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Sino-Soviet Talks Under Way in Peking
soven months ofposturing, veiled andthreats, and occasional open fighting, China and tho USSRborder talks in Peking onctober. Although thewill probably be protracted and difficult, both sides have good reason to seek some degree of accommodation. For the the issue is simple: ossible war. Soviet nilitary andpressure. Including hints of Russian nuclear attack, has had tho desired effect ofPeking to tho table.
The Chinese, increasingly concerned over Soviet intentions, fear that future border clashes could bo usedretext for soviet attack. Tho Russians feel that others have taken advantage of their preoccupation with the China problem and want relief from the harassment, uncertainty, and political embarrassment that the border tension has caused them. Soviet diplomats areat pains to depict recent Sino-Soviet developments in an optimistic light, probably in part to convey tho impression that Moscow is no longer tied down by this issue.
Moscow, judging that it holds both military and political advantage over thecan bo expected to pressettlement that wouldthe border issue from the stable of fundamental Sino-Soviet differences. Tho Soviets also appear hopeful that the talks
can lead to more normal statesuch as the return of ambassadors. Kosygin is roportod to have made such suggestions at his mooting oneptembor with Chou En-lai, and the TASSannouncing the beginning of the Poking talks implied that Moscow expected issues other than tho border to be taken up.
On the other hand, thoro has been no sign of Chinese readiness to arrive atar-roaching accommodation on Soviet terms. hinese position paper releasedctober strongly reiterated Peking's demand that Moscowthe present frontier as basod on Czarist "unequalandew "equal treaty" be signed to replace them. This was the long standing Chinesetjhat collapsed the last Sino-Soviet border talks In addition, Peking clearly indicated in its agreement to meet with tho Russians that the questionermanent and over-all settlement should be shelved in favor of reaching agreement on interim steps to cool down the dangerous situation on the frontier.
esult, quick agreement sooms possible only on military withdrawal from disputed border areas, as well as other tactical steps to minimize the chance of further border conflict. in resolving thornyissues, such as ownership of the islands in the Ussuri and Amur rivers where fighting broko out last spring, will be far sore difficult.
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Peking, meanwhile, is still -warning its populationoviet military threat--aof the Chinese "war campaign' designed togreater domestic unity. Within thisomestic broadcast
-Octobereking's acceptance of talksecessary "revolutionary" ploy to counter Moscow'sdual tactics" of seek ing negotiations while preparing for aggression.
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Oct 69Original document.