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Sino-Soviet Relations: Restoring Appearances
arrival ol the newly appointed Chinese ambassador, Liu Hsin-chuan. in Moscow this weekend caps recent efforts by both sides to returnoutine, businesslike atmosphere in state relations. Liu's appointment, which has been rumored for months, was only confirmed onovember when Peking announced he was present during the first meeting between Chou En-lai and the new Soviet ambassador. V. S. Tolstikov. who arrived in China six weeks ago.
Both countries have publicly reaffirmedtheir interest in achieving aof relations, but each has also characterized the other's statements as "only words" notby "actualeking's message to the Soviet government ond anniversary ol the Bolshevik revolution early this month claimed "differences of principle" should not hindermeasures" to settle "importantquestions in statehe Chinese adopted this line prior to the opening of the Peking talks last year and probably repeated it to avoid being branded as "obstructionists" by the Soviets who continued to publicly stress their "conciliatory" attitude by conspicuouslyan edited version of the ChineseA speechovember by Politburo member Suslov marking the anniversaryore austere tone, however, reminding Peking that fundamental ideological differences cannot be compromised.
Although the improved climate reflects both sides' determination to Sustain the diminished tensions along the border, it is unlikely that it presages movement toward resolution of specific differences. The announcement onovember that an "agreement on the exchange of goods and payments" had been signed in Peking by the respective vice ministers of foreign trade is symbolic of current Sino-Soviet relations.the protocol-the first sincea tangible indication of the "newmission of the period covered by the accord and Peking's remark that "the two sides will continue to exchange views" lend credence to reports of still unresolved problems. Moreover, both Soviet and Chinese representatives have recently stated that the Peking political talks continuewith less frequent meetings reduced to exchanges of position papers. The border-river navigation talks, which began last July, also continue without any sign of agreement. I
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