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mechanization, etc.) will be absolutely essential to maintaining the balance and allowing future economic development. Although agricultural output obviously will be affected by such things as ability to import foreign technology and the competition of the military for scarce resources, I believe that non-economic or institutional factors—may play a more decisive role. Will the political leadership remain unified and stable and will it maintain a general policy orientation that is pragmatic and functionally rational whatever the rhetoric? Will moral-ideological incentives be sufficient to (1) motivate the producing masses and (2) limit their consumption to an amount which can be sustained by a level of agricultural output which leaves significant savings for investment in industry?
We urgently need more concentrated and systematic research on these complex, long-range questions even if there is no guarantee that conclusive answers can be found. The results will at least be more informed than the superficial guesses that are usually left for the policy-maker today. It may very well be the case that for the near future economic "growth requirements” will “encourage a continued return to pragmatic policies" under Chou En-lai (Jones, p. 58), but why should we assume that a militant Mao will not again challenge the planners (ibid., p. 55) ? And who is likely to succeed him as Party leader? Granting that a moderate “new strategy” for agriculture was adopted after the Cultural Revolution, how far into the future can the "new trend line" for output (Erisman, p. 142) be confidently projected?
Do past economic fluctuations and oscillations between political and economic goals represent a cyclical pattern of radicalism and moderation which is inherent in the system? My own hypothesis is that these periodic fluctuations in policy orientation are short-term manifestations of a still-militant post-revolutionary regime adjusting its revolutionary "vision” to the harsh, stubborn realities of a mundane environment. A highly ideational leadership is fighting a bitter struggle against secularization but is gradually losing its commitment to violent transformation of Chinese society and the world. If so, we can only take comfort in the long-range trend, for in the short-term radical shifts can still occur, often with little or no warning, as the continuing struggle over orientation is translated periodically into a power struggle for leadership. In my own view this is what brought about the purge of Lin Piao, although the exact circumstances remain obscure. In sum, there undoubtedly are conflicts from time to time over specific economic policies (e.g. the debate between electronics and steel priorities in 1971, or the continuing debate over rapid agricultural mechanization), but these only reflect more basic disagreement over the extent to which ideology on the one hand, or economic considerations on the other, will be allowed to determine policy priorities.
Question 3. Is The PRC A Threat to the U.S?
Answer. Chinese foreign and military policies are also a product of this broader decision process. While the state of the economy can have a pronounced effect on military capabilities, it does not determine intentions on particular external situations. I can see no correlation in previous PRC behavior between domestic economic "success" or "failure” and external policies of cooperation or hostility. Similarly, while PRC foreign and military policy are influenced by Chinese reaction to perceptions of external threat (e.g. fears of a hostile U.S. "encirclement” from the Pacific or of a pre-emptive Soviet attack from Central Asia), I believe that Peking's international goals and strategies have been developed independently and, except for tactical fluctuations, remain basically unchanged.
Peking still aspires to defend China's territorial integrity and unify the nation (including Taiwan) under its control; it still aspires to a role in Asian and world affairs commensurate with China's size and historical prominence; and it still intends to support world revolution by means of "wars of national liberation”, As always, however, the speed and intensity with which these goals are pursued depend on the general orientation of the prevailing leadership in Peking, and at present that leadership is distinctly pragmatic and moderate in tone. PCR military strategy has never been overtly "expansionist” and, despite verbal bellicosity, has been cautious and prudent in execution. On the other hand, the Chinese Communist remains dedicated to the idea of world revolution and will almost certainly go on supporting “national liberation movements” abroad by direct economic aid, training, equipment (including conventional arms for terrorism and insurgency), psychological warfare, and, not least, the inspiration of Mao's own revolutionary success. Moreover, PRC military capabilities probably will continue to improve over the long-run future, as the Chinese are able to deploy a credible nuclear force (including both manned bombers and missile systems) and more advanced conventional equipment
Do these goals and capabilities add up to a threat to the U.S.? I do not see how an unqualified answer can be given to this question, although in the past many Americans have been satisfied with a categorical "yes" or "no". The immediate outlook, of course, is for a peaceful, outward-looking China, less interested in supporting external revolutionary movements than in improving relations with "bourgeois regimes” (Tansky, p. 380), both to counter the USSRnow seen as a greater threat to China than the “imperialist” U.S. -and to promote China's national interests-increasingly defined in economic rather than ideological terms. Given this orientation, we have little to fear from the PRC, especially at a time when we have chosen to limit our direct interests and reduce our military profile in Asia. With the further "lessening of tensions in the area” we have agreed to withdraw our forces from Taiwan, thus removing an old irritant to Peking and eventually, perhaps, opening a way to political reunification of China. Moreover, a growing web of person-to-person contacts, trade and cultural relations has begun to reinforce the official moves toward a Sino-American detente.
In these circumstances the need for large PRC military_outlays to defend against U.S. "encirclement” or to deal forcefully with the Taiwan issue would seem greatly reduced. On the other hand, a high level of military expenditures could still be justified to counter the massive Soviet forces to the North as well as Moscow's efforts to organize an anti-Chinese collective security systems among several Asian states. În any event, if the outcome of the recent "electronics debate” is an accurate indicator (Reichers, p. 90), the present Chinese leadership is unwilling to allow security programs to override the requirement of the civilian economy for balanced development of industry as a whole.
So much for the immediate future. What of China's longer range external needs and priorities? In this perspective our uncertainties as to the orientation of the successors of Chou and Mao, their patience or haste to realize revolutionary objectives, and their willingness to make economic sacrifices or to take military risks in pursuit of those goals are greatly increased. The present competing demands for limited resources will become intense-possibly explosive-as population pressures grow, consumer expectations rise, agricultural production continues to have difficulty meeting the demands placed on it, and the costs of advanced weapons and even convential military equipment soars. And even if these internal demands can be successfully accommodated, there is no guarantee that a strong, industrialized China will easily shed its xenophobia and dissatisfaction with the international status quo to join in building a peaceful world order.
There would seem to be relatively little likelihood of a surge of Chinese military expansion into other parts of Asia to secure surplus food and mineral resources because of the costs of invasion and occupation as well as the minimal assistance these could possibly afford in solving China's immense needs. However, it is possible that the PRC will eventually come into competition with the U.S. for raw materials available through international trade, increasing the prices we must pay for supplies and perhaps vying with us for control of access to supplies. This is not to suggest that an economically weak and politically fragmented China would be easier for the U.S. to deal with. Quite the contrary, such a regime in failing to meet the needs and basic aspirations of its people would remain a chronic source of international instability and would threaten to precipitate a dangerous new competition of Great Powers for spheres of influence.
Perhaps the two most serious areas of potential Sino-U.S. conflict in the future will be over PRC behavior as a nuclear power and as a sponsor of revolutionary movements. Already the acquisition of a small nuclear capability has strengthened Peking's claim to Great Power status (e.g. in arms control discussions), imposed new constraints on her adversaries (e.g. Russian fears of retaliation against Siberian cities for any attack on China), and increased PRC leverage in dealing with smaller Asian states which are increasingly uncertain about the strength and value of ties with the U.S. Nevertheless the transition from a small deterrent capability to the deployment of a second-strike-invulnerable force could prove perilous both domestically (e.g. if escalating costs of series production triggered serious internal rivalries and splits) and abroad (e.g. if it induced Japan to go nuclear). Finally, the PRC's support for revolutionary movements, if pressed to a militant degree in the future, could become a permanent source of alienation and a serious obstacle to the establishment of a peaceful world order. Perhaps the most important challenge for the U.S. in dealing with China over the long range future will be to develop at least tacit rules of international behavior acceptable to both sides that will allow for the peaceful competition of their diverse political systems in the Third World while defining the limits of support for armed revolutions. Perhaps the greatest threat to either the U.S. or China in the long run would be the failure to establish an international system with sufficient dynamism for internal modernization and reform and, at the same time, with sufficient strength and stability to assure the pacific settlement of international disputes.
Chairman PROXMIRE. Thank you.
Colonel Fraser, go ahead. You have a longer prepared statement. We will put it in full in the record, and you go ahead and summarize in any way you wish.
STATEMENT OF COL. ANGUS M. FRASER, U.S. MARINE CORPS
(RETIRED), MILITARY ANALYST Colonel FRASER. The purpose of my prepared statement is twofold: First, to comment on the "Economic Assessment” as it informs and guides our thinking about the People's Republic of China; and, second, to examine some broader questions whose answers are significantly affected by this study.
I intend to deal with the People's Liberation Army in its several aspects as a fighting entity and to avoid as much as I can the close, detailed political analysis of its activities which characterize the field today.
I think, first, we must look at the beast. What is the People's Liberation Army? It emphasizes ground forces very heavily. There are some 140 divisions, of which 110 are infantry and 20 various types of artillery. Their improvement plans are conventional and look toward incremental improvement of the sort of function that one associates with infantry divisions-improvement in firepower, improvement in mobility, and some very striking improvements in communications and electronics.
Their sea forces are impressively single minded; they are defensive. There are some 30-odd submarines, all acquired from Russia, built from Russian components in Chinese yards. They are diesel powered, relatively short legged and noisy; and aside from the fact they have apparently three nuclear-powered submarines somewhere on the way, they are not building any further in this area.
They seem to be building one destroyer; they have built a squadron of hydrofoil patrol boats, but everything they have is defensive and close in and one cannot see, particularly in terms of amphibious capability, any signal that they propose to launch any extended operations beyond their own shores.
The air force, of course, is the blue-eyed darling, as necessarily it would be. Air defense does not accept second-rate substitutes. The Chinese have about 3,000 aircraft. They are now building the Mig-21. They are building their own version of the Mig-19 which they are exporting to some of their assistance clients. They have now somewhere between 80 and 100 native designed and constructed high-performance mach II air defense fighter aircraft called the F-9; and its follow-on, the F-9F, is in the testing stage.
The only major offensive long-range capability we see are some 30 to 35 TU-16 bombers which have recently been turned out in China, and these one can associate with the nuclear strike rather than anything like a major bomber fleet.
The nuclear program has been interesting. Since October 1964, they have run 14 tests. One was underground; one was carried by a rocket that flew somewhere between 600 and 1,000 miles; the rest were tower shots or drops from the TU-16.
Yield has gone from something under 20 kilotons to 3 megatons. The rocket range has been very, very active in firing dummy vehicles, and at least one test a couple of years ago was represented to be the test-at reduced ranges, I would say-of an intercontinental-type missile.
They have launched two satellites which imply some ability to put heavy loads into long flight, and there appears to be some evidence they are instrumenting a range which involves perhaps some construction on Everest, an instrumented ship in the Indian Ocean, and some shore stations on the east coast of Africa, to monitor and meter the firing of an intercontinental missile test. But that has been on and off, and sounded as an alarm so often that I am becoming quite skeptical about it.
What can these forces do? Well, they can defend the homeland of China with great effect. They are deployed so that any invader runs into a series of barriers, where he is passed over the shoulder of one defender and on to the next.
The mobility and firepower that has been acquired under the improvement programs that one deduces from the economic assessment will further improve their ability to fight either People's War, the Maoist classical strategy, or, when necessary, to stand and fight.
The political divisions and differences between, say, regional forces and strategic forces would tend to blur and even disappear if they were coping with an invader.
As soon as they start attempting operations beyond their borders, the Chinese run into very serious problems. The extended line of communications (which they did cope with, of course, in Korea, supporting some 900,000 troops there) become a little more tenuous in sight of the increased demands of their new firepower and the fuel requirements of their mobility system. They also expose themselves to a neutral or perhaps hostile populace, and they can no longer be assured that their entire line of communications, even back to the producing plants, is free from interference by the enemy, so one can say they could attack over their border and they could reach a fair distance, but that the dangers and the inhibitions are indeed great.
When we look at the PLA as an invasion force, it becomes remarkably clear very quickly that their capacity to operate over discontinuous lines of communications is very low indeed. Their amphibious force consists almost entirely of a group of U.S. landing ships and craft which they acquired from the Nationalists or otherwise, World War II vessels. You can imagine what sort of shape they are in at the moment, and there is no sign of any significant building to expand or improve the amphibious fleet.
Neither do they have the air or combat vessels to support such a landing. This is equally true of airborne assault. They could mount and support perhaps an airborne drop of one and a half brigades, maybe of two-brigade strength as far as the Plain of Assam in India. The air defense they would confront would, however, effectively forestall such an effort.
So one has to say that the concept of invasion over discontinuous lines just does not occupy Peking's strategists at the moment.
So far as nuclear uses are concerned, they can only at this moment look forward to a hostage strategy in which some U.S. ally like Japan is held under threat, which is exactly what the Russians did in Eastern Europe before they acquired a long-range capability. They can hope whatever force they develop has a certain deterrent effect. But so far as developing a large and effective nuclear program, what they are doing now doesn't indicate that they even are thinking of this. They are trying to acquire that level which gives them a ticket to the meeting when these things are discussed and deters any rash or foolhardy sanitizing of the interior of China.
What are they then afraid of? Well, the United States is still an enemy. There is no doubt in my mind they do not think of the United States as benign or particularly well intentioned, but they are quite willing to move toward some sort of accommodation, as we have seen.
Taiwan does not represent a threat. In the physical sense, it would not be possible, unless China were heavily occupied in some other place, for a cross-straits operation to take place.
Japan has been assailed frequently as a resurgent military power but Chou En-lai has admitted in some of his conversations and interviews this is a future and potential thing rather than an immediate threat.
They are afraid of the Soviet Union. During the last year the Soviet Union has increased its troops along their common border by eleven divisions, bringing this to 44 divisions. In addition, they have their very best tactical nuclear weapons and their best tactical aircraft in the area. One million Russian soldiers can lean on you pretty hard, so if this is sort of a Siberian game of “Chicken," it is getting pretty dangerous. The fact is the forces are there; the forces are poised and the Russians have been rather careful, I think, to let the Chinese know just how vulnerable they are.
Professor Hinton referred to the Czechoslovakian affair and the incorporation of the idea behind that into the so-called Brezhnev doctrine. The collective security efforts in Asia were taken by China as a Russian attempt to encircle her; the Warsaw Pact nations, some of the more eager ones, at the time of the initial confrontation, talked vaguely about sending troops to Asia to support the Soviet Union. One of the more eminent military writers in Russia wrote a devastating piece in which he pointed out to the Chinese that their concepts of people's war and protracted war, as developed in combat with the Japanese in 1940 and onward, were remarkably primitive and cannot stand up for a moment to the modern, sophisticated forces that Russia could place against her.
The treaty with India was certainly upsetting. Russia's effective help to Bangladesh was upsetting; Russia's client won and China's client lost.
So the physical presence, the nature of the discourse, while it does not argue for an immediate assumption of hostilities, certainly points to the Soviet Union as the real, visible, and immediate physical menace at which the Chinese must look.
Do I have 2 minutes, sir?