A Chinese Communist Party digest summarizing recent meetings held between Zhao Ziyang and foreign counterparts.
October 27, 1982
Excerpts of Talks between Leading Comrades and Foreign Guests (No. 11)
This document was made possible with support from Chun & Jane Chiu Family Foundation
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Serial No. 000026
Excerpts of Talks between Leading Comrades and Foreign Guests (No. 11)
October 27, 1982
I. On Sino-Japanese Relations
II. On Sino-American Relations
III. On Sino-Soviet relations
I. On Sino-Japanese Relations
When Comrade Deng Xiaoping discussed Sino-Japanese relations during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki on September 28, 1982, he said: Our 12th Chinese Communist Party Congress gave formal expression to a series of policies that had been formulated since the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the Party in 1978. The Party Congress endorsed those policies. For example, foreign policy, in fact, it was restating policies that we had formulated and implemented over the past several years. Of course, there were some small changes, mostly in the way these policies were expressed.
Comrade Deng Xiaoping said: Our 12th Party Congress made Sino-Japanese relations a top priority. Of course, there were a lot of things to say about Sino-Japanese relations, but the last sentence of the 12th Party Congress report on Sino-Japanese relations sums it up -- "The people of China and Japan will continue to be friendly for generations to come.” Since our Party Congress discussed this, China has made it our long-term national policy, not just for five years, five years, ten years, twenty years or fifty years but for generations to come.
The expression "friendship for generation upon generation" is based upon our practice over the past decade. As far as China is concerned, we are a Third World country and so our Party Congress, as it looks at foreign policy, focuses on unity and cooperation with the Third World. But when it comes to other areas of foreign relations, we put Japan's cooperation with us in the first place. This is in line with the wishes of the Chinese and Japanese peoples and the interests of our two countries. Moreover, over the last decade, when we consider the development of our major relationships, such as Sino-Japanese relations, Sino-American relations, and Sino-Soviet relations, we think that the development in Sino-Japanese relations has been the best. Of course, our two countries do not see eye to eye on all issues. That is normal. There will be other issues like the textbook issue in the future. The textbook issue has been solved through contacts between the two sides, hasn't it? In the future, we should continue to solve the problems in the spirit of mutual understanding.
As far as the relationship between China and Japan is concerned, it is developing relatively well. But this does not mean that there are no problems or that we are satisfied. On the economic side, we hope to do more, and the field is very broad, and there are so many areas where both sides can complement one another. China has the resources and Japan has the technology: that makes for remarkable cooperation. We have always stressed that Sino-Japanese economic cooperation should be considered from a political perspective. Sino-Japanese cooperation between our governments alone is not enough. It should also be among our two peoples. In the case of Japan, we hope that the Japanese government will do a little more work on this with the private sector. Of course, the private sector always needs to make money in cooperation, but it also needs to take into account political factors and political considerations.
Comrade Deng Xiaoping pointed out that as far as the political aspects of Sino-Japanese relations are concerned, we hope that His Excellency Suzuki and His Excellency's government, as well as future Japanese governments, will be concerned about militaristic tendencies. We do not doubt that the Japanese government has concerns about that because it is clearly stated in your constitution. But there are indeed people in Japan who want to revive militarism although this goes against the will of the vast majority of the people. Some years ago, there was such a person as Yukio Mishima, who expressed not only his personal views but also a tendency and political dynamic. We regret that an old politician (note: Kishi Nobusuke) is trying to do something to build a "monument to the founding of Manchukuo". What does he mean by doing that?
Comrade Hu Yaobang said in his September 28 meeting on Sino-Japanese relations with Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki: "China and Japan are two great peoples of the East and the two great peoples of the world. An old Chinese saying can express the importance of cooperation between our peoples: "Joining together helps us both; being part hurts us both". Cooperation is not only beneficial to our present generation, but also benefits to world peace and future generations. Over the past ten years, the friendship between the Chinese and Japanese governments and between our people has become very deep. The significance of this goes beyond our two countries and even beyond the scope of modern history and is something that will be important for many generations to come.
Comrade Hu Yaobang said, "The friendship between China and Japan for generations to come does not mean that there will never be difficulties or storms. When the two countries established diplomatic relations ten years ago, some of the Chinese people could not accept it emotionally and were disgusted by the sight of your flag. But we have been teaching our Party members, cadres and people that they should not be vindictive towards Japan. We have also been teaching our people over the years that even if our country becomes strong, we will never be hegemonic. From our desire for friendship, we also hope that you will educate your people not to be swayed by the short-sightedness of a few people who want to revive militarism. That will be good for both our peoples and for all the peoples of the world.
Comrade Hu Yaobang also said: The Japanese people do have many strengths. They are disciplined, hard-working people who strive to better themselves and to master advanced science and technology. All those things we can learn from. However, over the past century, some people in power in Japan made some errors, which we do not approve of, and the majority of Japanese people do not approve of either.
Comrade Yaobang pointed out that both China and Japan have their own strengths and weaknesses. Japan's technology is good, China's resources are more. Japan's lack of resources is a weakness. Our backwardness in technology is a weakness. Therefore, there are a wide range of opportunities for economic cooperation between our two countries.
Premier Zhao Ziyang stressed during his meeting with Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki on September 26, 1982, that the Chinese government's policy of developing peaceful, friendly, equal and mutually beneficial, long-term and stable Sino-Japanese relations has not been changed. Premier Zhao spoke highly of Prime Minister Suzuki's reaffirmation of his commitment to the spirit of the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration and his responsibility to effectively correct the errors in the textbooks. The Premier also said that the textbook issue had caused a considerable disturbance in the smoothly developing relations between our two countries. We are glad to see that this issue has been resolved, so that there is a good atmosphere for welcoming Prime Minister Suzuki's visit to China.
The hard-won development of friendly relations between China and Japan to where they are today has been hard-won and should be appreciated, given the many twists and turns they have taken in the past. The war of aggression by Japanese militarism caused serious damage to the peoples of both China and Japan. Lessons learned have been profound. Although we advocate looking forward to the development of Sino-Japanese relations, this does not mean that the lessons of history can be forgotten nor can we allow a few people to arbitrarily distort history. During my visit to Tokyo, I mentioned that the development of Sino-Japanese relations should not be affected by storms in the international community. Now I would like to add that there are various obstacles that should also be removed from the development of Sino-Japanese relations.
During his second meeting with Prime Minister Suzuki on September 27, Premier Zhao once again pointed out that Japan-Taiwan relations are a major issue of principle in Sino-Japanese relations. As long as China and Japan abide by the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration and the relevant agreements reached between the two governments, this issue can be properly resolved and its adverse impact on the relations between the two countries can be avoided.
II. On Sino-US Relations
When Comrade Deng Xiaoping met with former U.S. President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1982, he said: When you first came to China to meet with Chairman Mao, you first said that you came to China for the benefit of the United States. That was a very good statement. Likewise, it is also in China's own interest to improve and develop relations with the United States. Unfortunately, such a clear strategic view is not shared by all leaders. It's not easy! China and the U.S. have been quarreling for almost a year. Now that seems to be over. The issue can be put behind us. What people call the "Second Shanghai Communiqué" was issued. We appreciate the fact that President Reagan was able to resist the pressure of people on the right, such as Goldwater, and make this decision.
Of course, the problem has not been completely solved. Many things need to be done to maintain and develop the U.S.-China relationship from truly strategic and global perspectives. It should be calmly acknowledged that the development of relations between the two countries is not without obstacles. Many obstacles remain. The biggest obstacle is not even the issue of arms sales to Taiwan. Now both sides have made concessions and reached an agreement on the arms issue. What happens on this issue also depends on the future actions of the U.S. government. Now both sides have made concessions and reached an agreement on the arms issue. This issue also depends on the actual actions of the U.S. government in the future. What has greater long-term implications than this is the Taiwan Relations Act. Of course, this issue is not easy to resolve for the United States, but the U.S. president has a lot of room for maneuver in how the U.S. government will implement the Taiwan Relations Act. Ultimately, one day this law will be repealed or amended. When that happens, we will be able to build our relationship on a more solid foundation. The development of China-U.S. relations depends not only on the Taiwan issue, but also on global strategic relations, on the economic and trade relations between the two countries, and on cultural and scientific cooperation. The scope of our potential cooperation is very broad! When the communiqué was finalized not long ago, I talked with Ambassador Arthur Hummel that there were still some problems in the China-U.S. relationship, and that both sides should work to solve those problems in order to build mutual trust.
There are many aspects to building mutual trust and solving those problems. We can start with one small issue. As you probably know, I'm talking about a relatively small issue, and something that's relatively easy to resolve. We recently had a tennis player who remained in the United States. Your American newspapers also said that some Americans did some dirty tricks to poach her. If issues like the tennis player are not solved, we'll still be able to get by. But this creates a problem for us. Can China still dare to send someone to the US on an exchange in the future? We can't compete with you in this area, because some of our young people are ideologically unprepared to resist the temptation of your material conditions and your dirty tricks.
For example, when I asked the United States, the two sides signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation. However, since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States, the United States has not transferred to us any decent advanced technology. I talked to U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig about it. He too was surprised. Even the electronic computer that the United Nations got us to conduct our national census was discussed for years, but it was only finally approved last year. The U.S. used to put China in the "Y" group for a long time: that's second-to-last in the alphabet of twenty-six letters. Later, it was slightly changed (to "P" group).
I am saying this because you are an old friend of ours, a friend of ten years standing. I'm not saying this to complain. I told my American friends that China is used to being backward, and we can get by without this stuff. But from another point of view, it is more difficult to close the gaps in our relationships to develop the relations between our two countries on the foundation of mutual trust. We need to build a better foundation. This means that those who are interested in the strategic relationship between China and the United States and are keen to develop friendship and cooperation between the two countries, whether Chinese or American, have a lot of work to do. The relationship we have achieved over the past ten years has not been easy to build.
Our Party Congress this time has strengthened our foreign relations, including our relations with the United States, but the problem is that we still have to wait and see. Aspiration is one thing, but realizing that aspiration is another.
We do not underestimate the problems we shall encounter.
When Comrade Deng Xiaoping met with former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger on September 30, 1982, Comrade Deng pointed out that China's foreign policy had not changed. With the exception of the economic opening policy, the international strategy is still as it was formulated by Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou. The development of U.S.-China relations over the past decade has not been satisfactory, but it has been generally good. After the current U.S. administration, Sino-U.S. relations have had some ups and downs, but whatever the ups and downs are, the Chinese side is still in a good position. But no matter what the ups and downs are, China will maintain the continuity of its policy.
Comrade Hu Yaobang met with former U.S. President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1982. Nixon expressed his hope that China and the United States would build on the good start of the first decade of relations and work for more positive results over the next decade. Comrade Hu Yaobang said: "Your suggestion that the next ten years will open up broader prospects for Sino-U.S. relations in the next ten years, that we see that suggestion is full of friendly aspirations. We for our part have not created any obstacles to this. I would like to reiterate that the only obstacle is the issue of U.S.-Taiwan relations. Are there still some people in your country who have the idea of "two Chinas"? This is very dangerous. This is very dangerous. We fully understand that this issue is difficult and cannot be solved at once. But it must not escalate, because it is not a question of our interference in your country's internal affairs, but a question of whether the United States respects our sovereignty and the basic norms of international relations. Mr. Nixon has opened the way for our relations in this regard, and I hope that you will do your best to persuade some people in your country, both in the governing and in the opposition party, not to create new obstacles.
On China-U.S. economic cooperation, Comrade Hu Yaobang told Nixon that I think it is entirely possible for us to work together to reach $50 billion in or even a little more in trade in the next ten years or by the end of this century. Now is the time to find a concrete path. Based on the experience of the past few years, I would like to commend to Mr. Nixon the following three areas for study on the specific path.
First, you want to keep expanding the export of agricultural products to China. As our agricultural economy improves, I would like to sincerely tell Mr. Nixon, and ask Mr. Nixon to tell American farmers that there is not much hope for expanding agricultural imports. Although agricultural imports will remain at a certain level for a number of years, there is not much hope of expanding them as our agriculture develops, because our agricultural production will increase considerably. We now have more confidence about that. This year national agricultural production increased. We plan to gradually reduce our cotton imports. We also want to gradually reduce imports. China now imports a considerable amount of cotton from the United States. Chinese cotton production has a good future.
Second, from our side, we hope to import some advanced technology and advanced equipment from you, including defensive weapons. This area has potential. We are willing to buy but there are many restrictions on your side and we will not force the issue.
So it seems that the most promising areas are energy, transportation, and non-ferrous metals, and we hope to cooperate fully with the U.S. industrial and commercial sectors. China is very rich in resources, with a lot of oil, coal and non-ferrous metals. In this regard, it may take a little longer for China to cooperate with the U.S. in the industrial and business sectors, and profit recovery may be slower. Doing business with China is safe. We are very trustworthy.
Premier Zhao Ziyang, in a meeting with former U.S. President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1982, said: In October of last year, I met with President Reagan in Cancun to begin negotiations on the issue of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. After more than ten months of negotiations, we finally achieved results and issued a joint communiqué, which is a very important step in removing serious obstacles to the development of U.S.-China relations.
When Nixon spoke of a common basis for the development of relations between China and the United States, Premier Zhao said, and I agree, that on the one hand, China and the United States have a common basis for dealing with Soviet hegemony. On the other hand, in terms of economic and technical cooperation and some trade cooperation, the development of Sino-U.S. relations is also in the interest of both peoples.
Premier Zhao said that the United States is a big country and China is also a big country, but our two big countries are in different situations: you are a rich country and we are a poor country: the United States is a technologically advanced country and China is a technologically backward country, but China has resources and a big market, so I think there is a broad prospect for developing economic and technical cooperation between the United States and China. This should also be based on mutual need. China has always attached more importance to the development of Sino-U.S. relations, and it is for this reason that China has made great efforts, and arguably significant efforts, in this negotiation on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Of course, China has always believed that the development of relations between China and the United States is in the fundamental interests of both China and the United States. It would be wrong to view China's desire to develop U.S.-China relations as a unilateral necessity, and China as being needy. While China attaches importance to the development of Sino-U.S. relations and adopts a positive attitude, it has always insisted that Sino-U.S. relations must be based on mutual respect for sovereignty and non-interference in our internal affairs, and that economic and technical exchanges and cooperation must be based on equality and mutual benefit.
China has always insisted that Sino-U.S. relations must be based on mutual respect for sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs. Vice Chairman Deng Xiaoping, in his opening address to our 12th Party Congress, made these remarks: "The Chinese people cherish their friendship and cooperation with other countries and peoples, and cherish even more their right to independence and autonomy, which they have earned through long struggle". To sum up, China's independent foreign policy and our policy of opening up to the outside world are the most important elements of its foreign policy.
On the issue of economic and technical cooperation between China and the United States, I think there is a great potential for this issue. Of course, I am talking about this issue from a long-term perspective. Now, in addition to the high interest rates in the United States, which is one of the reasons for the stagnation of Sino-US economic relations, as you said, it seems that there are other problems. We import a lot of wheat and cotton from the U.S., and our exports to the U.S. are mainly light industrial textiles, for which the U.S. has rather harsh conditions. If these problems are not solved, it will be a great obstacle to the development of trade between China and the United States.
When Premier Zhao Ziyang met with former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger on September 30, 1982, he emphasized once again that the development of relations between China and the U.S. was due to their common strategic interests in dealing with the Soviet hegemony. Moreover both sides can complement each other economically and develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. This is not only in the interest of the Chinese and American peoples, but also in the interest of world peace and stability. Therefore, China has always attached importance to the development of China-US relations. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, there has been progress in economic, trade and technological exchanges, but in general, it is still far from satisfactory. The United States pays lip service to China as a friendly non-allied country, and I believe there is great potential for economic and technical cooperation between China and the United States. Of course, I am talking about this issue from a long-term perspective. Now, in addition to the high interest rate in the United States, which is one of the reasons for the stagnation of Sino-US economic relations, as you said, it seems that there are other problems. We import a lot of wheat and cotton from the U.S., and our exports to the U.S. are mainly light industrial textiles, for which the U.S. has rather harsh conditions. If these problems are not solved, the development of trade between China and the United States will be a great obstacle to the development of trade between the United States and China.
When Premier Zhao Ziyang met with former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger on September 30, 1982, he emphasized once again that the development of relations between China and the U.S. was due to their common strategic interests in dealing with the Soviet hegemony, but not only that, both sides could also complement each other economically and develop relations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. This is not only in the interest of the Chinese and American peoples, but also in the interest of world peace and stability. Therefore, China has always attached importance to the development of China-US relations. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, there has been progress in economic, trade and technological exchanges, but in general, it is far from satisfactory. The United States pays lip service to China as a friendly non-allied country, but in practice it includes China as a non-friendly country and imposes significant discrimination and restrictions on trade and economic and technological exchanges. Of course, this is not the main issue affecting U.S.-China relations now. That is the Taiwan issue. After long negotiations and efforts by both sides, China and the United States reached a joint communiqué on U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. This is an important step in removing serious obstacles to the development of relations between the two countries. But we are concerned about how this communiqué will be implemented in the U.S. If it is not implemented in earnest, but to deal with us, then Sino-U.S. relations will not develop smoothly.
The Prime Minister noted that the atmosphere in Washington since the joint communiqué was issued has not been very good. For example, some U.S. officials, in interpreting the communiqué, contradicted and distorted the spirit and principles of the communiqué by making China's peaceful liberation of Taiwan a precondition for resolving U.S. arms sales to Taiwan. Some even said that the communiqué is subject to the Taiwan Relations Act, which is an even greater distortion. The communiqué stipulates that the level of U.S. arms sales to Taiwan in the future shall not exceed $500 million per year. Some in the United States say the level is $800 million, attempting to use this as the standard for annual sales limits. The U.S. will allow Taiwan to open an additional office in Boston. Premier Zhao said that these interpretations and actions of the U.S. side are not in line with the spirit and principles of the communiqué. If the communiqué is not strictly implemented and there are many small moves, the communiqué will be of little significance.
When Kissinger said that since official Chinese documents have promoted the US to a "hegemonic power", people will wonder whether U.S.-China relations can continue to develop. In response to Kissinger's comment, Premier Zhao said: My basic view of the international situation has not changed, nor has my view of the fundamental nature of the Soviet Union. In order to safeguard the rights and aspirations of Third World countries, we cannot help but say that we have to work together with them. China has never compared the United States and the Soviet Union and has always considered Soviet hegemony to be the main threat to world peace. But we cannot say that the U.S. is not a superpower, nor can we say that there is no hegemony, and we cannot avoid criticizing U.S. policy in certain regions. [Note: underlined in the copy. End note]
On October 11, 1982, National People's Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Peng Zhen met with German Federal Republic President Karl Carstens. When they discussed Sino-American relations, Comrade Peng Zhen said: "Taiwan is a part of China. The Cairo Conference decided to return Taiwan to China. President Reagan also stated that there would be no "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". We are willing to resolve the Taiwan issue peacefully. The nine-point statement made by Chairman Ye was also considered reasonable by informed people on Taiwan. The new constitution to be adopted in November will give the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress the right to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions, and Taiwan can adopt a social system different from that of the whole country.
The new constitution to be adopted in November will give the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress the power to decide on the establishment of special administrative regions. Taiwan will be able to adopt a different social system than the rest of the country. Reagan also gave lip service to the Nine Articles. But we want to solve the issue peacefully but he wants to sell weapons to Taiwan. There are two kinds of sea, one is the sea of water, the other is the sea of people. In the sea of people this aircraft carrier will sink. The so-called Taiwan is the United States "unsinkable aircraft carrier", which exists in the minds of some people in the United States.
A "myth" exists in the minds of some people in the United States. The Americans regard Taiwan as a treasure but it is in fact a burden. For more than a century, foreign powers have invaded China and have been driven away by the Chinese people. Only the United States inherits the legacy of the foreign powers' invasion of China. The U.S. policy is a continuation of Dulles' hostile policy toward China, an outdated policy that is bound to fail. Comrade Peng Zhen said that the Taiwan issue affects Sino-American relations, but we do not regard the Taiwan issue as the most important one. The main issue now is to unite to deal with the Soviet hegemony and maintain world peace. For this reason, we have adopted a tolerant attitude on the Taiwan issue. The Chinese people trust the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese government. Otherwise how could one billion people tolerate this? Just one match can start a conflagration among those one billion people.
III. On Sino-Soviet Relations
Comrade Deng Xiaoping met with former U.S. President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1982. When Nixon talked about Brezhnev's retirement by the end of this year, he asked me what we think about "the Soviet Union's decision to elect a new leader. After a new leader is elected, will their policy not be as aggressive as before?
Comrade Deng Xiaoping said that the policy would not change, or rather the major policies would not change, but the minor ones might. This is not determined by some individuals, but by the system. Our report did not discuss about social imperialism, we have in fact been saying for many years that the Soviet Union was in fact social imperialism. Chairman Mao and Premier Zhou affirmed this when they were alive. For example, the Soviet Union's policy of moving southward began during the Tsarist era.
If the Soviet Union did not engage in expansionism, why did it increase its military expenditure so much, even more than the United States, when its people were living in such a difficult situation? Its actual policy cannot be fully reflected in the words of Brezhnev or others. That is why we have the same problem with the Soviet Union. So we had to deal with the Soviet Union, as a country, just as you the United States do, we don't want to have anything to do with them. But the reality is that our view of global strategy and the Soviet Union's policy will not change.
Comrade Deng Xiaoping said in his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki on September 28, 1982, on the issue of Sino-Soviet relations that, frankly speaking, there will be no dramatic changes in Sino-Soviet relations. We have always insisted on considering Sino-Soviet relations from the perspective of global strategy. The obstacle to improving Sino-Soviet relations is the Soviet Union's hegemony. In other words, the problem of Sino-Soviet relations is not just a little border issue between China and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union supported Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia and its direct invasion of Afghanistan, both of which were naked hegemonism. It also placed a million troops on the Sino-Soviet border, stationed troops in Outer Mongolia, and placed one-third of its strategic missiles in the Far East, directly against China, of course, but also against Japan and the United States.
This is of course directly against China, but also against Japan and the United States. Comrade Xiaoping said that it was necessary to talk between China and the Soviet Union, and it was not possible to have no talks between countries at all. But to normalize Sino-Soviet relations, the Soviet Union had to do something either by withdrawing the million troops on the Sino-Soviet border and the troops in foreign countries, or by doing something about Cambodia or Afghanistan. Not to say abandoning hegemony, but to have a little detente, so that we can continue to talk. But could it do that?
Comrade Deng Xiaoping said in a meeting with former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger on September 30, 1982 discussed Sino-Soviet relations. Comrade Deng Xiaoping said that the Sino-Soviet issue is not a border issue, but should be considered at the level of international strategy. The two countries have sent ambassadors to each other and we need to have contact. But the negotiations should not only be about the border, but also about the elimination of the threat to China, including the reduction and withdrawal of one million troops in Mongolia, and the settlement of the Cambodia and Afghanistan issues. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its support for the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia are threats to China. We are not asking for much but we should start with this matter. The Soviets say that there should be no preconditions for normalization and that no third country should be involved. We say that no third country involvement is acceptable to us but that the threat to China should be removed.
Comrade Deng Xiaoping in his meeting with Federal Germany President Karl Carstens on October 13, 1982 discussed Sino-Soviet relations. Comrade Deng Xiaoping said: We have consistently opposed Soviet hegemony. China's analysis and judgment of the international situation and its policy of maintaining world peace and uniting against hegemony remain unchanged. China's approach has not changed. We had a dialogue with the Soviet Union in the past, but it was interrupted by the Afghan issue. The Soviet leadership sent several signals, and it was not good to ignore them completely. Now it has resumed, and it is called consultation, which is also a kind of dialogue. There are still national relations between the two countries, and it is not good not to have a dialogue at all. It is understandable that you are also engaged in a dialogue with the Soviet Union. Our dialogue with the Soviet Union is, first of all, to raise issues from a strategic point of view.
We can't just talk about the development of trade, cultural contacts, or even about a small island or a few dozen square kilometers of territory on the border. The Soviet Union is a close neighbor of both China and Federal Germany. Three quarters of Soviet troops are in Europe against you, and a quarter of them are towards us. If we talk about strategic missiles, maybe one-third of them are aimed at China. The Sino-Soviet border is not a question of a few islands or a few dozen square kilometers of territory. There is also the issue of strategic missiles and a million troops on the Chinese border, the Soviet military presence in Mongolia, and the issues of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indo-China. How can we not talk about these big issues? That is why we say that Sino-Soviet relations should address the issue of the Soviet threat to China. It is difficult to say whether the Soviet Union will take steps to remove the threat to China on these major issues. We don't know whether we will be able to negotiate. We are not asking the Soviet Union to do everything, but we can start with one or two things. If the Soviet Union achieves one or two things, it will have made a contribution to world peace. For now that looks hard to achieve.
When Comrade Deng Xiaoping met with Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq on October 19, 1982, he said that he would continue to be vigilant against the Soviet Union. The Soviet policy of going south will not change, and it would be good if it changed and gave up its hegemony. But they will not give up easily on that old Tsarist policy of going south to warm water ports. Comrade Xiaoping said that we would resume contacts with the Soviet Union provided that the Soviet Union removed the threat to China. We mentioned three things, such as the Soviet military presence on the Sino-Soviet border, Soviet support for Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia and direct invasion of Afghanistan. It would be difficult for the Soviet Union to do at the same time.
The Soviet Union should do one or two things first, or at least one thing first. If the Soviet Union did one thing, it would mean a gap in its global strategy and some change in its hegemony. We are talking about these things in terms of bilateral relations, but they are actually closely linked to South Asia, Southeast Asia, and global strategy. It seems to be very difficult to solve the problem, but we have continued to engage. Comrade Xiaoping also pointed out that after Brezhnev, the fundamental policy of the Soviet Union would remain unchanged, no matter who came to power.
Comrade Hu Yaobang met with former U.S. President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1982. When Nixon spoke about the fact that many people in the United States, especially in the American press, believe that China has distanced itself from the United States and turned to the Soviet Union. He asked, "if the threat from the Soviet Union was greatly reduced, what effect would that have on China-U.S. relations? Comrade Hu Yaobang responded to Nixon's question by saying: I share Mr. Nixon's view.
We are ready to improve relations with the Soviet Union if it gives up hegemony. Now we do think it will not give up its hegemony. Of course, if it does give up hegemony, we will normalize relations with it. As for China-U.S. relations, they will not depend on the possibility of normalizing our relations with the Soviet Union. Even if relations between China and the Soviet Union are normalized, we still hope that China and the United States will expand the development of political, economic, cultural, scientific and technological friendship and cooperation. This is not a balancing act. If we all refrain from hegemonism, that would be very good for world peace and for all the people of the world.
Premier Zhao Ziyang, in a meeting with former U.S. President Richard Nixon on September 8, 1982 discussed the problem of Soviet hegemonism. China believes that the Soviet Union's policy of global hegemony has not changed, and that Soviet hegemony remains the main threat to world peace and security. China wants to work with the Third World and all countries that oppose Soviet hegemony, including the United States. China has always advocated friendly relations with all countries, including the Soviet Union, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. The problem of tension between China and the Soviet Union is not that China believes that developing relations on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence does not apply to the Soviet Union, but that the Soviet Union exerts hegemony against China.
China's foreign policy has always been clear and principled, based on China's fundamental interests and the fundamental interests of the world. It will not be changed by any single event. Developments show that the pace of Soviet global expansion has not slowed down, but accelerated, and remains aggressive. On the other hand, the Soviet Union is indeed out of its depth, and its strength and ambition are not commensurate with the developments of the last year or so. Its support for Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia, its own occupation of Afghanistan, and its assistance to Cuba have in fact become very heavy burdens for it. There was also the problem of Poland, which was not only a Polish problem, but actually a problem of Eastern European countries in general. The Soviet Union was also faced with national problems and the pressure of the people to raise the standard of living and consumption. If the countries concerned could adopt a firm policy against Soviet expansion and make it difficult for the Soviet Union to do so, it would have a restraining effect on Soviet expansion. In any case, the policy of appeasement should not be applied to the problems of Cambodia and Afghanistan, and the fait accompli of Soviet aggression should not be recognized. In fact, this tendency does exist.
When Premier Zhao Ziyang met with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on September 22, 1982, Thatcher said, "In the event of a change in the leadership of the Soviet Union, will it take military risks in order to divert attention from the Soviet Union? Premier Zhao pointed out: The Soviet Union's foreign expansion stems from its hegemonic policy; the influence on it of the character of any one leader is limited. It depends upon the leadership group's analysis of the situation, which is influenced by various factors and conditions. Some Western politicians saw Brezhnev as a moderate, but it was precisely during his regime that the Soviet Union maniacally expanded its military and took advantage of the turmoil and conflicts in the Third World. Therefore, a change in leadership will not bring about a drastic change in Soviet policy.
Speaking about Sino-Soviet relations, Premier Zhao said that China's policy of opposing Soviet hegemonic expansion has not changed. However, China has always advocated the development of normal relations with the Soviet Union on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence. In view of the Soviet authorities' repeated declarations of their willingness to improve relations with China, there have been some contacts between China and the Soviet Union. In October, the Soviet Union sent its deputy foreign minister to China to exchange views on relations between the two countries. If the Soviet Union really wants to improve relations with China, it must take practical steps to ease the threat to China. It is difficult to predict the outcome of Sino-Soviet contacts. I am not very optimistic about this issue. On September 27, during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Suzuki, Premier Zhao once again pointed out again that although these contacts continue, the talks are likely to be a marathon.
When Premier Zhao Ziyang met with former U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger on September 30, 1982, he said that China had made it clear that the Soviet Union would improve relations with me depending on its actions. If the Soviet Union is sincere and takes concrete action to reduce or eliminate threats to China's security, and if it relaxes its position on the Sino-Soviet border and the Mongolian troop presence, as well as on the Cambodian and Afghanistan issues, China is willing to ease relations with the Soviet Union. If there were to be some relaxation of tensions between China and the Soviet Union, this would be good for China's security and good for easing tensions throughout the world. But this does not mean that I have changed my basic position. As I have said, the Soviet Union's hegemonic policy has not changed and does not appear to be changing, and therefore China's position opposing Soviet hegemonism cannot change. China has no illusions about the Soviet Union and will not change its policy of making opposing Soviet hegemonism the main objective of its foreign policy.
On October 18, 1982, Premier Zhao Ziyang, in a meeting with Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and briefed him on out basic position on the normalization of Sino-Soviet relations. Premier Zhao said that there had been two rounds of consultations, but both sides were still holding to their initial positions. We proposed that if the Soviet Union was truly sincere in improving Sino-Soviet relations, it must take practical action to remove the threat to our country, starting with one or two things, either by withdrawing troops from the Sino-Soviet border and Mongolia, or by doing something about Cambodia and Afghanistan. We will start with Cambodia and Afghanistan. We made it clear that the Soviet Union should withdraw from Afghanistan. It seems unlikely that the Soviet Union will withdraw at this time, but I must raise it to put pressure on them.
The Soviet Union is still doing the same thing as before, avoiding specific issues and proposing some empty document of principles to guide relations between the two countries. He said that China wanted them to start with a few specific things. He said that China wanted them to start with a few specific things, which were prerequisites, issues involving third countries beyond the bilateral relations between China and the Soviet Union. The atmosphere of the consultations was still peaceful. The situation in Beijing was more or less the same. We will continue to talk later in Moscow. This is not a problem that can be solved in the short term.
In his meeting with West German President Karl Carstens on October 11, 1982, National People's Congress Standing Committee Vice Chairman Peng Zhen said that to maintain peace it is necessary to stop the expansion of hegemony. Today, the threat to world peace comes from two hegemons but mainly the Soviet hegemon. The Soviet hegemon is like a tiger that looks at the whole world. It thinks China is a fat piece of meat and wants to eat it very much. But its head is directed at Western Europe, at the European Community and above all at Federal Germany. It sometimes turns its head back to China, because the Soviet Union wants to dominate the world, so that it can be a tiger so it cannot completely ignore China. It wants to swallow China or control it. So, when we talk about world peace, we have to say that the threat comes from two hegemons, first from the Soviet hegemon, which is expansionary and offensive.
The U.S. is hegemonic, but one that is on the defensive. So the main threat to world peace is the Soviet hegemon. We must be vigilant against this tiger, otherwise it will be very dangerous to pounce on us. We do have diplomatic relations with it, we engage diplomatically with the Soviet Union. Our relations with the Soviet Union are like this: the Soviet Union has always wanted to destroy us so it is always trying to swallow us up or control us. This forces us to fight Soviet hegemony to the end. Vice-Chairman Peng Zhen mentioned the Soviet Union's attempts to establish a "joint fleet" and a "long-wave radio station" with us in the late 1950s. This is a specific example of their attempts to control China..
If the Soviet Union were to be sincere and would take concrete action to reduce or eliminate threats to China's security, and if it were to relax its position on the Sino-Soviet border and the Mongolian troop presence, as well as on the East and Afghanistan issues, China would be willing to ease tensions with the Soviet Union.
If relations between China and the Soviet Union were to be eased to some extent, this would be good for China's security and good for easing tensions throughout the world. But this does not mean that I have changed my basic position. As I have said, the Soviet Union's hegemonic policy has not changed and does not appear to be changing, and therefore China's position on the Soviet Union has not changed. He also said that the Soviet Union later put millions of troops into Mongolia up against the Chinese border where there existed neither Japanese militarism nor American imperialism nor German revanchism. Their goal was obviously Beijing. This is the fundamental problem in Sino-Soviet relations.
Vice-Chairman Peng said that Deputy Foreign Minister Ilichev came to Beijing to meet with our Deputy Foreign Minister. This is also a two-pronged strategy. We also hope that relations between the two countries will be more moderate and that there will be more exchanges. We don't want to tighten the bow too much. The talks may lead to some results, but will the Soviets give up their hegemony and their intention to invade, control and annex China? That is not clear yet. The Soviets have already talked to us many times about Brezhnev's speech in Tashkent. We await their specific actions.
Vice-Chairman Peng Zhen said, "What is the purpose of the Soviet Union's one-million-strong army stationed along the Chinese border? I don't know whether the Soviet Union wants to fight China or not. One thing is certain. If the Soviets are determined to invade, they can. The border between China and the Soviet Union is thousands of kilometers long. Defense is difficult and attack is possible. But it is up to it to come in or not. It is not up to them whether the whole division will be able to leave. I think they won't attack because one million troops wouldn’t be sufficient. They would need ten million. If the Soviets were to attack China they would fall into the human sea of China. If the Soviet Union were to attack China, would the Soviet people go along? Would they cut off his head? The Soviet Union is now a prison of nations. Would Soviet minorities support and attack and obediently serve as cannon fodder? Would Soviet allies go along? Would Soviet allies help the Soviet Union, pulling its chestnuts out of the fire, or would it take advantage of the opportunity to free themselves from Soviet control and fight for independence? The Polish case demonstrates that while the Soviet Union's military power appears ready to take over the world, it is really a paper tiger.
Many of its weaknesses were exposed in Afghanistan. The Soviet army of 100,000 people was trapped in Afghanistan and could not get out. Poland is another thorny problem. The Soviet Union can't win there by doing whatever it wants. We in China don't want to fight the Soviet Union. First of all, it is unnecessary. Secondly, what would we use to fight the Soviet Union? So, whether we talk with the Soviet Union or not, fundamental improvement is impossible, but a partial improvement is possible. Unless it is crazy, the Soviet Union will not strike China first. If the Soviet Union wanted to attack China, it could have done so already. The Soviet Union would have done so long ago, in the late 1960s during the Zhenbao Island incident or more recently during our self-defense counterattack against Vietnam.
A Chinese Communist Party digest summarizing recent meetings held between Deng Xiaoping, Hu Yaobang, and Zhao Ziyang and Japanese Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki.
Associated People & Organizations
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