SPECIAL NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE - SECURITY CONDITIONS IN CHINA

Created: 2/10/1972

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

SEWSiny^lMITEO

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

SUBJECT: : SECURITY CONDITIONS IN CHINA

THE PROBLEM

To estimate the likelihood of Incidents which would endanger or seriously ca^rrass President Nixon during his visit to China In lite

CONCLUSIONS

A. Me have no evidence suggesting that President Nixon will be exposed to any danger or enbarrassaaent whilehina. We expectsecurity to be well organized and effective. He believe the Peking leaders will exert unusual efforts to prevent any embarrassing situations that night mar the visit. The traditional Chinese desire to avoidany humiliation to the nation will serve to reinforce these efforts.

recent purgeshe top military leadership havetensions, and the present leadership situationotstable. But we believe that Mao and Chou En-la1 will becontrol any potentially disruptive forces during the period ofvisit.

cannot, of course, exclude the possibility of aby an Individual, beolitical extremist,hired assassin.

OISCUSSION

1. Ue have no evidence suggesting that President Nixon (or members of his party) will be exposed to any danger orwhilehina. On the contrary, the available Information Indicates great concern on the part of the Chinese leadership to forestall any untoward Incident. According to clandestine reports, the authorities will not allow persons with questionable backgrounds to Join the crowds welcoming the President and may detain some of then under guard. Such restrictions, we are sure, would apply to any foreigners who might be suspect. arning has gone out that during the visit crimes of any sort will be dealt with severely

rder to preserve the reputation of the nation." Additionally-no anti-American slogans will be permitted; the authorities will select appropriate slogans end announce then to the people. There hu already been an Instruction on how to greet the President 'neither too enthusiastically nor too coldly."

ensure that the situation remains under control tnroughout,will undoubtedly lay on tight and comprehensive securitythe participation of appropriate military, police, and While we do not know the precise mix of forces likely towe are confident that the security mission will be carriedconsiderable skill and great attention to detail. The authoritieshave had much experience over the yearsontrolling largeantagonistic or unstable elements, and maintaining the safetyown leaders. They are unlikely to permit any laxity on this occasion.

connection with the President's visit, our main concern 1stension from the recent purge of China's top military leaders,Mao's anolntadlao.* The regime may not have had

* Tha gueep inaludtd, in addition to trinieter of Defanea Lin Piao,four of tha military'* top oormandera, all of vhom war*tha party't elite politburotha ohiaf of ataff of thaArmyhe oemmander of the air forae, thathe navy, and tha logiatioa

time, for example, to weed out or neutralize all dissatisfied elements of the military. Nor can we be certain that there are not deep political wounds elsewhere In the government which could leadew round of domestic strife In the near future.

On the other hand, there Is no evidence of any loss of regime control over the armed forces. Chou's long-time associate, Yeh Chlen-ying,ow acting as the senior rerresentatlve of the military. The air forcewhich stood downull two months this fallas been permitted to resume normal flying. Other PLA activities seem to be proceedingormal pace with no apparent loss of discipline or responsiveness to authority he country generally, life goes on with surprising serenity, and foreign visitors continue to have relatively free access to many of China's largest cities. On the government level, Chou En-Ialelaxed Image as heell-coordinated and consistent foreign policy.

There 1s. of course, the question of what role foreign policy conflicts may have playedhe recent purge. While there have been

reports that Peking's agreement tothe US caused conflicts within the leadership, preliminary Indications suggest to us that leadership concerns were mainly about dooestlc developments. Even though Peking has been attempting to link the fallen military leaders with the Sovietsby spreading the story that Lin was fleeing to the Soviet Union when killed In the mysterious plane crash In Mongolia, and by alleging unspecified "Illicit relations" with foreign countriesthis seems more an effort to smear the purged leadersevelation of basic foreign policy differences.

possibility cannot be ruled out, however, that some military leaden amyJieve seen the approach the US as unnecessarily provocative to the Soviets and likely to guarantee persistent Soviet hostility toward China. Such leaders, while feeling no sympathy for the Soviets, mifht have seen this as excessively burdensome to the PLA. They might have felt that some slight political concessions to the USSR could buy more security for China than any amount of maneuvering with its old arch-enemy, the US. There may even have been officers who, remembering when the USSR was the source of the latest military equipment, saw valueestoring something of that earlier relationship.

7. It seems more plausible, however, that there was general agreement in Peking on the need to counter the Soviet threat by Improving

SECRET

ITEDON

China's ties with the rest of the world, particularly the US. In any case, there is clear evidence of Peking's satisfaction with Its noves toward the US so far. Chou has been careful to ascribe these developments to Mao, thereby Unking the enormous prestige and authority of Mao to the success of the venture, and muting any lingering opposition.

8. In sum, while Peking has not been able to hide the fact thct Its leadership haseavy Jolt, Maoapparentconcand. And we lean strongly to the belief that they will be able to cope wlth-any potentially disruptive forces In the military leadership. In any event,e confident that .only.troops of, assured loyalty will be assigned duties connected with the President's security; and It Is most unlikely that Chou would route the President's visit Into any area about which Peking had doubts. Security In Canton, for example, may be less firm thaneking and Shanghai. Should the President's airplane have to land at Canton, Chinese authorities aright discourage any suggestions for touring the city. As for the Chinese populace, aware of the world-wide audience and Instructed on their role, they will offer an orderly and polite reception to the President.

There Is the additional possibility, of course, that external elements the Chinese Nationalists and the Soviet Union have been suggestedight seek to disrupt the visit for their own purposes. Without arguing the logic of any such assumptionhe grave political risks Involved In discovery would seem to outweigh any potentials our view that such missions would have little chance of success. The Chinese Nationalists have attempted to operate clandestinely on the Mainland for overears and have been notably unsuccessful. Wc doubt thatthey have the clandestine assets In China to exert any Impact on the President's visitassuming they were so Inclined.

A remote but conceivable contingencyhat an Individual dissident GAC pilot might attempt to Intercept the Presidential flight. The chances of success would be practically nil. GRC fighter aircraftadius of

iles but even with the full support of the GRC early warning and aircraftg network, the chances of an Intercept at rangesll- ; i of Taiwan would be marginal.

feel less confident In writing off asviet assets in China, but

.. they have muchapability. In any event, we doubt that

the Soviets could affect the visit without showing their hand. In short, neither Moscow nor Taipei seems likely to attempt any such disruptionto be effective It would have to appear to be inspired locally, which we think is beyond their capability for covert action.

SENSITIVEA

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA