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Mr. LATTIMORE. Indonesia, sir, is a country I have never visited any more than I have ever visited Vietnam, and I would hesitate to make pronouncements on such a country.
I think, in general, I would say this, that any country has a sovereign right to do everything it can to limit or restrict the spread of Communism. That is not the real question.
The real question is if you adopt methods intended to stop the spread of Communism and find those measures are creating Communists faster than you can kill them, then the sensible thing is to change the policy.
Chairman PROXMIRE. You feel this is taking place, it is one of the evidences it is taking place-in Vietnam this is what is happening? In spite of the application of an enormous military force, we have not been making any military progress for the longest war in American history?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Yes, sir.
Chairman PROXMIRE. So in that area we might very well be making Communists; but outside of that very immediate area are you applying this doctrine elsewhere or are you confining it primarily to Southeast Asia?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Primarily to Southeast Asia. In India, for example, I see no likelihood of a violent revolution.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Has the admission of China to the United Nations and the so-called New China policy of the administration led to changes of policy in Peking, in your view?
Mr. LATTIMORE. No, sir; I think the Chinese are still following their same policy; namely, they think that the tide is running in their favor. What is that saying I think attributed to Chairman Mao himself, that the east wind prevails over the west wind, and that all they have to do is to bide their time.
For example, they never petitioned to get into the United Nations; they simply assumed that the balance was turning in their favor. I agree with what was said yesterday, that the Chinese consider Taiwan a rather long-range problem and I don't see any likelihood of their attempting to take it by assault.
Chairman PROXMIRE. We have reports this morning that Chairman Mao is in very ill health and they seemed to be more authoritative than any reports we have had before. Do you see any change resulting with his departure?
Mr. LATTIMORE. When I heard that news over the air this morning, what instantly occurred to my mind was that in no great revolution have we ever been able to predict what would come after the maker of the revolution, nor has any maker of a great revolution ever been able to designate successfully his own heir. That was true of Lenin; it was true of Sun Yat-sen and, I think, it will be true of Chairman Mao.
Chairman ProXMIRE. Let's get a little notion of the possible parameters of that. Are you saying that with the death of Mao anything can happen, including a
Mr. LATTIMORE. No, sir. Chairman PROXMIRE (continuing). Dramatic change in the nature of the Chinese government? Could the Chinese Communist Party be overthrown or could it change so dramatically that it would be quite different?
Mr. LATTIMORE. No, sir; I don't think so.
I was very much impressed by something that Edgar Snow wrote several years ago, that there exist in China several elites; there is the oldest elite of the few surviving founding members of the Communist Party. There is the elite of the veterans of the Long March; there is the elite of those who fought in Korea and now there is presumably a new elite of those who successfully led the Cultural Revolution.
This means that there is, so to speak, no time gap because there is a succession of levels from which future leadership can emerge.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Well, you don't see any fundamental change in the nature of government, that it is going to be a Communist government, it is going to be a government which is very similar to the one that China has had in the past?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Yes, sir.
Chairman PROXMIRE. While there may be some changes in foreign policy--what do you see as the principal obstacle to better relations between this country and China after the Vietnam war is settled, recognizing that is the principal problem now? Is Taiwan the primary problem the status of Taiwan?
Mr. LATTIMORE. I don't think so, sir. As I understand it, Taiwan is no longer a principal American base. There are a few American troops there, mainly of a service character rather than of an operational military character. In Taiwan, of course, one is talking in terms of the older generation; and if one is listening to rumors about the ill health of Chairman Mao, well, Chiang Kai-shek also is not going to be with us very many years more and there is a problem of succession within Taiwan also which would very likely lead to an upheaval within that island
Chairman PROXMIRE. What are the problems then that you see as the principal difficulties between this country and China in developing friendship? Senator Scott yesterday was emphatic in saying that the Chinese people have liked us; we have liked them. We have had a natural friendship with the Chinese people that is extraordinary and is historical and is quite firm.
I remember Prof. Nicholas Spykman at Yale, where I had a course in geopolitics in which he argued that we were natural allies of the Chinese because of our geographical position. Do you see any obstacles in the way of this kind of an alliance developing other than the dramatic differences in our form of government?
Mr. LATTIMORE. No, sir; I don't see any likelihood of any preferential relationship between this country and China. I think that Americans have always tended to emphasize the spontaneous friendship between Americans as people and Chinese as people, but my experience always was that-for one thing - Americans tend to say we never were imperialists with regard to China like other nations Britain, France, and so on.
My experience has always been that the Chinese thought of us as perhaps the principal imperialists. I remember the remarkable book written by Senator Foster, the grandfather of John Foster Dulles; it was called "American Diplomacy in the Orient,” and it was written just after the American war with Spain and the occupation of the Philippines, just after the Boxer Rebellion in China; and Senator John W. Foster-ex-Senator, I think, at that time—toured the Far East and he said-he pointed out, for example, that America actually took the initiative in two of the principal features of the imperialistic age in China; namely, it was the Americans who sponsored the idea of separate, privileged courts for Americans and Europeans, so that they would not have to appear before Chinese courts; and it was the Americans who initiated most-favored-nation treatment, so that while America did not demand concessions from China, it had the right to benefit from all the concessions demanded of China by other countries. And Foster quotes there a British observation that the Americans were getting more out of imperialism than any other nation, but getting it with less opprobrium than other nations.
Chairman PROXMIRE. My time is up.
Senator Javits has taken the initiative on this committee in asking us to inquire into the Chinese economy. He did that 5 years ago, and it was because of his initiative that I think the committee has put together one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching studies of the Chinese economy that has been done, certainly in this country. So we are very honored to have Senator Javits, the ranking Republican member of this committee, here this morning.
Professor Lattimore, what do you see as the future of mainland China? Do you see it as a great industrial power? Do you see it, as it were, an empire turned in upon itself? Where do you see it going?
Mr. LATTIMORE. The basic facts, Senator, I think, are that China is enormous in area, highly diversified in the raw materials of industry within its own territory; it has the capacity to carry on any form of modern industrial or other activity and, therefore, does not need to turn outward either for the acquisition of raw materials or even for trade.
China is one of the most self-sufficient countries in the world, but I think that one thing that one finds after a revolution, any revolution, in any country, is that the new regime does not want the people to feel that the price of the revolution includes any loss of national territory. Therefore, the Chinese will claim the maximum frontiers ever attained by previous empires or regimes in China; but, traditionally, the Chinese do not have a history of colonial expansion.
Senator Javits. Either economic or political and military?
Senator Javits. So do you feel, therefore-is it fair to say—that such economic-using the most polite word-reconstruction or development as can take place in that great Asian hemisphere and in Indonesia and so on, is likely to be sparked, and I use every word advisedly, by Japan rather than mainland China?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Just a year ago, Senator, I was in Japan for a couple of weeks, not only lecturing but also having most interesting meetings with academic groups and with important groups of businessmen; and they were all talking about the pending changes in relations between Japan and the United States, the return of Okinawa, one thing and another; and I found a very strong sentiment among businessmen, too, against making Japan once more an important military or naval power, that they felt that the soundest future for Japan is to apply Japan's high technology to the aid of development in the undeveloped and underdeveloped parts of the world.
One subject of great concern, for example, was can Japan take part in the development of eastern Siberia in such a manner as not to be accused by China of taking a pro-Russian position? Answer: The only possible method is to try simultaneously to take part in the development of China in such lines of development that Japan cannot be accused of trying to build up China against Russia.
Senator Javits. So your answer, I gather, would be in the affirmative?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Yes.
Senator Javits. In terms of sparking economic development in all of that part of the world, it is likely to be Japan rather than China?
Mr. LATTIMORE. I think so, although it is really remarkable how the Chinese have been able to find considerable sums to devote to development in other countries. I suppose the most notable one is the great copper belt railway, the Tanzanian railway; but they have also participated in development in other countries, and they have been careful to do it in such a manner that it does not result in a backflow of profits on the enterprise payable to China. This, for instance, is one thing that plagues us all over Latin America, that the return of profits and dividends and so on threatens to or actually begins to exceed the input of fresh aid.
Senator Javits. I agree; and, of course, our big challenge is how do you plow it back intelligently with fairness to the people of the United States, too.
One other point: Looking in the same direction and kind of drawing, as it were, on your great experience and study, what do you see between mainland China and the Soviet Union? Do you see it erupting into war inevitably as some tragedy precisely because of the need to assure a nondeprivation of territory, to wit: the whole Mongolian border? Do you see a rapprochement between the two Communist giants, or do you see a modus vivendi?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Sir, I was in Siberia, eastern Siberia and Mongolia, successively, in 1969, 1970, 1971, spending never less than a month at a time, and traveling considerably; and this was at a period when our papers were all excited about frontier clashes and so forth, and yet I never found either country more completely relaxed.
One thing that very few people know about is that in 1964-65, the Mongols and the Chinese carried out a complete resurvey and delineation of their frontiers and signed a protocol on it which includes a mechanism for local settlement of local incidents so that they don't escalate back toward the capitals of both countries, and I asked the Mongol who was telling me about this—I said-of course, Mongolia is a huge country in territory but very small in population, less than a million and a half—I said, "It must be very difficult negotiating such a treaty with a country as powerful as China.” And his answer was that, "Of course, it is tough, but because it is tough, if both countries seriously do not want a settlement by war, then because it is tough you can gradually negotiate a settlement satisfactorily to
Senator Javits. Thank you, Professor.
I have just one other question, with the chairman's permission-I think I have a minute or two.
I noticed with great interest the following statement in your statement:
Yet the stark, staring, naked truth is that today, under President Nixon, America is for the first time trying to deal with both China and Russia from a position of weakness. Only the agile histrionics of the President and Mr. Kissinger distract attention from the fact that the Emperor has no clothes.
It is America's growing weakness, and especially defeat in Vietnam.
Could you tell us what you pin that statement on, on substantive facts? What is America's position of weakness and growing weakness, the two key phrases in your statement?
Mr. LATTIMORE. The basic weakness, sir, I think, is the catastrophe of the Vietnam war. The move toward winding down the war by withdrawing American troops and trying to Vietnamize the South Vietnamese Army was obviously a failure and obviously the whole thing would collapse without American air power.
In order to disguise this defeat, it seems to have been thought advisable to put on some theatrical displays in foreign negotiations. I think it is extremely interesting that there is no sign of the Chinese having put out any feelers. It was the administration here that sent a secret emissary to China, and the Chinese attitude was, “Well, yes, we will talk to anybody. Let him come; we will talk to him.”
But I think already the gloss is rubbing off there. It was a wonderful opportunity but once more, as the Chinese indicated to Senators Mansfield and Scott, no genuine improvement is possible until the Vietnam war is settled; and the Chinese have not offered to be intermediaries; they have not said a word about discontinuing their aid to Vietnam; they are simply standing pat. “Let America arrange its own defeat as decently as it can."
Senator Javits. So the essence of your statement about weakness relates to the Vietnamese quagmire and our inability to get out of it, or, even as you put it, defeat in Vietnam, although I don't accept that because I never considered it our war, rather than some substantive, intrinsic weakness in America's capability to act as a great power?
Mr. LATTIMORE. Of course, our capability to act as a great power is affected already and it is increasingly affected by the poison of the Vietnam war feeding back into our economy and into our society. The return to this country of thousands and thousands of young men who have been trained to violence and to violence which appears to them to be senseless—they come back here and they are turned off by the fact that America is not an ideal country for a disillusioned veteran to return to; thousands of them are affected by drugs.
In the youthful generation of our society this is a terribly threatening phenomenon. Senator JAVITS. Thank you, Professor. . Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Can I ask you, Professor Lattimore, if as you say the China and Moscow trips were simply histrionics to take the mind of the world or the country off the Vietnam war, then how do you view what I consider some substantive achievements by the administration which I have praised and which I think we have to acknowledge: (1) the admission of China to the United Nations; (2) an obvious opportunity for more normal relations with China; (3) a whole series of agreements with the Soviet Union-space, health-I am not sure about the arms agreement because we have to examine that pretty carefully; it may result in a further arms race; but it could also be a substantial achievement?