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Washington, D.C., October 23, 1974. Hon. MIKE MANSFIELD, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MIKE: One of the key elements in our current foreign policy is the effort to further normalize relations with the People's Republic of China. In the light of developments both within our country and in the world, it seems to me that it would be most helpful to the pursuit of that policy if you could undertake a visit to China in the near future. As Senate Majority Leader and as a Democrat, your presence

in China would underscore the bipartisan nature of the policy of normalization and emphasize its continuity. Moreover, in view of your extensive experience with the affairs of the Western Pacific, it would be helpful to me to have your assessment of the current status of the Sino-U.S. rapprochement and the relationship of normalization to the general situation in the Far East.

It seems to me, too, that further familiarization on your part with the situation in China would be of great value in the consideration of

any future questions regarding Sino-U.S. relations which may come before the Senate.

In the event you undertake this visit, the Executive Branch will be glad to assist you in any way possible. With warmest personal regards, Sincerely,


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I. Is the System Working? China's political system is no longer an experiment. It is here to stay. It is more than a political system. It is a way of life for China's 800 million people. Chinese society, today, is based on the communist theories of Chairman Mao Tse-tung which, to the Western ear, can sound not only like Marxism but also common sense and a mixture of understanding and severity in confronting the frailties of human nature.

The constant speculation over what will happen in China after Chairman Mao Tse-tung retires from the scene, in my opinion, is largely an exercise in irrelevance. It ignores the depth and the reality of the revolutionary changes which have taken place in China during the last quarter century. Mao is esteemed almost to the point of reverence because he has pointed the way and his leadership has restored China's self-confidence. Mao's precepts can be expected to guide China's destiny for a long time to come. "Serve the people" and "self-reliance" are more than slogans, they are the guideposts of Chinese society for the present and future.

From Shanghai to Sian, from Peking to Kun-ming, the evidence of the system's durability is overwhelming. Politics permeates China's daily life, from the high government officials in Peking to peasants in the remote communes. The traditional Chinese concepts of family loyalty and group activity have been extended to make the Chinese people into a pyramid of families.” At the apex is the leadership of an integrated Chinese nation. Pride in common accomplishment and faith in a common future are evident everywhere. China today is more unified than ever before in its history.

This is not to say that there will not be political turmoil. Indeed, periodic political shake-ups are an essential feature of Mao's thesis. They are regarded as a necessity in order to cleanse the system of ever recurring "elitist” tendencies. That was the significance of the Cultural Revolution. It is a principal factor in the current movement to “criticize Lin Piao and Confucius.” The prospect of struggles for personal political power is also inherent in any political system. In China, however, the likelihood is that even these struggles will take place within the framework of Maoism.

Incorporated into the Chinese economic system is a substantial insulation from the storms which take place in the international economy. The current burdens of inflation and the specter of a worldwide depression, for example, leave China relatively untouched. Mao's emphasis on self-reliance, local initiative, and national self-sufficiency


has served as a cushion. In the days in Yenan following the Long March, Mao's forces spun their own thread, wove cloth, and developed new land. All participated in physical labor. This Maoist concept has proved itself anew on a broader scale. When the Soviet Union withdrew its technological assistance in the late fifties, the theme of selfreliance spurred the Chinese to achieve on their own. China is now self-sufficient in food, fiber, most basic raw materials, and energy. Not only can China exist without the outside world, if necessary the economic and technological advance already underway can continue without external inputs.

There is a certain sense of ironic gratitude to both the United States and the Soviet Union for forcing China to look to its own people and resources for economic development. The Russians, in particular, the Chinese say, did China a favor by cutting off technical and other aid. As a consequence, China's imports are restrained, as much by choice as by necessity, and exports are kept roughly at the level necessary to pay for imports. The practical results of this independence from the world economy were explained by Vice Premier Teng in this way:"If the products we buy become too expensive, we will stop buying. And if the prices we receive for our exports are too low, we will not se!).”

China's system is egalitarian, in which participation is universal. The government bureaucrat or factory manager rides a bicycle to and from work alongside clerks and workers and the leader of a commune production team works in the fields like everyone else. There are no privileged classes. However, as a sophisticated bureaucrat explained, the system does not mean that “all eat from the same pot.” “That." he said, “is a fantastic idea which ignores differences in people, all of whom have individual likes, dislikes, and abilities.” The theory, it was explained, is that after the basic needs of the people are satisfied, i.e., adequate food, clothing, and shelter, differences in pay and personal preferences come into play with "production distributed according to how much the worker offers to society."


The basic needs of the Chinese people for food, clothing, and shelter are being met. Food and clothing are plentiful and low priced. The people appear healthy and well fed. Housing varies from city to city and from village to village, but most dwellings are very adequate in comparison with the old China. Everywhere, new housing is under construction. And everywhere there is evidence of a stress on cleanliness and order.

There is no unemployment or inflation. Officials report that there are no social problems of drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or juvenile delinquency. The streets are safe, day and night, notwithstanding the scarcity of visible armed security personnel. Everyone appears to be busy at productive and purposeful work. Women enjoy equal rights and the percentage of skilled women workers in the factories is increasing. Women work alongside men on the farms and at machines in factories, drawing equal pay for equal work. In some areas women continue to do, as they have historically, much of the heavy manual labor, such as road repair work. There is mass underemployment by

our concepts but there is some work for every able bodied man and woman. There is no unemployment and, hence, the concept of unemployment compensation is unknown.

There are no privately owned cars, except for those owned by diplomats and returned overseas Chinese. A very limited number of passenger vehicles is available for official purposes in each locality. So rare are passenger automobiles that they are still objects of great curiosity outside the major cities. As China's affluence grows, a real test of the system will be whether privately owned automobiles will be permitted and, if so, under what circumstances. One Chinese official in Shanghai put it this way: "Our emphasis is on public transport. If you have too many cars, it becomes a catastrophe.”

The streets and roads on which I travelled throughout the country were well maintained and usually lined by trees, often in depth. Buses were crowded and special emphasis is being put on improving this type of transportation. China's passenger trains, which I rode on three occasions, are excellent. The rolling stock and most of the engines are made in China. The trains are clean and comfortable and ride on roadbeds that are smooth and well maintained. A round trip with sleeper from Peking to Kuang-chou, a total of nearly 3,000 miles, costs about $60.

The livelihood of the people seems to be improved from what it was at the time of my first visit to the People's Republic almost three years ago. In Peking, for example, a great deal of new housing was evident. The people appeared to be better clothed. More trucks and other commercial vehicles and more sophisticated bicycles were on the streets.. Shops offered a greater variety of consumer goods.

Wages for city workers seemed somewhat higher than in 1972, now averaging about $25–30 per month. Rent plus utilities remain at about $4 for the average city family. Medical care for city dwellers continues to be free and on the communes costs only a mominal amount. Day care facilities are available and all education is free, There are no income taxes; a worker's pay is net pay.

Grain, cotton cloth, and cooking oil are rationed but the allotments are ample. Prices of basic commodities remain reasonable and fixed. Rice sells for about 7 cents per pound (the same as 20 years ago), pork and beef for 40 cents per pound, chicken for 34 cents per pound, sugar for 35 cents per pound, cotton cloth for 40 cents per square yard, a bicycle for $75 (motorbikes have also begun to be sold in Shanghai for about $200), and a Chinese watch for $50. Movies cost 10-15 cents. Cigarettes average about 30 cents a pack. City bus fare is 3-8 cents. Clothing and shoes are very reasonably priced, a warm cotton-padded winter coat selling for about $9 and padded shoes for less than $3. In most families, both husband and wife work; therefore, the combined incomes usually permit some savings as well as occasional indulgences.

There is a discernible community spirit from one end of China to the other. This spirit is perhaps a key to China's effective management of many of the social problems which confound the Western World. It is the antithesis of “dog eat dog.” The handling of criminal offenses is illustrative. Policemen on the streets do not wear guns, and armed military guards are a rarity. Nevertheless, some residents in Peking do lock their doors at night. In criminal cases serious enough to come be

fore a judge, the accused's case is presented by himself and his coworkers or neighbors since there is no recognized profession of the law in China. It is within a local grouping that most crime is prevented and most offenders are corrected. If found guilty, an accused will be sent back to his home and his job for a period of re-education. There, the "bad attitude,” which may have prompted his criminal behavior, is "adjusted.” He is made to see the errors of his ways by his peers and that is an end to the matter. If the accused is a habitual offender and "adjustment” appears hopeless, he will end up with a term in jail. There is still capital punishment in China for such crimes as deliberate, premeditated murder and habitual rape.

Except for the most serious disorders, mental problems are handled primarily through compassion and understanding from the victim's friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Traditional Chinese regard for the aged continues to prevail. Old people are cared for by relatives or others in the group, whether friends or former co-workers. The sense of family and local responsibility is still very much alive in China. Charity to one another is an integral part of the new China.

MEDICAL CARE IN CHINA, 1974 After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, the new government was faced with a population plagued by malnutrition, communicable and parasitic diseases, and inadequate health facilities and personnel. Everywhere there were scurvy-ridden, liceinfested, potbellied children with inflamed eyes, and countless beggars. An open prostitution problem existed as did rampant venereal disease and tuberculosis.

A combination of directives from Chairman Mao and the principles adopted at a National Health Congress in Peking in the early 1950's resulted in a set of precepts which to this day form the widely quoted ideological basis for the development of health services. These precepts may be summarized as follows:

1. Medicine must serve the working people.

2. Preventive medicine must be given priority over curative medicine.

3. Practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine must be united with practitioners of Western medicine.

4. Health work must be integrated with mass movements. From these precepts there has evolved a system which provides universal basic health care. It is a system which has eliminated venereal disease, controlled tuberculosis, partially controlled malaria and schistosomiasis, and made world-recognized achievements in burn therapy, re-implantation of amputated extremities and digits, and in the treatment of fractures. The system has given rebirth and new significance to traditional Chinese medicine and the usage of acupuncture.

MEDICAL PERSONNEL After liberation, a quick estimate of the needs for physicians, based on one doctor per thousand population, indicated that upwards of 800,000 would be required-an impossible goal to attain, even with an all-out effort, in less than 20–30 years. To meet this situation, there

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