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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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