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Korea is still afraid. They have the physical border; they have daily contacts; they also are looking at a North Korean force which while not perhaps as big as theirs has undergone an extensive modernization since 1965 and no matter
Chairman PROXMIRE. So have the South Koreans. Colonel FRASER. Sir? Chairman PROXMIRE. So have the South Koreans, haven't they? Colonel FRASER. That is the point I was trying to make. Wewhen we first mentioned reducing our forces in Korea-got a cry of pain from Seoul, and they demanded something like a $5 billion modernization program before they could contemplate the withdrawal of our equivalent forces. We have bargained this down to something under $2 billion now, but I think we are pretty much committed to a 5 year major modernization plan and our withdrawal is contingent upon executing this. Now they couldn't stop us, but this is where we have agreed.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Do you think there is any realistic possibility of a Russian preemptive nuclear strike against China, recognizing the Chinese are building up a nuclear capability, and that right now the Russians have overwhemlming nuclear superiority?
Colonel FRASER. When I was recounting the pressures that the Russians have exerted on the Chinese, I left out one, Senator.
Chairman PROXMIRE. That's right.
Colonel FRASER. And that was the trial balloon that was floated in a number of European capitals where it has been reported—this was never confirmed officially—that Russian diplomats here and there were rather casually asking diplomats coming from third countries how they would react to a preemptive or sanitizing strike against China's nuclear plant.
I find it very hard to believe-Mr. Hinton and I were working rather closely together at the time of the first incident along the Ussuri River and I said, March 3, 1969, that Russia and China were not going to engage in major war. Now, this is a very dangerous position to take. For a little over 3 years I have been right but I could be wrong tomorrow.
Chairman PROXMIRE. They have engaged in skirmishes, of course.
Colonel FRASER. That is not what those million men can do, Senator.
Chairman PROXMIRE. I understand.
Chairman ProXMIRE. At the same time it seems to me in any kind of a conventional war China would have a far better chance than they would in a-it would be very tempting, I would think, for the Russians to use this immense nuclear superiority they have, having an inferiority in manpower.
Colonel FRASER. I think it would be sheer folly for the Russians to engage in a conventional ground war with China. It is giving all the chips to the other fellow.
Chairman ProXMIRE. Right now if they would engage in any kind of war, I would think it would be nuclear.
Colonel FRASER. I cannot see anything else, really.
Mr. HINTON. No; I think if the Soviets did get into a major war with China, they would have to go nuclear at some point, at least tactically nuclear.
Colonel FRASER. I would like to add one thing: The fact that the nuclear weapons would be necessary in the scenario, I think, acts as a further inhibitor on action. It tends to keep things within closer limits.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Mr. Hinton, can you place the Podgorny visit, which we just learned about yesterday, to Hanoi, along with his statement that the bombing must stop very quickly, and Kissinger's visit to Peking in perspective? What is the significance?
Mr. HINTON. Well, I would have to know more about what went on in Moscow when President Nixon was there to give that a good answer.
I will speculate a bit: We are not the only ones who are annoyed at Hanoi. Clearly, the North Vietnamese offensive, while it may have appealed to some elements both in Peking and Moscow, did not have the general support of either the Chinese or Soviet leadership or at least doesn't have it anymore; and I think most, well, the three of us, the Big Three, would like to somehow defuse this entire crisis. There is no question that the North Vietnamese are extending themselves very badly and that this is really the only reason why we are bombing them. In other words, a withdrawal of the invasion, and a cessation of the bombing ought to be arrangeable. I would assume that is one of the reasons Podgorny is going to Hanoi and Kissinger is going to China, to sound out the Chinese on these things and be sounded out by them. Beyond the obvious things like that which come to one's mind, I can't
say anything beyond that. Chairman PROXMIRE. Would Mr. Dorrill or Colonel Fraser like to comment on that?
Mr. DORRILL. I think it is difficult to say. It is a matter of intense speculation among China watchers. All I can say is that I hope fervently-I hope the visit will produce some sort of conference and eventually settlement.
If I might, Senator, I would like to come back to one question you asked earlier of Colonel Fraser: "Isn't Chinese military thinking strictly defensive?" Or course, the military thinking of all nations, they would say, is strictly defensive—that is, if we define military thinking in terms of the deployment of large-scale forces.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Let me change that to say isn't their thinking confined to defense of mainland China?
Mr. DORRILL. I think it depends on what kind of military forces we are talking about, and here is a very important point. When they look at military forces they are viewing a whole range of possibilities, not just the deployment of divisions and battalions but also the use of paramilitary forces, the use of training and economic and small arms assistance, very modest amounts of assistance to revolutionary movements in other countries, and I think we have to look at that as well as the large-scale deployment of forces.
Clearly, their strategy is defensive, if you are looking at the deployment of major contingents; but with regard to the other applications of force that they have at their disposal, and other offensive uses of their resources, then I think we are trying to grope, however imperfectly, toward countering that sort of thing.
I don't believe it is necessary for U.S. forces to be stationed in Asia indefinitely. I think we are trying to pull them out. I think probably it was a mistake when we did become overcommitted to the positioning of combat forces, ground troops, on the continent of Asia. On the other
hand, I do believe that for some time to come we are going to have to work' toward rules of the game in which the Chinese are competing with us—in which there is a tolerable give and take on both sides.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Compete with us in what area-militarily, in trade, in what way?
Mr. DORRILL. In terms of "influence," and this for the Chinese means activities over a whole spectrum from small-scale arms and the supply of insurgents overseas to economic assistance and trade policies and to political propaganda and psychological warfare.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Mr. Hinton, you seem to feel that Chou En-lai is the de facto ruler of China; I got that from your statement. We were told by other witnesses that he was enormously strengthened by his ability to say that what he proposed has the support of Mao, that Mao was the real god and Mao was the effective force.
Senator Mansfield and Senator Scott, Mansfield particularly, testified that China is unified, dynamic, and strong. Much of this may depend on what they have been able to do in building up this god figure in Mao. Now, Mao is reported to be on the verge of death; of course, that has happened before, but this seems to have more authenticity. In the event of his death, do you think Chou would still continue to have this kind of power in China? Or do you think there would be likely to be a division and some degree of weakening because of the struggle for succession?
Mr. HINTON. Well, this is a notoriously tricky field to make predictions in, as I am sure you understand, but since you pin me to the wall, I will do it.
I think Chou En-lai by now has things lined up as well as humanly possible with exactly this contingency in mind. I think he has done it with Mao's approval, Mao realizing there is really no alternative to Chou as his successor. As a matter of fact, Mao in a secret speech he made in early 1957 named Chou as the man -at that time-as the man he would like to see succeed him, although he did not make it official at that time, and I think Chou has the support by virtue of his ability, his knowledge of both domestic and foreign politics and his connections, and so on, of a large number of Chinese both civil and military, who share his general outlook. In fact, it would be astonishing if there were not a great many Chinese who respected and shared his outlook.
We know he built up a great deal of support among the provincial military leadership during the cultural revolution because he talked with them all the time about their local problems and displayed great knowledge of them.
So barring his death or incapacitation, I would think that he is going to be able to make it, at least as a transitional figure.
Chairman ProxMIRE. When you say "make it,” you think China will continue to be unified ?
Mr. HINTON. I think so.
Mr. HINTON. The Chinese, as a result of their historic experience over the last 75 years or so, have become convinced that national weakness and disunity bring all undesirable results, including possible foreign enemies and possible invasion, and they don't want to go that route again. This is one of the great assets of Chou En-lai.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Do you all agree with that?
Colonel FRASER. Yes.
Mr. DORRILL. Not exactly. I take some exception to the analysis of the role Chou played in his presumed struggle with Lin Piao. I am not entirely convinced Chou was on the offensive or that Lin Piao was consciously sticking to his strategic view of a "dual adversary" through this period. Chou is certainly one of the great political survivalists of all times. He really has been a "cat of nine lives” politically and probably will go on being as long as he lives.
However, we have to remember he is not a young man. He is in the same revolutionary generation with Mao Tse-tung; therefore, in the event that Chou succeeds Mao—and I would agree that is likely under present circumstances-he won't remain for all that long. The problem then is who will succeed him, and here the Chinese regime, even with the cultural revolution, has not advanced a strong cadre of potential successors to positions of top leadership.
The central leadership is extremely small today in Peking, and rather thin. So I think there is a great deal more potential instability in this situation than would appear from the surface.
Mr. HINTON. Could I add something to that?
Mr. Hinton. Chou has put, not Mao himself, but the Maoists on the shelf. He has disposed of the Lin Piao team at the top level and is now producing his own team, some of whom are significantly younger than he is. In other words, he has thought about this problem, and so far as I can see, in all major fields, the security, political field, party apparatus, he is in a position to begin fielding a second team that will be in position to take over when he departs.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Colonel Fraser, what is the relative influence of the military in China today as compared with the end of military rule in 1969?
Colonel FRASER. That is a question which I wish I could refer to Professor Hinton or Professor Dorrill. It is contended by some serious scholars in the field that the military regional commanders have become quite powerful and also have become quite responsive to competing schools of political thought, and that some have allied themselves with Chou En-lai who, in turn, is paying them off in terms of equipment, prestige, status, and this sort of thing.
I would say that since the end of the Cultural Revolution, we have seen a refocusing of the power balances, but we are looking at a situation wherein the military still exercises essential physical control, but not under the sort of military sponsorship, if you will, not under the aegis of the People's Liberation Army but, rather, as participants in the total political process responding to Chou En-lai.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Is that pretty well agreed to?
Mr. DORRILL. Only the trouble I have with all questions which get answered fairly briefly; China is such an enigma and we know so little and there is so much room for speculation, most of us who labor in the vineyard like to qualify, and perhaps overqualify.
It seems to me that while we don't have the situation of regional warlordism developing, we do have a situation in which a great deal of the ordinary functions of government are retained at the local and regional level. So that also contributes to a very different pattern
than we would normally think of in dealing with a great power like China which we would assume, exercised highly centralized functions down to the grassroots. Centralized, yes, in terms of foreign and military policies-deployment of major military forces but not necessarily deployment of military forces for internal security tasks. And Colonel Fraser points out that one-third of their strength is devoted to those tasks as well as overseeing the operation of factories and schools and various other units of their society.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Mr. Dorrill, you have given a lot of thought to the economic aspects of this and, of course, this is the Joint Economic Committee, and the economic aspects are an important part of our contribution to the extent we can make one to the Congress.
What policies do you think we can follow-trade policies, policies of providing information perhaps in technological areas, that would help China make economic progress and to help them improve the lot of their people which is still poor compared to ours and compared to that of other industrialized countries, without giving them a large and substantial military capability?
One of the areas that occurs to me is the agricultural area where I understand they still have what—80 percent of their people concerned with producing food which, of course, is an enormous drain on their society, and we had one witness testify that since 1957—not 1949, not your figure, Mr. Hinton, of 1949—they had a decline in their caloric consumption which dropped 10 percent, 6 to 10 percent, depending on how you calculate it. They may have less food on a per capita basis.
Mr. DORRILL. I would seriously disagree with that.
Chairman PROXMIRE. This is based on the statistics in the compendium.
He also argues they have less textile production, less cotton production per capita, so therefore, they have less clothing, so they are not better off. This was Mr. Liu from Cornell, a man who has devoted considerable time to this and a respected scholar, and his analysis was that population has increased more rapidly than either food or fiber.
My fundamental question is, what can we do to assist China in improving its economic situation without endangering ourselves or other countries?
Mr. DORRILL. I guess I see the problem a little differently. I don't see it in terms of a dilemma, that if we help China, China becomes strong and threatens us. Rather, to me
Chairman PROXMIRE. Let me repeat what I said earlier, that Lenin is alleged to have said-among many other things—that when the Communists are ready to hang the capitalists, the capitalists will sell them the rope, the idea being, of course, if we build up China's technological capability and industrial capability, she could use that to confront us militarily someday.
Mr. DORRILL. I think perhaps the most important and fundamental consideration is the opening of China to new ideas, to a more accurate picture of the rest of the world and its intentions vis-a-vis China; and that is far more important than any short-term strengthening in the technological or economic sense.
As I tried to point out earlier, I don't see any correlation between prosperity in China and aggressiveness in foreign policy at all; there