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Peking and Moscow Maneuver on Border Question
acceptanceoviet proposal for renewed border river navigation talks next month suggests that the Chinese hope to use this forun to revive their claims to disputed islands in the Ussuri River. The Soviet offer to renew the talks on riverwas made onpril and the Chinese replied onay.
As part of their continuing political and propaganda war with
Moscow, the Chinese will probably try to manipulate the talks in order to undercut the Soviet case on the general issue of border demarcation. The Soviets are likely to reject this approach, as they did7 when they charged that the Chinese "wrecked" the last navigation meeting by introducing border demarcation problems which the Sovlots said were not within the competence of the river navigation negotiators.
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Moscow has not yet commented on the Chinese acceptance or the alternate date proposed bybut it would probablyan agreement on practical moasuros to lessen the risk of incidents in the course of normal river navigation.
During the navigation talks, the Chinese will probably press their claim that under existing treaties and "establishedof international law" Chen Pao (Damansky) and the other disputed islands in the Ussuri River are legally Chinese. appears totrong case in regard to Chen Pao, mainly because the main river channel passes between the island and the Soviet shore.
The Chinese have not yetto two earlier Soviet proposals to renew talks on border demarcation which had broken down The Soviets hadthese offers as well as the one on river navigation with the apparent aim of cultivating an image as the more responsible and moderate of the disputants. During his report to the ninth party congress in Pekingpril, Vice Chairman Lin Piao stated that the Chinese werea reply to the Soviet initiatives, but Peking has not yettatement.
Although the Chinese may eventually respond to the Soviet
offers, and may evenounterproposal for border the statement is likely to be unacceptable to Moscow. Peking has consistently maintained that the Soviets must recognizeh conturywhich established theboundaries as "unequalbefore any substantivenegotiations can begin. has refused to grant thethis opening, which isintended to legitimise China's claims to vastin Siberia.
The recent upsurge ofpropagandaconcerning the borderhasontinuing hostile attitude in both Moscow and Peking. onth-long hiatus, Chinese propaganda media renewed their coverage of thedispute byull length documentary film onpril which portrayed the history of recent Soviet "atrocities" along the Chinese border. The Soviets, whose propaganda on the issue had also diminished, have responded with equally harsh
Rumors were rife amongjournalists in Moscow this week concerning hostilities in the Sinkiang-Kazakhstan border region. Both sides have denied knowledge of such incidents,and they remain BjBJBSJBSJBBsej
Pagc REVIEW 16 May 69Original document.