing interchange of trade andwith thc US. Western Europe, and Japanituation in which the twopowen were giving less priority to setting potnts against Ihe other, il might be possible lo conduct debale and negotiations on certain international issues without theeffects of Sino-Soviet polemics.

here would be adverse effects. The US might find Ihe Chinese, even if not anxious to reverse courses of action alreadyless eager to improve lhe relationship and less ptone to accept Ihc maintenance of the US milltaiy presence in the Ear East, ll might also find Ihe Soviets, reassured about their Chinese flank, more willing to compete with the US and less concerned aboutmfreer, perhaps, to raise Ihetr price or perhaps io Jettison thb policy altogether if it were noi producing the desired gains.

ther posvers might find some of thc underlying assumptions of their policiesto erosion as well. Japan would find its room for maneuver between Ihe USSR and China much more limited, and its activities in South Koica, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia opposed by boih countries. India mid Pakistan svould face reduced Support from llieircommunist patrons. Hanoi and Pyongyang would find it more difficult to play Moscosv and Peking off against one another. In short, tlse premises behind the present augnment of major powers might have lo be revised.the most significant tesiilt of anyreduction of the Sino-Soviet gap might be Ihe apprehensions generated internationally lhat something approaching full-scale Sino-Soviet rapprochement was in the wind. Such concerns would stimulate interest inalliances with (he US and could, In certain cucsimslances. increase resistance lo fm tber detente efforts among Western leaders.





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