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U. S.-Chinese Military Ties?

Michael Pillsbury
Foreign Policy
No. 20 (Autumn, 1975), pp. 50-64
DOI: 10.2307/1148126
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1148126
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
U. S.-Chinese Military Ties?
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Abstract

Few subjects have been as shrouded in mystery as U. S.-Chinese relations since 1971, when Henry Kissinger emerged from his dramatic secret trip to Peking. While exchange visits of groups of weightlifters and dentists, and even Presidents, have become routine, almost nothing is known about the actual nature of the high-level discussions between the two sides. Except when the Shanghai Communiqué or some event briefly opened the door, complete secrecy has been the rule-so much so that the number of American officials who have seen the transcripts of the highest-level talks can safely be said to number a mere handful. Once or twice, newspapers and magazines in the West have reported, from official sources, Chinese interest in American military assistance and in the purchase of military or intelligence equipment. These reports have never been confirmed by either side. Meanwhile, the Soviet Union has turned this issue into a serious propaganda theme, charging repeatedly that the United States and China are in a phase of growing military and intelligence collusion. In the article that follows, a Rand analyst who studies Chinese defense policies and has personal contacts on all three sides of the Peking-Washington-Moscow triangle, addresses this issue and considers its potential risks and potential gains. While this article is at times hypothetical, it should not be viewed simply as an exercise in abstract speculation; the day may well come when the issues addressed become crucial choices for America. Until now they have been discussed only within the smallest circle in the government; they deserve wider discussion.

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