Created: 10/23/1970

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Sino-Soviet Relationsear of Talking





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SPECIAL REPORTS ate supplements to the CurrentWeeklies issued by the Office of Current Intelligence. Tlie Special Reports arc published separately to permit more comprehensive treatmentubject. They arc prepared by the Office of Current Intelligence, the Office of Economicthe Office of Strategic Research, and the Directorate of Science and Technology. Special Reports arc coordinated as appropriate among the Directorates of CIA but, except for the normal substantive exchange with other agencies at the working level, have nol been coordinated outside CIA unless specifically indicated.


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One year ago onctober, Soviet and Chinese negotiators sat down in Peking to discuss the Sino-Soviet border dispute. Prior to the beginning of the talks, relations had reached their lowest point since the two antagonists had begun to quarrel openly. In the wake of border clashes inkirmishing occurred at many locations along the frontier, militarywere intensified, propaganda warfareew intensity, and bilaieral trade and diplomatic contacts dwindled. The Soviet leadership may have been weighing the advisability o* sirongfir military action against China, and Moscow had embarkedampaign calculated to convince Peking that this option was under active review.

In entering negotiations, each side was seeking to cool the situation for its own reasons. Poking sought to damp down tension along the border lest it lead to, orretextoviet attack against which it could not successfully defend. Moscow, concerned that an "open sore" on the exposed frontier meant prolonged border skirmishing and fearful that such awould weaken its international position, sought to defuse the explosive border situation and to searchimited accommodation.

A year ot negotiation has failed to produce progressorder accord and has not led io any easing of the ftindampntal ideological and political hostility between Moscow and Peking. Nevertheless, both capitals have partially satisfied their objectives in undertaking the talks. The absence of fighting along The border has ledarked reduction of tensionituation that had threatened to get out of control. Some steps have been made toward re-establishing diplomatic contacts, and both sides havelowered their voices. Despite these movesenuous stabilisation, the efforts of both the USSR and China to improve their military and international positions indicate that relations will continue to be strained. Peking and Moscow seem ready torolonged stalemate in the border talks, however, tolide back toward open conflict.

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They Continue to Talk

The factors that Induced Moscow to press for negotiations on tho border dispute in the spring and summer of last year have generally remained operative despite the lack of movement toward agreement. The most compelling of these continues to be Moscow's fear that resumption of open conflict along the border would producerolonged dram on Soviet resources or pressures to escalate the fighting. Althoughby the impasse in negotiations. Sovietfind some satisfaction in the conversion of exchanges over the border from bullets to words.

The air of relaxation that the talks impart to Soviet relations with Chinaarticularly valuable in easing Moscow's international position.tension has made >es> obvious Moscow's fear that third parties such as the US would take advantage of its conflict with China and has lessened its concern that the conflict mightossible rapprochomont botween Peking and Washington. Continuation of the talks alsoaccusations from Moscow's socialist allies, particularly Hanoi, that it Is sacrificing theof international Communism to its conflict with China.

Moscow has been exploiting the talks to identify trends in Chinese policy and to look for splits in the leadership. In addition, the talks have contributed to an atmosphere in which some obvious shortcomings in Sino-Soviet relations, such as broken diplomatic contacts, can be mended.

China'she talks wasmainly by anxiety over Soviet militaryAlthough this concern has beenmuted ovci the past year, it still exists. Peking considers the contact provided by the talks vital, as it did nothen it broke off bilateral bo-derith Moscow, and does not seem prepared to risk the unpredictable outcomereak. Furthermore, the Chinese see the talksedium for divining future Soviet intentions.

The Chinese also wish to escape the onus of halting or disrupting the talks to avoid creating grist for the Soviet propaganda mill. In addition, they see value in appearing "reasonable" to the rest of thethe socialist camp-while engaging in widespread diplomaticAll this does not mean thai Peking is ready to abandon its quarrel with the USSR or isabout prospects for the talks. Indeed, the Chinese have said they expect "irreconcilable dit-feiences" to prolong the meetings for months, even years.

What Are They Talking About?

Iteasure of the importance that both Moscow and Peking attach to the talks that neither has broken an agreement to avoid apublic presentation of their discussions. Nevertheless, both have resorted to occasional press Or diplomatic leaks to communicate their own, frequently distorted, version of theThese have obviously been designed to put the other sidead light, but there has been general concurrence on the points preventing progress.

Chinese proposals have clearly reflectedprimary concern to reduce the Sovietthreat. Peking has demanded agreement on mutual withdrawal of major military units from the frontier, of armed personnel from disputed areas, and of Soviet forces from Mongoliarecondition to discussing territorial issues.most Soviet forces are deployed close to the frontier while Peking's troops are not, thesemainly work to the detriment of the USSR. The Soviets have therefore steadfastlythem because in addition to diminishing Moscow's military advantage they would open the border areas Io possible Chinesend lend legitimacy to Chinese territorial claims.

Moscow also resists the Chinese demand that it acknowledge that the tsars "unfairly" forced Imperial China to yieldquare miles of territory in Siberia and Central Asia.


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Peking and Moscow have long tacitlythat the present border provides the probable basis for any future frontier agreement, but the USSR will not open itself to rcvanchist Chinese claims by admission that its boundaries are based on "unequalnother sticking point hashinese proposal that both sides agreeonaggression treaty covering both conventional and nucloar forces. Moscow sees thisackhanded attempt to force an admission that it has employed military pressure on Peking. Moscow has sought to turn the tables on Peking on this issue byoviet agreement on the nonuse of force dependent on theorder accord.

The Soviets have attempted to gloss over the issue of their military activities and turniscussion of frontier demarcation. They have tried to get Peking's agreement on the identification of uncontested sections of theand have proposed that procedures boto adjudicate the disputed territories. These sectionsquare miles of wasteland in thesquare mile area at the Man-chou-li railroad in northwest Manchuria, andontested islands in the Amur and Ussuri border rivers. The Soviets have alsothat both sides agreerotocol for regulation of the economic use of frontier areas by herdsmen and fishermen, and on procedures for settling future differences.

Although the Soviets appear ready to make territorialhave even privately indicated that they would give up "blood soaked" Damanskiy/Chen-pao Island, scene of the major border clashes of Marchare unwilling Id acknowledge the Chinese position that the boundary in the Far East follows the mainin the Amur and Ussuri rivers. Although this principleirm basis in international law. Moscow adamantly resists accepting it mainlyit would then lose control of the strategic"Big Ussuri" by the Soviets and Hei-hsia-tzu by theat theof the Amur and Ussuri rivers opposite

rincipal city in the Soviet Far East. The Soviets contend that Chinese control of this island would place the boundary "down the main street o* Khabarovsk" and last August emphatically stated their intention to retain it by publicizing plans for its development.

Developments on the Frontier

Although the situation along the frontier is tense, there appears to be no actual combat. Both sides have apparently abided by the informalreached during the Chou-Kosygin meeting in9 to employ restraint and to refrain from sending troops into disputed territory occupied by the other. Moscow, for example, has reluctantly tolerated Chineseof Damanskiy/Chen-pao Island,to statements by Soviet diplomats.

Although border forces of both countries apparently have instructions to act prudently, the border situation remains highly volatile, and the makingsonfrontation are at hand should either side choose to touch it off.

In addition. Soviet diplomats have recently claimed that Chinese herdsmen and fishermen are using Soviet territory "without permission."

Normalization of State Relations

Given the failure of Moscow and Peking to make substantial progress in resolving theirdifferences, the absence of rapid improvement in other aspects of bilateral state relations has not been surprising. Chou En-lai apparently gave grudging agreement when Premier Kosygin said during their meeting in9eturn to more businesslike procedures intrade, and other state contacts would facilitate the easing of tensions. Infusion of meaning into this principle has been painfully


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however, and characterized by mistrust and vindictiveness.

Moscow's protracted etlort to return an ambassador to Peking has exemplified theChou and Kosygin apparently agreed into restore ambassadorial relations, which were disrupted6 during the early stages of the Cultural Revolution. When Moscow named its man in March of this year, however. Pekingin accepting him, evidentlyove to downgrade the border talks tolevel and resenting Soviet selectionan identified with


a nti-ChineseeventuallyPeking'sby indicating itsto continueat the deputy min-

isterial level anda different candidate. Vasily TolstikOv.boss of theparty apparatus.Tolstikov arrived in Peking onctober, the Chinese have re-Vasily Toktikov, new mained silent about Soviet ambaisador to China reciprocating.

The annual Sino-Soviet river navigation talks, which began in July, also have run afoul of the failure to improve the political climate.these talks deal with technical mattersto use of the border rivers for shipping, such as dredging and navigational aids. Messages exchanged by the two sides last spring, however, make clear that navigation matters have become inextricably linked with the territorial dispute, particularly Ownership of contested riverineThe continuation of the navigation talks for more than four months without anyof progress raises the possibility that, as7o agreement may be reached.

Trade negotiations have also dragged,ignificant increase in economic exchange seems unlikely as long as political differences remain unresolved. The failure toino-Soviet trade agreement last year, along with theeffect of the border fighting, reducedexchangeecord lowillion. This contrastss record high of overillion. This year, trade discussions between low-level commercial representatives in Peking have evidently resultedeneral agreement totrade somewhat. The agreement has not yet been formalized, however,0 trade thus probably will remain well below8 levelillion.

The moderating of Sino-Soviet tempersthe last year, nevertheless, hasew symbolic developments. For example, the"hothich was disrupted by the Chinese at the height of the border tension last year, has apparently been restored. Children of Soviet diplomats have returned to Peking for the first time Since the Cultural Revolution. In addition, low-level barter trade talks werelast summer between local Chinese and Soviet groups in the Far East. Such steps,have mainly flowed from the dampening down of tension along the border rather than from political reconciliation.

The USSR's opening this month of aair route to Hanoi via India suggests that some bilateral arrangements may never exist as they did in happier days. Prior to the Cultural Revolution. Moscow-Hanoi (lights went through Peking, but they were terminated7 when Soviet passengers were beaten by Red Guards. Moscow evidently is not confident that such harassment has permanently ended andhas opened the alternative route.

Needless to say. contacts between the Soviet and Chinese Communist parties are nonexistent and show no sign of being re-established.differences-as demonstrated by Peking's major attack on Moscow's marking of Lenin's centennial last April, and Moscow's bristlinga monthto contribute to the aggravation of relations. Although both sides


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USSR Conzinuttow Military Forces Opposite China

Moscow continues to view its military strength along the border as an essential element of its policy toward China and has continued its military build-upeliberate pace while the talks in Peking are under way.

The Soviets last November publiclythe creationentral Asian Military District (MD) designed to consolidate control of forces opposite Sinkiang that formerly wereto the Turkestan MD. Continuousbetween Alma-Ata. headquarters of the new district, and Moscow began inhe Soviets also have transferred control of two units of the Sixth Tactical Air Army from the Turkestan MD to the new Central Asian MD and have augmented the air force there withplanes.

Considerable Soviet military activity has also taken place in Mongolia during the past year. Additional forces have apparently been added, and the pattern of Soviet communicationsthat the USSR intends toorps or army headquarters there with three or four divisions subordinate to it. Marshal Grechko's visit to Ulaanbaatorthis past September was the firstoviet defense infster6 and demonstrates the importance Moscow attaches to its military position in Mongolia.

In the Trans-Baikal and Far East MDs, the Soviets have apparently continued to expand and fill out their forces during the past year.

The past year has also seen Moscowto consolidate its command and control of forces opposrte China. During the summer, the army headquarters of the Strategic Rocket Forces (SRF) at Khabarovsk probably was deactivated and at least one of itsICBMnow appears subordinate to the SRF headquarters at Chita. The SRF headquarters at Dzhambul opposite Sinkiang may also havehe headquarters of the Soviet Far East Long Range Air Army completed afrom Blagoveshchensk, less than five miles from the border, to Irkutsk. These moves also suggest that the Soviets are relocating important strategic headquarters to more easily defended areas well back from the border.

oviet forces along the border have more than tripled. At leastivisions and three tactical air armies are now in place opposite China. Few of these divisions are at full combat strength, but most have at least one or twocapable of performing combat missions. These forces and their support units totalen. They are backed by greaterof artillery than are Soviet forces in Eastern Europe and by mobile missile launchers that canuclear warheadangeautical miles.

The Soviet build-up has been gradual and deliberate, suggesting that at the time the


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were being made theplanners percfved no immediate danger Irom the Chinese. Rather, they appeared to beorce intended to counter any future Chinese threat and to fill political needs. There has been no appreciable change in the rate of deployment in the past year, suggesting that Moscow has not attached additional urgency to theesult of9 border fighting.

The Soviet forces now deployed along the border have the capability to repel any attack the Chinese could launch for the next few years. Although the Soviets have about one third tewor troops than the Chinese in the area east of Lake Baikal, these forces are entirely mobile and have an overwhelming advantage in tanks, artillery, and tactical nuclear support. In addition, the Soviets could quickly establish air superiority in the area.

Most of the divisions along the border,are understrength and the command and control and higher echelon support forces are not yet fully developed. They are not. therefore,to conduct large-scale offensive operations without substantial reinforcement from theUSSR. At present, however, they probably are capable ol conducting division-sized raids across the Chinese border, if the existing divisions along the border and the nondivisional support structure were filled out. the Soviets would have the capability to conduct major offensiveinto China, seizing large areas on theperiphery of the country, including Inner Mongolia, and Sinkiang. Even


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the Soviets establishapability, however, it would not necessarily mean they would employ it. Traditional Soviet practice has been to maintain forces clearly in excess ofneeds.

In addition to its military rationale, thebuild-up against China has important political motivations. The overwhelming force deters"adventurism" along the border and assures the Soviet leadership that it is negotiating with Pekingosition of strength. Theseshown lastbe used toPeking. Continuation of the build-upChinese apprehensions over Soviet intentions and makes Peking somewhat more susceptible to diplomatic pressure. The Soviet leadership also probably views the forceossible element of leverage in any post-Mao leadership struggle.

Chinese War Preparaiions: Symbolic and Real

The Chinese obviously view the Soviet build-up'with some apprehension. An important aspect of China's strategy against the Soviets has been its own "war preparations" campaign. Some aspects of the campaign serve to bolster national unity while others, such as efforts to increase industrial and agricultural production and topopulation and industry,rincipal goal, however, has been to deter the Soviets by stressing that China is prepared to fight no matter what the odds. Some of the well-publicized quasi-militaryas extensive construction of air-raid shelters and trenches, stockpiling of strategic materials and food, and emphasis on regionalaimed at underscoring for Moscow's benefit the fact that Peking plans an in-depth defense of its territory. At the same time, the "war preparations" theme furtherspropaganda line that Moscow is the po-teniial aggressor in the dispute. As Peking has become more relaxed about the Soviet threat, however, it has given less emphasis in itsto the continuing campaign.

China has taken steps to improve command and control of military forces throughout the country. New command authorities established in most military regions, including those along the Sino-Soviet border, apparently have improvedability to deploy its tactical units. The Inner Mongolia Military Region has beenand responsibility for protection of theformerly under its control allocated to the adjacent Shen-yang. Peking, and Lan-chouRegions.

Peking's concern about the Soviet threat was particularly underlined this year whenh. and probably0 mennorthward from the Taiwan Straits and Shanghai areas into the Peking Military Region. There is some evidence that two additional armies,hh. have moved from south China northward to reinforce the over one million troops previously estimated to be deployed throughout the north. These forces, however, generally remain in positions well back from the border.

The Chinese undoubtedly realize thatis aware of their military improvements. In June, foroscow broadcast labeled as "indeed significant" reports that units formerly trained "to deal with the Chiang gang have been transferred to the Sino-Soviet borderhe


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however, probably believe thatitsinterpret these actions as defensive rather than as preparationsarge-scale move against Soviet-held,territory.

tempts to Break out of lis International Isolation

Peking probably judges that it can counter the Soviets at present through an active,diplomacy more effectively than through polemical exchangesermit-iiko attitude toward the rest of the world as was the case when9 border clashes took place. The general thrust of Peking's strategy since thetalks began, therefore, has been to reduce its vulnerability to Moscow's military and diplomatic pressures through positive diplomatic action.

A major aspect of this has been China's Successful efforts to expand and improve itscontacts, most clearly illustrated by the return ofmbassadors to posts vacated during the Cultural Revolution. In particular. China's ties with France. Romania, Yugoslavia. Northand North Korea have blossomed during the past year. Peking has also broadened its efforts to develop new friends, such as Canada. Italy, Peru, and Chile, and has made its international presence feltariety of friendly gestures to agroup of states. The Chinese have alsotrong interest in taking their "rightful place in thehich would allowrestigious forum for presentation of their case against Moscow as well as the West. Mostthey resumed contacts in Warsaw with the US in January of this year. The talks have been Suspended since the US intervention in Cambodia, but Peking has made clear its intention to resume them. They are probably no longer quite soto China In the Sino-Soviet context, however.

The Chinese return to the international arena is designed, in the first instance, to counter Soviet attempts to perpetuate and if possible to increase the self-imposed diplomatic isolation into which China drifted during the CulturalThis relative isolation in itself made China vulnerable to Soviet pressures, and its termination was obviously to Peking's advantage. But inmore extensive and closer contacts abroad have probably allowed Peking to gain greaterinto Soviet intentions by assessing the views of third parties, while at the same time they have givenider forum in which to present its own case. To achieve this end, Peking has gone to some lengths to appear "reasonable"-primarily byeneral polemical standdown on Sino-Soviet bilateral issues since the Chou-Kosygin meeting.

Moscow Seeks to Keep Peking Bottled Up

Moscow has. in turn, continued to press to "contain" China internationally despite the easing of bilateral tension. Just as Peking suspects, this policy is aimed at increasing Chinese vulnerability to Soviet political and military pressure. Itcontinued emphasis on "socialist unity" to isolate China ideologically, efforts to increase Soviet influence in Asia at Chineseand attempts to foster Peking's continued exclusion from the international community.

Moscow's efforts to press for closerunity" havearticularly anti-Chinese cast in Eastern Europe, where the USSR has vigorously pushed its interpretation of thePact as applicable against China. It has pointedly claimed that treaties renegotiated last year with Czechoslovakia and Romania, as well as earlier ones with Hungary and Bulgaria, commit each contracting party to come to the other's aid in the event of attack by "anyhe Soviets have also indoctrinated East European leaders with their interpretation of the "China problem" through consultations, and by visits to Mongolia and the Soviet Far East.

Moscow wants to impress on the Eastthat geographic, strategic, and political realities dictate their support for the USSR in the


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The Poking leaders are responsible tor imposing iheir adventuristic tactics on some detachments of the Communist and national liberation movement in Asia and Africa, thus dooming them to defeat and rout. Onadvisers from Pekino, tensof thousands of

courageous fighters have lo pay with their lives and the revolutionary movement in some countries was pushed far back. ihe result of theadventuristpc intrigues andof the Peking "ultra-revolutionaries "


eventino-Soviet conflict. In seeking to put its East European allies on notice that even now excessive flirtation with Peking is not acceptable.

In Asia, Moscow has sought to intensify fear of China through assiduous efforts to portray Peking as aggressive and adventuristic. Asianhave been warned that Peking willtheir interests to its own goal ofhegemony overteady stream of Asian visitors has been greeted in Moscow, and the Soviets have made diplomatic and commercial demarches in states such as Thailand. Singapore, and the Philippines, whero Soviet influence has heretofore been minimal.

Moscow's handling of events in Indochina following Sihanouk's ouster dramaticallythe intensity of Soviet concern overinfluence in that area. The Kremlin has persistently indicated that it will not endorse Sihanouk's provisional government as long as the Prince is under Peking's domination. Although this position has put Moscow out of step with Hanoi on an important issue, the Soviets calculate that as long as they give Hanoi the military and economic assistance it wants, they will retain their influence there. In any event. Moscow is still counting on North Vietnam to counter Peking in Indochina over the long run.

Moscow's efforts to isolate Pekingew turn this fall when the USSR privately threatened to oppose Belgium's candidacyecurity Council seat if itesolution at the UN that might have fostered China's entry. Heretofore the Soviets have not employed strong-arm tactics on the issue of Chinese

Moscow's relations with the West have also been subtly but significantly affected by itsdifficulties with China. Althoughis often overdrawn that last year's border fighting spurred Moscow to seek diplomaticwith the West in order toree hand againsthe USSR is working toimultaneous heightening of tension on both its eastern and western flanks. Such policies as pursuitest Germanuropean security conference, and explorationtrategic arms agreementong history and logic of their own. Theirwith Moscow's desire to devote additional resources to its China problem, however, isa point in their favor. In addition, Moscow relishes the jitters created in Peking by the specter of an East-West detente.

Nevertheless. Moscow's unwillingness to make concessions indicates that it is not going to sacrifice important interests, or, as in the Middle East, to curb efforts to expand its influence, simply to secure agreement with the West.Moscow realizes that the relationship be-tween its policies toward China and toward the Westwo-edged one. Moscow is acutelyto any suggestions that the West is attempting to take advantage of Soviet concern with China to improve its position vis-avis the USSR. Thus. Moscow has sought to temper its dispute with Peking in part to ensure that it does not have to yield to the West on significant positions.



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View From Peking

The deep suspicion and preoccupation over long-range Soviet military and diplomaticthat Chin* demonstrated earlier this year remain as strong as ever and color Peking'sdiplomatic activities world-wide. Thehowever, probably consider that theof tensions in the immediate border region will allow them to avoid any concessions in the Peking talks.

Nevertheless. Peking probably judges that the Soviets are focusing their efforts on finding an opportunity toumiliating Chineseon tho frontier question, and that military pressure will continue toajor tactic. For this reason, it probably expects the Soviets to continue filling out and improving their forces along the border. Peking apparently does not rate very high the likelihood of either an early Soviet "surgical strike" against Chinese advanced-weap-


Social-imperialism greedily eyes Chinese territory. It has notingle day relaxed its preparations to attack China, li claims that it poses no threat to China. Why then does it mass troops in areas close to Chinese borders' Why has it dispatched large numbers of troops into another country which neighbors on China? Why does it frenziedly undertakedeployments to direct its spearhead against China? It is clear thatlike US impcrlolism, says that it poses no threat to China only to weaken our vigilance, to fool the people of its own country arid the world.

join* Peking editoriald anniversary' Ptople't Liberation0

ons facilitieseneral end full-scale invasion of China, but deafly it has not oiled out these possibilities entirely. Indeed, in assessing Soviet intentions, it seems likely that the Chinese do not feele certain just what Moscow will do. Chinese statements, both public and private, have frequently alluded to Soviet "perfidy" and un-trustworthiness. Moreover. Peking may well consider that the Soviets could at anyarsh local reprisal to normalpatrolling in the border area, and thatlash could quickly escalate, either throughoresult of deliberate Soviet aggressiveness,ajor confrontation. An attempt to forestallossibilityajor Chinese objective In tho Chou-Kosygin agreement last year, and it remains an important Chinese motive in keeping tho dialogue going in Peking.

The Chinese probably also anticipateSoviet diplomatic pressures aimed atand weakening themomplement to the Soviet militaryhey clearly view current Soviet diplomatic activities as indicative of such an approach. Moscow's recent publictoward Chinaonciliatoryto bilateral problems have been interpreted by the Chinese as an attempt to lessen Chinese vigilance against possible future "surprise attack" and to justify such in action internationally by branding Peking as hostile and intransigent By the same token. Chinese charges that Moscow's recent diplomatic moves in the Middle East and with regard to Germany were designed to free Soviet hands "for moves against China" were probably at least partially believed at home. Above all. Peking seemj convinced that Moscow is working hard all around tho world to paint China in the darkest possible colors to ensure that,diplomatically, it will be vulnerable toand perhaps increased Soviet pressures.

If the Soviets should step up the pressure. China will probably react as it did last year, conceding only what is necessary to deflect the immediate threat without prejudicing its over-all claims. Peking's increased confidence in its ability

to control tensions along the border and itsinternational position will probably be major (actors supporting continued resistance to Soviet demands.

The Outlook From Moscow

The Soviet leadership probably takes some satisfaction from the reduction of Sino-Soviet tensions that has occurred during the past year. Moscow probably hopes that Peking's own moves toward domestic and international moderation will incline the Chinese to stabilize relationsit is doubtful, however, that Moscowreat deal of confidence that this will be the case with the "unpredictable" Chinese.

Moscow realizes, however, that it has little positive leverage that could impel Peking toward an agreement on the border or improvement of other aspects of state relations. Although the USSR mightore belligerent lineincreased military pressure attractive in view of its success in getting Peking to thetable, the Kremlin appears to havethat sabre-rattling is only likely to stiffen Peking's resolve while impeding Soviet efforts toavorable international image of itsin theore bellicose posture might also lead to collapse of the talks themselves oresumption of fighting along the border, in which case the USSR would be right where it wasear ago.

On the other side of the coin, Moscow is obviously not willing to make the major retreat needed to entice Peking torontier accord. Periodic hints that the USSR is readying some "new proposal" in the talks and occasional cooing by Kremlin leaders seem mainly designed to give the Peking talks the appearance of substance and project an international image of Soviet restraint and flexibility. Indeed, it is possible thatgestures such as the dispatch of Ambassador Tolstikov to Peking without reciprocal Chinese action has already irritated Kremlin hard-liners.

Moscow thus appears ready toul((

talks for the foreseeable future, whileimited degree of bilateraleplacement this past summer of chiefuznetsov with the much-less-valued Deputy ieign Minister Leonid llichev seems, signaled Moscow's adoption ofoursu.will probably incline Moscow to shrug ofJin pricks and slights from Peking, whilei, responding to major polemical attacks, Chinese assault this past September onoviet treaty.

A policy of restraint and "coexistencords with the long-term Soviet hopeMao China mayituationiking of the USSR. Moscow mayt after Mao. China could disintegrate intobling regions or become preoccupied withower struggles. More realistically, theay hopeost-Mao leadership. more tempered policy toward thevoid some of the excesses inspired, personal animosity toward Moscow. An isvai



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ofong-term approach, however, will be continued reliance on military strength.

Peking's development of advanced strategic weapons will increasingly influence Moscow'sThe few public and private Sovieton China's weapons program have tended to belittle Chinese progress on the grounds that China cannot threaten the USSR for many years. The USSR appeals to be calculating that its own nuclear deterrent and, if its employment isIts pre-emptive capability, aiehinese nuclear attack. Soviet policy makers have probably concluded, however, that Peking's acquisition of nuclear weapons will make China even less susceptible to SovietIndeed, this concern seems to lie behind the oft-voiced Soviet interpretation that Peking is stonewalling in the talks in order to buy time to push ahead in its advanced weapons program. In any event, the Kremlin may be increasingly vexed by pressure from Soviet hawks that it "doabout Peking's bomb. The Soviets will also have to wrest'e with its implications for broader Soviet policy in Asia as well as relations with China.


Peking and Moscow now seem intent on continuing the vague and unformalizedthat has emerged along tho frontier during the past yearesult of the talks. This arrangement has reduced the concern of both over escalation while requiring neither to concede anything of its positionrontier vetHement. The border situation, however, remains subject to accidental confrontation, and either side cantension along the frontier if domestic or international politics so requires.

Neither side has given an inch on ideological differences, and Moscow shows no signs ofto Peking's great-power aspirations.toward "normalization of state relations" have thus largely been atmospheric gestures with little political content. Meanwhile, Moscow'smilitary build-up can only enhancesuspicions of Soviet intentions, while Peking's progressredible nuclearforce increases the Kremlin's concern.Peking's resurgent diplomatic activity and international gams mayore significant concern to Moscow andtepped-up Soviet effort to discredit the Chinese abroad. Thus,ear of talking, the prospects tor imminent military confrontation between Moscow and Poking have been reduced, but the basic factors producing continued and perhaps heightened contention remain

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