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books and journals, the most recent entitled "The Cultural Revolution in China.”
Col. Angus Fraser, U.S. Marine Corps (retired), served as a planning officer, a combat officer, in Korea and China, and as an analyst of Asian affairs in the Institute for Defense Analysis.
I think we have a very well balanced and expert panel this morning, and I am delighted to see you.
Professor Hinton, go ahead.
STATEMENT OF HAROLD C. HINTON, PROFESSOR OF POLITICAL
SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, INSTITUTE FOR SINOSOVIET STUDIES, GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Mr. HINTON. Thank you, Senator Proxmire. It is a privilege for me, as a China watcher, to present my views to this committee on the interrelationship between economics and politics in the People's Republic of China and its implications for U.S. interests.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Let me just interrupt to say, and I apologize once again--we had to do this for the majority and minority leaders and everyone who appears before us. We have a clock that runs for 10 minutes and buzzes. If you abbreviate your prepared statement, we will put it in the record.
Mr. HINTON. In addition to writing on Chinese foreign policy, especially Sino-Soviet relations, I have tried also to follow domestic Chinese political developments, on which more evidence is available than is generally believed.
During the past 3 years, changes of great importance, of which the invitation to President Nixon is only the most conspicuous, have been occurring in the domestic and foreign policies of the People's Republic of China. Since change is an intelligible process only if considered in relation to the starting point, I must go back a little into the past in order to make my meaning clear.
For roughly the decade before the current changes began, the most prominent feature of Chinese domestic politics and foreign policy was a particular version of the thought of Chairman Mao Tse-tung that for convenience I shall label the dual adversary strategy. During that period, Mao's most consistent high level supporter was Defense Minister Lin Piao, and it was in part as a reward for that support, although even more because he seemingly controlled the army at a time when it alone could hold the country together, that Lin was made Mao's heir apparent in 1966–67.
The foreign aspect of the strategy was basically in effect during the whole of the decade prior to 1969. The domestic aspect, which trod on a larger number of powerful Chinese toes and had sustained a major setback through the failure of the Great Leap Forward1958-60, encountered more difficulties and only prevailed as the Communist Party apparatus was destroyed at the initiative of Mao and Lin, with the support of Premier Chou En-lai, in the early stages of the Cultural Revolution.
The domestic aspect of the thought of Mao Tse-tung, including its dual adversary phase, emphasizes the use of Maoist ideological slogans, such as Politics in Command," and indoctrination, more than the incentives and organizational devices traditionally favored
by the Communist Party apparatus, as the basic means of maintaining social control and maximizing economic output in all sectors, agriculture in particular.
In its foreign aspect, the dual adversary strategy has emphasized simultaneous political and ideological confrontation with military overtones but short of war, with both the United States and the Soviet Union. In order to prepare China to fight a “people's war” on its own soil if necessary and to generate revolutionary momentum abroad through the force of China's example, the conventional forces were guerrillaized to a degree in organization and tactics and much propaganda publicity was given to the budding Chinese nuclear weapons program, particularly in statements issued at the time of nuclear tests.
The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968, which occurred just as the Cultural Revolution was beginning to be deescalated, followed by Soviet pressures on Romania and the proclamation of the Brezhnev doctrine, evidently stimulated within the Chinese leadership a policy debate as to whether the dual adversary strategy should continue to be applied. Lin Piao held that it should, and that it should be the political keynote for the forthcoming Ninth Party Congress, at which he was to be enshrined in the party constitution as Mao's designated heir.
Mao accordingly authorized in the fall of 1968, as a kind of replacement for the Cultural Revolution, a radical domestic program including large-scale population transfers from the cities to the countryside and a restoration of some features of the Great Leap Forward.
Abroad, Peking in February 1969, canceled, with much abuse, a scheduled session of the Warsaw ambassadorial talks with the United States and prepared for a border clash with the Soviet Union to demonstrate that China was no Czechoslovakia and to enhance Lin's political stature as the defender of the country. It was probably assumed, although wrongly, that the Soviet Union was too preoccupied with Central Europe at that time to retaliate. But Moscow appears to have read the signs in Peking correctly, or perhaps to have reasoned that China would be more vulnerable to pressure now that it had cut its ties, tenuous though they were, with the United States. In any event, Soviet Forces along China's Far Eastern frontier intensified their patrolling in late February 1969.
There is reason to believe that Chou En-lai was opposed to a continuation of the dual adversary strategy under post-Czechoslovakia conditions. He evidently favored, for the time being without success, a modification of radical trends at home and a normalization of China's foreign relations, including a "tilt" of sorts in favor of the United States, whose new administration he tentatively believed to be committed to winding down the war in Indochina and improving SinoAmerican relations. In addition, he probably wanted to eliminate Lin Piao and his following, both to enhance his own position and to decrease the influence on policymaking of the advocates of the dual adversary strategy. But for this he needed at the minimum Mao's support, and Mao needed to be convinced.
The process of unravelling Lin Piao's position and the dual adversary strategy appears to have begun shortly after March 15, 1969 when Soviet forces retaliated with devastating effect for a Chinese ambush of March 2. If the Russians, unlike the Americans since the death of John Foster Dulles, could not be challenged and provoked with relative impunity as the dual adversary strategy tended to assume, then the entire strategy was suspect and the man who had just endangered China's security through blind and selfishly motivated adherence to it was politically vulnerable.
It is probably no coincidence that the month of March 1969, saw the winding up of the radical domestic policies previously in effect. Even though the Soviet Union began before the end of that month to propose negotiations instead of war, the menacing Soviet military buildup near the Chinese border continued.
On the other hand, President Nixon began in March to convey privately to Peking, at first through President de Gaulle, the genuineness of his interest in improving Sino-American relations and visiting Peking. Even though the Ninth Party Congress, which was held in April 1969, after a 2-week postponement probably occasioned by the border crisis, showed no overt sign of a decline in Lin's position, Chou now had what he needed in order to get to work. He was helped by various further gestures from Washington, including the announcement of the Nixon doctrine and the U.S. Government's private discouraging of the Soviet Union from attacking China's nuclear installations, both in the summer of 1969. From some remarks by Mao to Edgar Snow in December 1970, we know that Chou had Mao's full confidence by that time, and there is no reason to think that that confidence has diminished since the overthrow of Lin Piao and his immediate supporters in September 1971.
Meanwhile, under Chou's leadership, the normalization of China's domestic situation and foreign relations had progressed to the point where it had become possible to extend a series of increasingly firm, although until April 1971, private, invitations to President Nixon tó visit China.
Without question since Lin Piao's fall and progressively for about 2 years before that, Premier Chou has been in effective charge of policymaking in Peking. He has many serious problems to cope with: at home, the chaotic legacy of the cultural revolution, the strains generated within the armed forces by the purge of Lin Piao, continuing control of the provinces by the army and, of course, China's persistent backwardness; abroad: the problems posed by the Soviet threat, American disengagement from Asia and the resurgence of Japan, in particular.
The first requirement for Premier Chou is to reestablish and maintain national unity and the responsiveness of all power centers and citizens to the directives of the new national leadership. To this end he has exploited to the full all available assets, including Mao's support and the glamour of the Nixon visit. He evidently relies mainly on a new, streamlined party apparatus over whose reconstruction he seems to have been personally presiding, on a revived and strengthened public security system, and on a complex game of factional politics played with the armed forces.
Some of China's senior military men, probably a sizable number both at the center and in the provinces, agree with him on principle and have therefore given him active support. Others are capable of being won over and are therefore being bargained with using various resources and rewards that are at Peking's sole disposition.
Chou apparently hopes, not to displace the Army completely from its political role in the provinces which would be impossible, but to integrate the politically crucial elements of its leadership into the new, nationally oriented party that he is building. He also hopes to shift the emphasis of the Army's activities away from politics, at least of the self-generated kind, and in the direction of tasks directly related to national defense. For this purpose he has found the Soviet threat a useful atmosphere, although a man of his intelligence must inevitably also regard it as a genuine threat to be managed with the utmost caution.
It appears that Chou has already had considerable success with his domestic program and that military leaders sympathetic with it are gradually tending to displace others in key positions and provinces. Like all human undertakings, however, the program is unlikely to be completely successful, and China may never again be as effectively centralized as it was during the decade preceding the Cultural Revolution. On the other hand, there is no necessary reason why, even after Mao's death, the Chinese leadership should be in turmoil to the degree that prevailed during the Cultural Revolution.
Chou has been making even more obvious progress in the external aspects of his game plan. By now China has gone far enough toward creating, with little publicity, a minimum nuclear deterrent and toward normalizing, with maximum publicity, its external relations, so that the Soviet Union is effectively restrained from attacking it under any likely circumstances.
The present tense relationship with the Soviet Union is likely to seem unviable to Chou as a long-range condition, however, and he may hope to defuse the dispute and put Sino-Soviet relations on a more normal footing. For this purpose he probably needs some Soviet concessions on the border issue, if not on the broader territorial question, much as he needs further concessions from the United States on the Taiwan and Indochina questions if he is to put Sino-American relations on a more stable footing, as I believe he would like to do. To date, at least, there is no convincing evidence that the reescalation of the war in Vietnam resulting from the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam at the end of March 1972, has gone any further than the escalation of 1965, in complicating Sino-American relations or toward pushing Peking and Moscow closer together.
The current Chinese leadership may believe that China's major longrange external problem will be not the United States or the Soviet Union but Japan, even though Chou realizes that Japan is not now the threat that Chinese propaganda for various reasons paints it as being.
The essence of current Chinese policy toward Japan appears to be to give Tokyo, via a liberal application of stick and carrot, a sense of greater stake in improved relations with China than in a unilateral forward Asian policy designed to fill whatever partial vacuum may be created by American disengagement under the Nixon doctrine. In this, Peking is having considerable success, but it has been less fortunate in the economic field. Like some other Asian countries, China has become uncomfortable about Japan's share in its foreign trade, which has passed the one-fifth mark and is still growing. Here lies the main hope for at least a modest growth of Sino-American trade, mainly in the field of high technology American products.
As far as can be seen now, China will succeed in maintaining at least a viable level of political unity and effectiveness, will develop its civilian economy at a modest rate without either a collapse or a breakthrough, and will give its conventional and nuclear military capabilities a somewhat higher priority and improve them at a more impressive rate. China's overall economic backwardness will not prevent it from generating advanced sectors of great sophistication.
Current American policy is based on the assumption that China, if not threatened itself, will not be a serious threat to Asia, or to American interests in Asia, even given the reduced American military presence in the region visualized under the Nixon doctrine. Although this is a reasonable assumption on the basis of the record, it is only an assumption.
The record was written when China did not have a nuclear deterrent of its own. The assumption is one that Moscow appears unwilling to accept; the Soviet buildup along the Chinese frontier began to occur at its maximum rate after the announcement of the Nixon doctrine, a fact suggesting that one of the buildup's purposes is to pin China to the border and discourage any possible Chinese effort to take advantage of American disengagement.
Whether an active threat to Asia or not, and whether continuing to be preoccupied with the Soviet menace or not, China will continue to be a major problem for and influence in Asia by virtue of its size, its potential power, its political dynamism, and the simple fact that it is and always will be “there." Assuming that this projection is approximately correct, and assuming that no two of the other major powers combine against it, China will probably play an active and effective role in the multilateral balance of power in Asia which it is one of the aims of current American policy to foster. Although China will probably be less of an adversary of the United States than it has been in the past and will probably engage in some cooperative undertakings with it, especially in the commercial field, Sino-American relations are not likely to take the form of wide-ranging cooperation or any form of alliance.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Thank you very much, Mr. Hinton.
STATEMENT OF WILLIAM F. DORRILL, DIRECTOR, EAST ASIAN
CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
Mr. DORRILL. Mr. Chairman, I am honored by your invitation to appear before this committee which has made such an important contribution in its hearings and publications to our understanding of contemporary China.
As one who is engaged in the scholarly study of contemporary China, I am appreciative of and have a great admiration for the recently published compendium of economic assessments of the People's Republic of China. I think this will not only enlighten the American people but also make interesting reading for Peking officials as well.
There are three questions I would like to focus on in this statement, and I must say that as a professor traditionally timed for 50 minutes, I approach the time limitation with trepidation.