Prospects for Soviet policy toward China

by Harry Gelman

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Testimony presented before the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, House of Representatives. The author believes that although Moscow would like to see a meaningful Sino-Soviet rapprochement, the Soviet leaders are highly skeptical that this can be achieved and are most reluctant to make significant concessions to Beijing without far-reaching prior Chinese concessions. As a result, Sino-Soviet relations now exist simultaneously on two widely divergent tracks. On secondary matters, there continues to be gradual progress; on major matters, there remains a total impasse. To back his contentions, the author discusses the dual nature of Soviet policy; Soviet motives for the Far East buildup; the question of Soviet troop dispositions; the intractable border issue; the Soviet view of the internal Chinese scene; Soviet hopes for the economic relationship; the Sino-American factor; and implications of these developments for the United States.

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