WR: SINO-SOVIET BORDER REMAINS UNEASY

Created: 3/21/1969

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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The WEEKLY REVIEW, issued every Friday morning by ihe Office of Current Intelligence, reports and analyzes significant developments of the week through noon on Thursday. Itincludes material coordinated with or prepared by the Office of Economic Research, the Office of Strategic Research, and the Directorate of Science and Technology. Topicsmore comprehensive treatment and therefore publishedas Special Reports are listed in the contents pages.

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1

Sino-Soviet Border Remains Uneasy

Moscow nor Peking appears ready to back downhe issue of the disputed island in tha Ussuri River. Anonarch may havemore men than the initial clash but was not as bloody^ There have bean artillerysince, with casualties, if any, unreported. Sovietflights alongorder remainigh level and. both sides have probably moved reinforcements to the immediate area of the island. There is no evidence, however, that either is planning to escalate the level of conflict or widen it to other disputed areas.

Although the circumstances around the dispute remain it appears from available evidence that the Chinesethe initial clash. Peking may havaite to which it believes its legal claim is strong. Chinese propaganda since the encounters last weekend has emphasized Peking's contention that the island is "Chineseaccording to internationalecause it lies on China's side of the river's main channel. The Chinese have chided Moscow for its failure to disclose fully its legal claim. Moscow has claimed that upt appended to the treatyhich set the present boundaries, show theas Soviet territory, but has not yet produced sucheking hasapo back its claim.

The Soviets hava apparently :at ieast stronglyisland since the initial clash; Thenarch was probably aeffort to contestence. The island is likely tocene ofboth-sides retire fnormal state.of. numerousuted islands in the Amur-anduri Rivers. The Soviets,have charged thatesc had occupied the island'in' preparation for the incidentarch, and they nay-believe'that it is now necessary tohew of strength in the island area to demonstrate that they cannot be intimidated. Whan the ice breaks in the spring thaw, normally about mid-April, the matter of control may become Most of the islandrobably be under water.

Reports emanatingially from Soviet Foreign Trade Ministry sources onarch that the Chinese had halted all Soviet aid shipments to Vietnam have not been confirmed. Tha Sovietsexaggerated instances ofobstructions at borderpoints for several daystho incident.

incident by"cSlilngtoreign ministry heads around the world betweenndarch. This effort was apparently anto emphasize the gravity Moscow attributed to the affair and to stress Russian innocence.

-responsibility"and expansionism, Moscow may also have hoped to deter the recognition or expandedwith China.that several of the governments have been

&ECRET|

Page 13 WEEKLY REVIEW

Mar 69

Original document.

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