Increased U.S. Military Sales to China: Arguments and Alternatives

The report examines the current debate in the United States over proposals for increased U.S. military sales to China. The study first examines the background of U.S.-China security ties since the Nixon Administration, and then sets forth the parameters of the current debate by noting a number of issues concerning U.S. military transfers to China on which all sides generally agree. It shows that Americans familiar with the issue tend to identify with different groups of opinion or "schools of thought" on the question of U.S. military transfers to China, and provides a detailed pro-con analysis of the issue. It concludes by noting cross pressures that are likely to greet U.S. policy makers as they grapple with this issue in the months ahead and offers an assessment of four policy options of possible use by U.S. policymakers.

/ Report No. 81-121 F INCREASED U.S. MILITARY SALES TO CHINA: ARGUMENTS AND ALTERNATIVES by Robert G. Sutter Specialist in Asian Affairs Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division May 20, 1981 UA 15 U.S. T h e Congressional Research Service works exclusively for the Congress, conducting research. anal) zing le@slation, and providing information at the request of committees, klembers, and their staffs. T h e Service makes such research available, without partisan bias, in many forms including studies, reports, compilations, digests, and background briefings. Upon request, CRS assists committees in analyzing legislative proposals and issues, and in assessing the possible effects of these proposals and their alternati~es.T h e Serkice's senior specialists and subject ana1)sts are also available for personal consultations in their respective fields of expertise. ABSTRACT This study examines the current debate in the United States over proposals for increased U.S. military sales to China. ground of U.S.-China The study first examines the back- security ties since the Nixon Administration, and then sets forth the parameters of the current debate by noting a number of issues concerning U.S. military transfers to China on which all sides generally agree. It shows that Americans familiar with the issue tend to identify with different groups of opinion or "schools of thought" on the question of U.S. military transfers to China, and provides a detailed pro-con analysis of the issue. It concludes by noting cross pressures that are likely to greet U.S. policy makers as they grapple with this issue in the months ahead and offers an assessment of four policy options of possible use by U.S. policymakers. SUMMARY The rapid development of U.S. relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) over the past few years has led to the establishment of * normal Sino-American economic and political relations and a recent American willingness to sell some military support equipment and civilian technology with military applications to the PRC. Chinese leaders are pressing the United States to go further, notably to sell weapons and weapons-related technology to China. They are strongly supported by U.S. observers who judge that more U.S. military transfers to China are needed to meet current Chinese expectations that the U.S. will sell some weapons and weapons-related technology to China; to increase China's sense of security against the Soviet Union; and to consolidate U.S. political relations with China in anticipation of possible future SinoAmerican difficulties over Taiwan, U.S.-Soviet arms control and other matters. American proponents of increased transfers stress the growing need for closer Sino-American cooperation in the face of what is seen as Soviet expansionism abroad. ( A few of them judge that the U.S. should soon follow military sales with other forms of security cooperation, leading ultimately to the establishment of a mutual security arrangement between the U.S. and China.) They acknowledge that although U.S. friends and allies in Asia may be unsettled by the transfers, this need n o t work c o m p l e t e l y t o American d i s a d v a n t a g e ; i t might a c t u a l l y i n c r e a s e U.S. l e v e r a g e o v e r some of t h o s e s t a t e s , n o t a b l y J a p a n . p r o p o n e n t s c l a i m t h a t Moscow views c l o s e r U.S.-PRC The t i e s as inevitable and t h a t t h e USSR i s n o t l i k e l y t o a c t r a s h l y i n d e a l i n g w i t h e i t h e r China o r t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . L i m i t e d U.S. t r a n s f e r s t o China a r e s a i d t o p r e s e n t no major impediment t o U.S.-Soviet c o o p e r a t i o n i n such impor- t a n t a r e a s a s arms c o n t r o l . Recent t r e n d s i n t h e t r i a n g u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p among t h e United S t a t e s , S o v i e t Union and China a r e s e e n by t h e p r o p o n e n t s of i n c r e a s e d SinoAmerican m i l i t a r y s a l e s a s f a v o r i n g t h e i r c a s e . China i s l i k e l y t o b u i l d s o l o n g a s U.S. Pressure for sales t o r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union remain more h o s t i l e t h a n c o o p e r a t i v e , U.S. r e l a t i o n s w i t h China b u i l d toward g r e a t e r f r i e n d s h i p , and S i n o - S o v i e t r e l a t i o n s remain s t a l e m a t e d . The C h i n e s e l e a d e r s a r e a l s o l i k e l y t o c o n t i n u e t o p r e s s f o r U.S. m i l i t a r y supplies. I n c r e a s e d m i l i t a r y s a l e s t o China a r e s t r o n g l y opposed by o t h e r U.S. o b s e r v e r s . Some b e l i e v e t h a t n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h Moscow a r e a b e t t e r way t o d e a l w i t h S o v i e t power t h a n c l o s e r s t r a t e g i c a l i g n m e n t w i t h China. O t h e r s s e e problems stemming from p o s s i b l e l e a d e r s h i p i n s t a b i l i t y i n China o r e x c e s s i v e Chinese e x p e c t a t i o n s o f , o r dependence o n , U.S. support; o r t h e y v o i c e c o n c e r n o v e r t h e r i s e i n C h i n e s e i n f l u e n c e and d e c l i n e i n U.S. i n f l u e n c e i n A s i a t h a t i s e x p e c t e d t o f o l l o w U.S. arms s a l e s t o C h i n a , s t r e s s i n g t h a t China might u s e i t s new i n f l u e n c e t o b u l l y i t s s m a l l e r n e i g h b o r s , e s p e c i a l l y Taiwan. In reaction to the U.S. sales, the Soviet Union might increase military pressure throughout China's periphery--a development that would likely affect negatively U.S. interests as tensions rose in Asia. Japan might feel compelled to adopt a more independent foreign policy that would not necessarily be in U.S. interests. U.S.-Soviet relations could clearly be affected, as the sales to China could lock the United States into a stridently anti-Soviet policy that would preclude progress in arms control negotiations or other important matters. The arguments of those opposed to the U.S. sales to China suggest that U.S. policy makers will be taking certain--possibly grave--risks if they decide to go ahead with more sales. In the absence of a clear definition of American objectives in developing security relations with China, such ties could well be misinterpreted by Chinese, Soviet, Japanese, Taiwanese or other interested leaders abroad, as well as by opinion leaders in the United States. Friends and foes alike could see the ties as affecting their interests in the extreme--misinterpretations that could lead to reactions with potentially negative consequences for the United States. If the Reagan Administration does decide to proceed with military sales to China, the likelihood of misinterpretation of that action could be substantially reduced if the United States took the current opportunity to define publicly a set of limited goals for American-China security ties that could command support at home, consolidate relations with China and still reassure U.S. friends and foes in Asia. This would necessitate a change in the American ~racticeduring the past decade when U.S. policy makers kept their approaches to Sino-American security ties shrouded behind a veil of ambiguity and secrecy. CRS- ix CONTENTS ABSTRACT ..................................................................... iii ...................................................................... v I. INTRODUCTION........................................................... 1 BACKGROUND ............................................................. 5 I1 . I11. PARAMETERS OF THE DEBATE ................................................ 9 A . Points of Agreement in the Debate .................................. 9 1 . Chinese Capabilities and Intentions ............................ 9 2 . Soviet Objectives .............................................. 12 3 . U.S. Interests and Objectives.................................. 13 B . Implications for Current Policy .................................... 15 IV . DIFFERING STRATEGIC ASSUMPTIONS AND CONTENDING SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT ....... 17 A . Differing Strategic Assumptions .................................... 18 1. Soviet Expansion and Its Challenge to the United States ........ 18 2 . U.S. Ability to Deal with Soviet Power ......................... 19 3 . China's Utility in U.S. Competition with the USSR .............. 21 B . Contending Schools of Thought ...................................... 23 V . ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF U.S. MILITARY SALES TO CHINA ............. 27 A . Strategic Considerations ........................................... 2 7 B . Political-Economic Factors ......................................... 31 VI . PROSPECTS AND OPTIONS ................................................... 37 VII . APPENDIX ............................................................... 4 3 I . China's Defense Strategy and Force Posture ......................... 4 3 A . Strategic Programs ............................................ 4 3 B . General Purpose Forces .................................. 4 4 1 . Employment for Attack ...................................... 4 4 2 . Employment for Defense ..................................... 45 SUMMARY . Ground F o r c e s .............................................. 46 . A i r Force .................................................. 4 7 . A i r Defense ............................................... 4 8 . Navy ....................................................... 4 8 C . M o d e r n i z a t i o n .................................................. 50 I1. The Sino-Soviet M i l i t a r y Balance .................................. 51 A . Ground F o r c e s ................................................... 51 B . A i r F o r c e s and A i r Defense ...................................... 52 C . Sino-Soviet Border War .......................................... 53 V I I I . SELECTED READINGS ..................................................... 57 3 4 5 6 INCREASED U.S. MILITARY SALES TO CHINA: I. ARGUMENTS AND ALTERNATIVES INTRODUCTION Sino-American r e l a t i o n s r e a c h e d a new s t a g e i n l a t e 1980 a s c o n t e n d i n g g r o u p s w i t h i n and o u t s i d e t h e U.S. Government began a c t i v e l y t o d e b a t e i n p u b l i c and p r i v a t e w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s s h o u l d t a k e what i s w i d e l y s e e n a s t h e n e x t s t e p f o r w a r d i n d e v e l o p i n g SinoAmerican f r i e n d s h i p : t h e s a l e of weapons and w e a p o n s - r e l a t e d t o China. technology The i s s u e o f w h e t h e r o r n o t t o p r o c e e d w i t h s u c h s a l e s i s n o t o n l y of m i l i t a r y s i g n i f i c a n c e b u t h a s b r o a d e r p o l i t i c a l i m p o r t a n c e a s well. It h a s d i r e c t impact on a c e n t r a l q u e s t i o n i n U.S. f o r e i g n policy-- how f a r s h o u l d t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s go i n t r y i n g t o move c l o s e r t o China i n o r d e r t o improve t h e American i n t e r n a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n a g a i n s t t h e USSR. O p i n i o n h a s ranged w i d e l y . Some judge t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s h a s a l r e a d y gone t o o f a r i n m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h China and s h o u l d s t o p p r o m p t l y . O t h e r s g e n e r a l l y a r e s a t i s f i e d with the c u r r e n t p o l i c y but f i r m l y r e s i s t f u r t h e r development, a t l e a s t f o r t h e f o r e s e e a b l e f u t u r e . S t i l l o t h e r s f a v o r a g r a d u a l i n c r e a s e i n such t r a n s f e r s t o China a s an i m p o r t a n t s t e p l e a d i n g t o t h e f o r m a t i o n o f a Sino-American m u t u a l s e c u r i t y a r r a n g e m e n t a g a i n s t t h e S o v i e t Union. C o n g r e s s i o n a l i n t e r e s t i n t h i s d e b a t e h a s been s t r o n g b e c a u s e p r e s e n t law, n o t a b l y t h e Arms E x p o r t C o n t r o l A c t , would make t h e s a l e s o f arms and other military equipment to China subject to several restrictions directly involving the Congress. 1/ Interest in the debate has been increased by the election of a Republican Administration that receives divided counsel on the issue of military tranfers to China; and by recent international developments--notably the heightened Soviet military pressure on Poland, which has prompted press speculation that the U.S. would strengthen 1/ Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) allows the congress to disapprove by concurrent resolution the transfer of any "major defense equipment" worth $7 million or more, or any other defense articles or services worth $25 million or more. Sections 38(b)(3) and 36(c) of the AECA regarding commercial transactions allow the Congress to disapprove by concurrent resolution transfers of "major defense equipment" valued at $100 million or more. Also regarding commercial transactions, under a new provision in P.L. 96-533, Section 38(a)(3) was created and gives the President discretionary authority to require that any defense article or service be subject to government-to-government sales restrictions such as those noted in section 36(b) above. At the same time, the Foreign Assistance Act, Section 620(£), would appear to limit the furnishing of U.S. grant military assistance to any Communist country unless the President issues a narrowly defined waiver. This section specifies that the President must determine and report to Congress that: such assistance is vital to U.S. security; the recipient country is not controlled by the international communist conspiracy; and such assistance will further promote the independence of the recipient country from international communism. The phrase "Communist country" expressly includes the P.R.C. Section 505(b) of the Act limits the ability of the President to grant defense articles at a cost in excess of $3 million in any fiscal year in the absence of a waiver by him. According to this section, the President must determine that the recipient country conforms to the principles of the U.N. Charter, that the articles transfered will be used to defend the country or the free world; that the recipient country is making reasonable efforts to build up its own defense, and that the increased ability of the recipient country to defend itself is important to the security of the United States. Regarding the possible sending of military advisors to China, Section 515 of the Foreign Assistance Act states that no military assistance advisory group, military mission, or other organization of U.S military personnel similar military advisory functions under the Act or the Arms Export Control Act may operate in a foreign country like China unless specifically authorized by Congress. military ties with China if Soviet forces took military action against the Polish regime or its labor unions. 2/ This study examines the current debate in the United States over proposals for increased U.S. military sales to China. Based on journal articles, press reports and other public pronouncements, as well as on interviews with over 30 U.S. foreign policy and defense specialists both in and out of government who have been closely involved in this issue, the study first examines, in Section 11, the background of U.S.-China security ties since the Nixon administration. Section I11 sets forth the parameters of the current debate by noting a number of issues concerning U.S. military transfers to China on which all sides generally agree. The consensus seen on these issues is shown to be particularly useful because it serves to narrow substantially the scope of the debate and reduces the number and the complexity of the pros and cons that must be considered by U.S. policy makers. The study shows in Section IV that Americans familiar with the issue tend to identify with different groups of opinion or "schools of thought on the question of U.S. military transfers to China. They do so largely on the basis of their differing strategic assumptions in regard to the U.S.-Soviet balance and China's current and potential role in that equation. The section describes the schools of thought and gives examples of individual analysts identified with each group. Section V provides a detailed pro-con analysis of the issue while Section VI projects cross pressures that are likely to greet U.S. policy 21 See press reports on Sen. Stevens visit to China seen in the washington Post, January 5, 1981. makers a s t h e y g r a p p l e w i t h t h i s i s s u e i n t h e months ahead and o f f e r s an a s s e s s m e n t of f o u r p o l i c y o p t i o n s o f p o s s i b l e u s e by U.S. p o l i c y m a k e r s . The summary, which a p p e a r s a t t h e f r o n t o f t h e s t u d y , c o n t a i n s t h e m a j o r f i n d i n g s of t h e paper. 31 A basic ingredient i n the current debate involves China's m i l i t a r y s t r e n g t h and c a p a b i l i t i e s , e s p e c i a l l y v i s - a - v i s t h e S o v i e t Union. Those u n f a m i l i a r w i t h t h i s s u b j e c t may wish t o c o n s u l t t h e a p p e n d i x . 3 1 For s e l e c t e d r e a d i n g s on t h e i s s u e o f U.S.-China m i l i t a r y cooperat i o n , s e e t h e l a s t s e c t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y . A s t o t h e i n t e r v i e w s w i t h U.S. s p e c i a l i s t s , t h e i n t e n t was t o e l i c i t t h e v i e w p o i n t s o f t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s i n a s f r a n k a manner a s p o s s i b l e . Given t h e i n s t i t u t i o n a l s e n s i t i v i t y t h a t s u r r o u n d s t h i s i s s u e , i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h whom t h e a u t h o r spoke were a s s u r e d t h a t t h e i r comments would n o t be f o r a t t r i b u t i o n . The a u t h o r a l s o r e c e i v e d s u p p o r t and i m p o r t a n t i n s i g h t s from s e v e r a l o f h i s c o l l e a g u e s a t t h e L i b r a r y o f Congress i n c l u d i n g J o h n C o l l i n s , R i c h a r d C r o n i n , Ron Dolan, F r a n c i s Miko, L a r r y Niksch, Tommy W h i t t o n , and Robert Worden, a s w e l l a s from David Raddock, an i n t e r n a t i o n a l a f f a i r s s p e c i a l i s t w i t h t h e Enserch C o r p o r a t i o n , Washington, D . C . Carolyn C o l b e r t o f t h e C o n g r e s s i o n a l R e s e a r c h S e r v i c e was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p r e p a r i n g t h e s t u d y f o r p u b l i c a t i o n . 4 / I n p a r t i c u l a r , m e a s u r i n g t h e need f o r U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o c h i n a - f r e q u e n t l y depends on o n e ' s a s s e s s m e n t o f C h i n a ' s m i l i t a r y s t r e n g t h v i s - a - v i s t h e S o v i e t Union. For i n s t a n c e , a few o b s e r v e r s , who admit t o b e i n g somewhat u n f a m i l i a r w i t h C h i n a ' s m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s , have f e a r e d t h a t China i s s o weak v i s - a - v i s t h e S o v i e t Union t h a t i t w i l l soon succumb t o S o v i e t p r e s s u r e u n l e s s t h e U.S. q u i c k l y t r a n s f e r s m i l i t a r y s u p p l i e s t o t h e PRC. 11. BACKGROUND Although d e b a t e o v e r U.S.-China m i l i t a r y t i e s has only recently r e c e i v e d prominent p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n , t h e r o o t s o f t h i s d e b a t e go b a c k t o t h e Nixon a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , when t h e p r o s and cons of s e e k i n g U.S.-China s e c u r i t y c o o p e r a t i o n were c o n s i d e r e d p r i o r t o s i g n i f i c a n t U.S. toward t h e PRC. initiatives These i n i t i a t i v e s i n c l u d e d t h e Nixon a d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s d e c i s i o n s t o s e l l China a s o p h i s t i c a t e d ground s t a t i o n d e s i g n e d t o p i c k up and t r a n s m i t t e l e v i s i o n s i g n a l s v i a s a t e l l i t e , and s e v e r a l Boeing 707 a i r c r a f t w i t h a t t e n d a n t a e r o n a u t i c a l t e c h n o l o g y ; and t h e Ford A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s a p p r o v a l of t h e s a l e t o China of ~ r i t i s hR o l l s Royce "Spey" a i r c r a f t e n g i n e s and r e l a t e d t e c h n o l o g y f o r C h i n a ' s f i g h t e r a i r c r a f t program, and i t s a p p r o v a l of t h e s a l e t o China of an American computer t h a t had p o t e n t i a l m i l i t a r y applications. E v i d e n c e of a growing U.S.-China security relationship was a l s o s e e n i n f r e q u e n t j o i n t c o n s u l t a t i o n s of C h i n e s e and American o f f i c i a l s on g l o b a l and r e g i o n a l m i l i t a r y i s s u e s , arms c o n t r o l and o t h e r s e c u r i t y m a t t e r s , and i n r e p e a t e d American c l a i m s t h a t i t would s t r o n g l y oppose any S o v i e t e f f o r t t o dominate o r e s t a b l i s h "hegemony1' o v e r C h i n a . The C a r t e r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n c o n t i n u e d t h i s p r i m a r i l y symbolic i n t e r c h a n g e d u r i n g v i s i t s o f S e c r e t a r y Vance and D r . B r z e z i n s k i t o China i n August 1977 and May 1978, r e s p e c t i v e l y . The A d m i n i s t r a t i o n t o o k o t h e r s t e p s t h a t i n c r e - m e n t a l l y i n c r e a s e d Sino-American s e c u r i t y t i e s . For example, n o t o n l y d i d American l e a d e r s r e p e a t e d l y v o i c e s u p p o r t f o r C h i n e s e s e c u r i t y a g a i n s t S o v i e t "hegemony," b u t t h e y began i n 1978 t o s t r e s s American b a c k i n g f o r a " s t r o n g l 1 a s w e l l a s f o r a " s e c u r e " China. A m e r i c a n w a r s h i p s c a l i e d on Hong Kong, which P e k i n g r e g a r d s a s p a r t of C h i n a , and r e c e i v e d C h i n e s e communist o f f i c i a l s f o r w e l l - p u b l i c i z e d visits. The U n i t e d S t a t e s a l s o a d o p t e d a more l i b e r a l a t t i t u d e t o w a r d t h e t r a n s f e r of s o p h i s t i c a t e d technology t o China, f o r i n s t a n c e a l l o w i n g C h i n a t o p u r c h a s e s p e c i a l U.S. g e o l o g i c a l s u r v e y e q u i p m e n t and n u c l e a r power p l a n t t e c h n o l o g y . Of more i m p o r t a n c e , t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s announced i n November 1978 a s h i f t from i t s p a s t p o l i c y o f o p p o s i t i o n t o W e s t e r n arms t r a n s f e r s t o t h e S i n o - S o v i e t p o w e r s . It i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e United S t a t e s would n o l o n g e r o p p o s e t h e s a l e o f m i l i t a r y weapons t o C h i n a by West E u r o p e a n c o u n t r i e s . 51 The s t r a t e g i c i m p o r t a n c e o f Sino-American t i e s was u n d e r l i n e d by D e f e n s e S e c r e t a r y H a r o l d Brown d u r i n g a v i s i t t o C h i n a i n J a n u a r y 1980-one month a f t e r t h e S o v i e t Union i n v a d e d A f g h a n i s t a n . on t h a t v i s i t and s u b s e q u e n t h i g h - l e v e l Headlines reporting i n t e r c h a n g e between m i l i t a r y l e a d e r s of C h i n a and t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s s p o k e b o l d l y o f a n e m e r g i n g S i n o American " a l l i a n c e " f o c u s e d a g a i n s t t h e USSR. Indeed, the rapid decline i n S o v i e t - A m e r i c a n r e l a t i o n s a t t h e end of 1979 and t h e i n c r e a s i n g l y s t r o n g p e r c e p t i o n i n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s o f a g r o w i n g S o v i e t m i l i t a r y t h r e a t seemed t o g i v e i m p e t u s t o American i n t e r e s t i n c l o s e r t i e s w i t h C h i n a , i n c l u d i n g security ties. Chinese l e a d e r s , f o r t h e i r p a r t , s t r e s s e d repeatedly t h e i r 5 1 F o r more i n f o r m a t i o n , s e e U.S. L i b r a r y of C o n g r e s s . C o n g r e s s i o n a l ~ e s e a r c hS e r v i c e . U n i t e d S t a t e s - C h i n e s e - S o v i e t R e l a t i o n s . Issue Brief No. IB79115, b y R o b e r t G . S u t t e r ( p e r i o d i c a l l y u p d a t e d ) . W a s h i n g t o n , 1 9 8 0 . 20p. desire to develop a "longterm, strategic" relationship with the united States, adding on occasion their strong interest in obtaining weapons and other military equipment from the United States. Following Secretary Brown's visit to China, the United States announced that it was willing to consider sales to China of selected military items and technologies with military support applications. In March 1980, the Administration listed categories of military support equipment the United States would consider, on a case-by-case basis, for export to China unitio ions Control Newsletter No. 81). Included on the list were radar, communications and training equipment, trucks, transportation aircraft and unarmed helicopters. The State Department announced that it would consider each export license application individually, bearing in mind the level of technology involved and the items ' intended use. Secretary Brown announced in mid-1980 that the U.S. Government had approved requests from several American firms to make sales presentations to the Chinese for certain articles of military support equipment and dual-use technology (items primarily of civilian use but with possible military applications). By late 1980 it was reported that several hundred such requests had been approved. Carter admini- stration spokesmen defined the limits of such U.S. military cooperation with China in noting that "the United States and China seek neither a military alliance nor any joint defense planning" and that "the United States does not sell weapons to China." But they repeatedly implied that this policy could be subject to further change, especially if either or both countries faced "frontal assaults" on their common 6/ interests, presumably from the USSR or its proxies. - Although subject to differing interpretations, the Carter administration spokesmen's statements on the limits of the U.S.-China security relationship represented a departure from the past practice of the Administration and its two Republican predecessors: avoiding public explanations of the extent of Sino-American security relations or their possible implications, and leaving the policy ambiguous. This approach was thought by some analysts to be a useful way to increase the impact of the developing Sino-American ties on the Soviet Union; it presumably would prompt the USSR to be more forthcoming and accommodating in its relations with the United States, in order to discourage Washington from developing even closer security ties with China. 7/ The ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding this aspect of American policy toward China was increased with the election of a new U.S. administration in November 1980 which has yet to articulate a position on the sensitive issue of military transfers to China. 6/ - GIST. For additional information, see U.S. Department of State. U.S.-China Security Relationship. Washington, July 1980. 7 1 Others, however, saw the ambiguity surrounding U.S.-China relationsas designed to hide the absence of a well coordinated U.S. policy toward China that could be explained clearly and could receive the full support of the American people and their representatives in Congress. 111. PARAMETERS OF THE DEBATE The r e c e n t d e b a t e between p r o p o n e n t s and o p p o n e n t s o f i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China r a n g e s a c r o s s a b r o a d s p e c t r u m o f f o r e i g n p o l i c y i s s u e s , b u t an a n a l y s i s o f t h e l i t e r a t u r e and i n t e r v i e w s w i t h U.S. s p e c i a l i s t s r e v e a l s a number o f common themes and p o i n t s o f a g r e e m e n t . The c o n s e n s u s on t h e s e i s s u e s s u b s t a n t i a l l y n a r r o w s t h e s c o p e of t h e d e b a t e , and i n e f f e c t , p r o v i d e s a framework f o r i t . 81 T h i s s e c t i o n n o t e s t h e major p o i n t s o f agreement t h a t h a v e emerged i n the debate. The p o i n t s a r e d i s c u s s e d i n s u b s e c t i o n s d e a l i n g w i t h C h i n a , t h e S o v i e t Union and t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . It t h e n shows how c o n s e n s u s on t h e s e i s s u e s s e r v e s t o n a r r o w t h e s c o p e o f t h e d e b a t e , and r e d u c e s t h e number and c o m p l e x i t y of t h e p r o s and cons r e g a r d i n g i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China t h a t must b e c o n s i d e r e d by U.S. p o l i c y makers and o t h e r interested observers. A. P o i n t s of Agreement i n t h e D e b a t e 1. Chinese C a p a b i l i t i e s and I n t e n t i o n s T h e r e i s g e n e r a l agreement among U.S. s p e c i a l i s t s t h a t China d o e s n o t f a c e an immediate c r i s i s i n i t s c u r r e n t m i l i t a r y c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h 81 Thus, f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e p u b l i c w a r n i n g s a g a i n s t U.S. m i l i t a r y s a l e s t o China have sometimes b e e n p a r t i c u l a r l y s h r i l l and u n r e a l i s t i c , w i t h some commentaries warning of t h e d i r e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f a m a j o r Americ a n e f f o r t t o "rearm" C h i n a . As s e e n b e l o w , even a d v o c a t e s o f c l o s e r U.S. m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h China s e e c u r r e n t l y i n s u r m o u n t a b l e impediments t o such an e f f o r t on b o t h t h e U.S. and C h i n e s e s i d e s , t h e r e b y e f f e c t i v e l y e l i m i n a ting that a s a r e a l i s t i c consideration i n the current debate. t h e USSR. As s e e n i n t h e a p p e n d i x , t h e C h i n e s e seem c a p a b l e o f r e s i s t i n g - - a l b e i t a t g r e a t cost--a major Soviet conventional a t t a c k . And a S o v i e t n u c l e a r a t t a c k a g a i n s t China i s made l e s s a t t r a c t i v e because o f t h e d a n g e r of a C h i n e s e n u c l e a r c o u n t e r s t r i k e a g a i n s t S o v i e t A s i a . China i s s e e n a s c l e a r l y t h e weaker p a r t y m i l i t a r i l y a l o n g t h e S i n o - S o v i e t b o r d e r , and i t s m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s a r e l i k e l y t o d e c l i n e r e l a t i v e t o t h o s e of t h e USSR i f current trends continue. While t h e r e i s some d i s a g r e e m e n t on whether o r n o t China h a s f i r m l y d e c i d e d on what k i n d s o f weapons o r o t h e r m i l i t a r y equipment i t would l i k e t o o b t a i n from t h e United S t a t e s , 9/ i t seems c l e a r t h a t c u r r e n t Chinese interest i s quite selective. China h a s f o c u s e d on o b t a i n i n g t h e c a p a b i l i t y t o produce such s o p h i s t i c a t e d equipment a s f i g h t e r a i r c r a f t e n g i n e s and radars, air-to-air m i s s i l e s , and a n t i - t a n k m i s s i l e s . 101 T h i s a c c o r d s w i t h - 91 I n t h i s r e g a r d , s e v e r a l m i l i t a r y s p e c i a l i s t s have p o i n t e d t o t h e seeming i n c o n s i s t e n c y i n P e k i n g ' s d e f e n s e procurement p r o c e s s , n o t i n g i n p a r t i c u l a r t h e o n - a g a i n , o f f - a g a i n Chinese i n t e r e s t i n t h e B r i t i s h " H a r r i e r " a i r c r a f t . China a l s o was r e p o r t e d v e r y i n t e r e s t e d i n French a n t i - t a n k m i s s i l e s , b u t a g r e e m e n t s on t h i s i t e m have n o t been r e a c h e d . The r e a s o n s g i v e n f o r t h i s seeming Chinese i n c o n s i s t e n c y v a r y : Some p o i n t t o C h i n a ' s r e c e n t l y h e i g h t e n e d a w a r e n e s s of i t s i n a b i l i t y t o pay f o r f o r e i g n equipment. O t h e r s n o t e t h e r e l u c t a n c e o f some w e s t e r n c o u n t r i e s t o o f f e n d t h e USSR by b e i n g one of t h e f i r s t Western powers t o s e l l weapons t o China. S t i l l o t h e r s emphasize t h a t Western c o u n t r i e s a r e u n w i l l i n g t o s u p p l y China w i t h s o p h i s t i c a t e d m i l i t a r y equipment t h a t t h e y judge would be o f l i t t l e p r a c t i c a l u s e f o r China g i v e n t h e c u r r e n t , r e l a t i v e l y low t e c h n i c a l competence i n t h e PRC. 101 C h i n e s e l e a d e r s a r e s e e n a s p r e s s i n g t h e United S t a t e s t o p e r m i t s u c h m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s , b o t h t o enhance C h i n a ' s m i l i t a r y power a g a i n s t t h e USSR and t o d e m o n s t r a t e A m e r i c a ' s growing commitment t o C h i n a ' s d e f e n s e . Thus, f o r example, Su Yu, a s e n i o r Chinese m i l i t a r y l e a d e r , t o l d t h e J a p a n e s e p r e s s i n March 1980 t h a t A m e r i c a ' s w i l l i n g n e s s t o move ahead w i t h s a l e s o f m i l i t a r y equipment t o China was s e e n by t h e Chinese a s a key i n d i c a t i o n of t h e U.S commitment t o work w i t h China i n a common f r o n t a g a i n s t t h e S o v i e t Union. Vice Premier Geng Biao and Vice F o r e i g n M i n i s t e r Zhang Wenjin b o t h s u b s e q u e n t l y t o l d t h e Western news media t h a t t h e y a n t i c i p a t e t h a t t h e United S t a t e s w i l l s e l l arms t o China i n t h e f u t u r e . Recent e v i d e n c e of t h i s view was s e e n i n t h e Washington P o s t , November 2 3 , 1980. t h e v i e w s of many Western a n a l y s t s who s t r e s s C h i n a ' s need f o r a l l - w e a t h e r f i g h t e r a i r c r a f t , g r e a t e r d e f e n s i v e c a p a b i l i t i e s a g a i n s t S o v i e t a r m o r , and g r e a t e r a b i l i t y t o provide a i r cover i n nearby w a t e r s . T h e r e i s g e n e r a l agreement among U . S . s p e c i a l i s t s t h a t PRC m i l i t a r y f o r c e s a r e d e s i g n e d and d e p l o y e d f o r t h e d e f e n s e of China and a r e n o t w e l l s u i t e d o r p o s i t i o n e d t o p r o j e c t power f a r from C h i n a ' s b o r d e r s . This does n o t mean t h a t a n a l y s t s a g r e e t h a t China would n o t u s e i t s e x i s t i n g f o r c e s t o a t t a c k n e a r b y a r e a s . I n d e e d , some a n a l y s t s judge t h a t p r o s p e c t s f o r a new C h i n e s e a t t a c k a g a i n s t Vietnam remain h i g h , and o t h e r a n a l y s t s r e m a i n q u i t e s k e p t i c a l of PRC c l a i m s of " p e a c e f u l " i n t e n t i o n s toward Taiwan. T h e r e a r e a l s o s e r i o u s l i m i t s s e e n i n P e k i n g ' s a b i l i t y t o pay f o r and u t i l i z e l a r g e amounts of s o p h i s t i c a t e d weapons and w e a p o n s - r e l a t e d nology. tech- C h i n a ' s c u r r e n t economic program a c t u a l l y c a l l s f o r a c u t i n t h e d e f e n s e b u d g e t , and i t p r o m i s e s t o g i v e d e f e n s e m o d e r n i z a t i o n t h e l o w e s t 111 p r i o r i t y among t h e f o u r m o d e r n i z a t i o n s p u r s u e d by t h e p r e s e n t l e a d e r s h i p . China's d i f f i c u l t i e s i n using the r e l a t i v e l y sophisticated a i r c r a f t engine t e c h n o l o g y of t h e S o v i e t MiG-21 and t h e R o l l s Royce "Spey" e n g i n e a r e s e e n a s symptomatic of a b r o a d e r PRC t e c h n i c a l weakness which was s e v e r e l y e x a c e r b a t e d by t h e d i s r u p t i o n of Chinese h i g h e r e d u c a t i o n and r e s e a r c h d u r i n g 1966-1976. 111 While t h e r e was some p u b l i c d e b a t e i n China d u r i n g 1977 and 1978 o v e r h o w much of C h i n a ' s r e s o u r c e s would be d e v o t e d t o m o d e r n i z i n g t h e d e f e n s e e s t a b l i s h m e n t , t h e t r e n d s i n c e t h e n h a s been t o g i v e d e f e n s e m o d e r n i z a t i o n a low p r i o r i t y . See t h e d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s i s s u e i n t h e Appendix, p. 5 1 . 2. Soviet Objectives A n a l y s t s seem t o a g r e e g e n e r a l l y t h a t t h e S o v i e t Union w i l l r e m a i n i n s e c u r e a b o u t i t s p o s i t i o n i n t h e F a r E a s t f o r some t i m e t o come. Even i f C h i n a s h o u l d a l t e r i t s c u r r e n t f o r e i g n p o l i c y and move t o w a r d a more even-handed p o s t u r e b e t w e e n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and USSR, S o v i e t p l a n n e r s a r e viewed a s l i k e l y t o r e m a i n d i s t r u s t f u l o f C h i n a and i n t e n t o n maint a i n i n g S o v i e t m i l i t a r y power i n t h e r e g i o n t o p r o t e c t a g a i n s t p o s s i b l e Chinese incursions. M i l i t a r y power i s o n e o f t h e few r e l i a b l e s o u r c e s o f i n f l u e n c e Moscow c a n b r i n g t o b e a r t o p r o t e c t i t s i n t e r e s t s a g a i n s t a C h i n a t h a t i s g r o w i n g i n economic and m i l i t a r y power and c o n s o l i d a t i n g r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e o t h e r two m a j o r powers i n t h e r e g i o n , J a p a n and t h e United S t a t e s . 121 i n t h e r e g i o n One o f t h e m a j o r S o v i e t o b j e c t i v e s - a p p a r e n t l y i s t h e p r o t e c t i o n and d e v e l o p m e n t o f e a s t e r n S i b e r i a , which USSR p l a n n e r s r e p o r t e d l y v i e w a s a n i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t i n t h e f u t u r e economic d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e USSR. A s u b s t a n t i a l Sino-Soviet reconcil- i a t i o n t h a t would a l l o w t h e USSR t o l o w e r i t s g u a r d a g a i n s t C h i n a i s seen a s o n l y a v e r y remote p o s s i b i l i t y f o r t h e f o r e s e e a b l e f u t u r e . Moscow's o b v i o u s d e s i r e t o s l o w o r h a l t t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f S i n o American m i l i t a r y t i e s i s commonly p e r c e i v e d a s m o t i v a t e d b y c o n c e r n 1 2 1 As n o t e d i n S e c t i o n IV b e l o w , t h e r e i s c o n s i d e r a b l e d e b a t e amonganalyst s about Soviet m i l i t a r y i n t e n t i o n s abroad, including i n Asia. Some a n a l y s t s s e e t h e USSR a s b a s i c a l l y r e a c t i v e and d e f e n s i v e , w h e r e a s o t h e r s s e e i t a s e x p a n s i o n i s t i c , and a s s e e k i n g m i l i t a r y s u p e r i o r i t y and d o m i n a n c e . The p o i n t h e r e i s m e r e l y t o show t h a t t h e a n a l y s t s g e n e r a l l y a g r e e t h a t , w h a t e v e r t h e m o t i v e s o f t h e USSR, i t w i l l c o n t i n u e t o s e e a need f o r s t r o n g m i l i t a r y power a g a i n s t C h i n a i n A s i a f o r some t i m e t o come. CRS- 1 3 o v e r growing C h i n e s e power and worry a b o u t a p o s s i b l y emerging U.S.backed g l o b a l s y s t e m , i n c l u d i n g China a s w e l l a s t h e NATO c o u n t r i e s and J a p a n , which would b e d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t t h e USSR. It i s thus r e p e a t e d l y emphasized t h a t Moscow w i l l l i k e l y v i e w U.S.-China military t i e s n o t s o l e l y i n t h e c o n t e x t of t h e i r impact on t h e S i n o - S o v i e t m i l i t a r y b a l a n c e i n A s i a , b u t i t w i l l weigh t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h e b r o a d e r c o n t e x t o f o v e r a l l American p o l i c y toward t h e S o v i e t Union. 3. U.S. I n t e r e s t s and O b j e c t i v e s While t h e United S t a t e s i s s e e n a s f a v o r i n g a s e c u r e and i n d e p e n d e n t C h i n a , a r a d i c a l change i n C h i n a ' s c u r r e n t d e f e n s e p o l i c y toward a l a r g e s c a l e m i l i t a r y b u i l d up of Chinese f o r c e s i s w i d e l y viewed a s c o n t r a r y t o U.S. interests. Such a move would u p s e t t h e C h i n e s e economic moderni- z a t i o n program and p e r h a p s would l e a d t o p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y i n C h i n a . It would u p s e t t h e r e g i o n a l b a l a n c e o f power i n E a s t A s i a i n ways p r o b a b l y a d v e r s e t o American i n t e r e s t s . Most U.S. s p e c i a l i s t s a g r e e t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s would n o t l i k e l y o f f e r f r e e m i l i t a r y a s s i s t a n c e t o China u n d e r f o r e s e e a b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s . They a c c e p t t h e view t h a t c u r r e n t C h i n e s e economic and t e c h n i c a l w e a k n e s s e s p r e c l u d e l a r g e s c a l e U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t h a t would f u n d a m e n t a l l y a f f e c t C h i n a ' s power p r o j e c t i o n c a p a b i l i t i e s - o v e r t h e n e a r t e r m . 131 13/ As a r e s u l t P h r a s e s l i k e " n e a r term" and " f o r e s e e a b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s " a r e t e r m s t h a t o f f e r o n l y a l i m i t e d d e g r e e o f p r e c i s i o n . The i n t e n t i o n h e r e i s t o n o t e t h a t b a r r i n g some m a j o r change i n t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l o r d e r , C h i n a , a s a r e s u l t of U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s , i s u n l i k e l y t o pose a much more s e r i o u s m i l i t a r y t h r e a t t h a n i t d o e s now, a t l e a s t u n t i l t h e l a t t e r p a r t of t h e d e c a d e . a t t e n t i o n h a s f o c u s e d on t h e p o l i t i c a l and symbolic r e p e r c u s s i o n s o f U.S-China military ties. c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h China--if O s t e n t a t i o u s d i s p l a y s of U.S. m i l i t a r y n o t backed by s u b s t a n c e - - a r e said t o risk m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n a t home and a b r o a d and s h o u l d be avoided i n f a v o r o r more q u i e t i n t e r c h a n g e . t o a l l o w Sino-U.S. Under i d e a l c o n d i t i o n s , i t would be d e s i r a b l e r e l a t i o n s t o m a t u r e f o r a few more y e a r s b e f o r e moving i n t o t h e s y m b o l i c a l l y i m p o r t a n t a r e a o f m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s . A common recommendation i n t h i s r e g a r d i s f o r more c l e a r a r t i c u l a t i o n and management of U.S. p o l i c y toward China. 14/ S e v e r a l China s p e c i a l i s t s have n o t e d , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h a t Chinese l e a d e r s seem t o i n t e r p r e t p a s t American b e h a v i o r a s i n d i c a t i n g t h a t t h e United S t a t e s would soon be w i l l i n g t o t r a n s f e r s i g n i f i c a n t m i l i t a r y equipment t o C h i n a , i n c l u d i n g arms. They have added t h a t t h e United S t a t e s s h o u l d a v o i d g i v i n g s u c h impressions u n l e s s i t has t h e intention--and home--to the p o l i t i c a l support a t follow through with t h e m i l i t a r y s a l e s . It i s i m p e r a t i v e , i n t h e i r v i e w , t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s be a b l e a t some p o i n t "draw t h e l i n e " w i t h t h e C h i n e s e , and t h e r e b y r e f u s e growing Chinese p r e s s u r e f o r m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s w i t h o u t g i v i n g t h e Chinese t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f a s u b s t a n t i a l d e c l i n e i n U.S. i n t e r e s t i n c l o s e t i e s w i t h t h e PRC. It i s a l s o w i d e l y h e l d t h a t i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n f e r s t o China would p r o b a b l y t o some e x t e n t r e d u c e U.S. i n f l u e n c e e l sewhere i n A s i a . s t a n d i n g U.S. i n f l u e n c e and enhance C h i n e s e They would prompt u n c e r t a i n t y among long- f r i e n d s and a l l i e s i n A s i a , w i t h t h e p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n s 1 4 / I n d e e d , s e v e r a l a n a l y s t s claimed t h a t t h e U.S. l e a d e r s have n o t even d e f i n e d what r o l e t h e U.S. would l i k e t o s e e China p l a y i n f u t u r e g l o b a l and r e g i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t , and t h e r e f o r e f i n d i t d i f f i c u l t t o d e t e r m i n e how U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s would h e l p o r h i n d e r China p l a y i n g t h a t r o l e . of P a k i s t a n and T h a i l a n d , which m i g h t welcome s u c h t i e s . They would d e e p e n t h e s u s p i c i o n s of I n d i a , Taiwan, and Vietnam toward t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and would s e r i o u s l y r e d u c e t h e p r o s p e c t o f a more c o o p e r a t i v e U.S.-Soviet relationship. ( I n l i g h t o f r e c e n t U.S.-Soviet differences over b i l a t e r a l i s s u e s , arms c o n t r o l , Poland and c o m p e t i t i o n i n t h e T h i r d World, s u c h a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s g e n e r a l l y t h o u g h t t o b e a remote p r o s p e c t a t t h e p r e s e n t t i m e . ) B. Implications for Current Policy These commonly h e l d views s u g g e s t a n a r r o w e r r a n g e o f d i s p u t e i n t h e d e b a t e t h a n a p p e a r s a t f i r s t g l a n c e and may make i t e a s i e r f o r p o l i c y makers and o t h e r o b s e r v e r s t o a s s e s s r e a l i s t i c a l l y t h e p r o s and c o n s o f U.S.-China military ties. For one t h i n g , t h e y i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s need n o t r u s h m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China i n o r d e r t o h e l p China a g a i n s t m i l i t a r y t h r e a t from t h e USSR. And, t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s need n o t worry e x c e s s i v e l y a b o u t a p o s s i b l e b r e a k t h r o u g h i n S i n o - S o v i e t relations t h a t would s u b s t a n t i a l l y r e d u c e S o v i e t m i l i t a r y p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h China i n Asia. A l s o , China i s l i k e l y t o b e q u i t e s e l e c t i v e i n what i t a g r e e s t o buy from t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s ; and w h a t e v e r t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s p r o v i d e s , i t w i l l p r o b a b l y t a k e many y e a r s b e f o r e i t m a r k e d l y i n c r e a s e s C h i n a ' s power a g a i n s t i t s main a d v e r s a r y o r i n c r e a s e s C h i n a ' s a b i l i t y t o p r o j e c t power f a r beyond i t s b o r d e r s . The c u r r e n t l y main i m p o r t a n c e o f U.S. o r symbolic o n e . t r a n s f e r s t o China i s a p o l i t i c a l The t r a n s f e r s w i l l c l e a r l y have an u p s e t t i n g - - t h o u g h necessarily adverse--effect and t h e S o v i e t Union. on U.S. r e l a t i o n s with o t h e r Asian s t a t e s Moscow w i l l v i e w s u c h t r a n s f e r s n o t o n l y i n t h e not context of its competition with China but also with an eye toward broad U.S. intentions toward the USSR. Managing such a symbolically important and consequential relationship with China is widely seen as requiring a more clearly defined perception of American interests in China that will avoid serious misinterpretation of American intentions at home and abroad. IV. DIFFERING STRATEGIC ASSUMPTIONS AND CONTENDING SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT B e f o r e r e v i e w i n g , i n S e c t i o n V , t h e c u r r e n t p r o s and c o n s o f i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l t i a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a , t h i s s e c t i o n e x p l a i n s why s p e c i a l i s t s have a d o p t e d d i f f e r e n t o p i n i o n s and s i d e d w i t h d i f f e r e n t s c h o o l s o f t h o u g h t on t h i s q u e s t i o n . I t shows t h a t t h e i r c o n f l i c t i n g v i e w s have depended h e a v i l y on t h e i r d i v e r g i n g a s s e s s m e n t s of an u n d e r l i n i n g b r o a d e r s t r a t e g i c q u e s t i o n i n U.S. f o r e i g n policy--how f a r should t h e United S t a t e s go i n t r y i n g t o improve r e l a t i o n s w i t h China i n o r d e r t o s t r e n g t h e n t h e American i n t e r n a t i o n a l p o s i t i o n a g a i n s t t h e S o v i e t Union? In particular, a n a l y s t s who a r e d e e p l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h U.S. m i l i t a r y weakness v i s - a - v i s t h e S o v i e t Union and who view China a s s t r o n g l y opposed t o t h e USSR and f a v o r a b l e t o t h e U.S. t e n d t o s u p p o r t i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China. I n c o n t r a s t , a n a l y s t s who a r e s a n g u i n e about U . S. power v i s - a - v i s t h e S o v i e t Union o r who a r e s k e p t i c a l of C h i n a ' s r e l i a b i l i t y o r s t r e n g t h t e n d t o oppose s u c h s a l e s . The s e c t i o n f i r s t examines t h e m a j o r d i f f e r i n g v i e w s on A m e r i c a ' s p o s i t i o n i n i t s r i v a l r y w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union and on C h i n a ' s p o s s i b l e r o l e i n s u p p o r t of t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . It t h e n shows how t h e s e d i f f e r i n g views-- a s w e l l a s some o t h e r more s p e c i a l i z e d c o n c e r n s i n U.S. f o r e i g n policy-- have l e d a n a l y s t s t o a l i g n w i t h one o r a n o t h e r of t h e c o n t e n d i n g s c h o o l s of t h o u g h t t h a t h a v e begun t o emerge on t h e q u e s t i o n of U.S. m i l i t a r y s a l e s t o China. A. D i f f e r i n g S t r a t e g i c Assumptions 1. S o v i e t Expansion and I t s C h a l l e n g e t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s T h e r e i s a l a r g e body o f o p i n i o n i n t h e United S t a t e s t h a t s e e s t h e S o v i e t Union a s an e x p a n s i o n i s t power t h a t s e e k s m i l i t a r y , economic and p o l i t i c a l preeminence i n t h e w o r l d . (Some s p e c i a l i s t s add t h a t t h e USSR i s a l s o a n x i o u s t o p r o j e c t world r e v o l u t i o n abroad i n o r d e r t o g a i n world i d e o l o g i c a l preeminence.) The S o v i e t s a r e viewed a s s e e k i n g t o e s t a b l i s h o v e r a l l i n t e r n a t i o n a l s u p e r i o r i t y o v e r t h e United S t a t e s and a r e s e e n a s on t h e a s c e n d e n c y i n t h i s e f f o r t . C u r r e n t t r e n d s a r e viewed on b a l a n c e a s f a v o r i n g S o v i e t a m b i t i o n s , a s p r e s e n t u n c e r t a i n t i e s and e l e m e n t s o f i n s t a b i l i t y i n t h e world a r e b e l i e v e d t o o f f e r t h e USSR f e r t i l e grounds f o r e x p l o i t a t i o n . Although S o v i e t i n t e r e s t s have s u f f e r e d c e r t a i n s e t b a c k s , S o v i e t l e a d e r s have n o t b e e n d i v e r t e d from t h e i r u l t i m a t e o b j e c t i v e s by momentary s e t b a c k s ; t h e y t a k e a p a t i e n t , l o n g term view of h i s t o r y , t h e i r c o n f i d e n c e b o l s t e r e d by a s e n s e o f d e s t i n y . Another group emphasizes t h a t even though S o v i e t l e a d e r s may s t r i v e f o r s u p e r i o r i t y and preeminence, c i r c u m s t a n c e s u n f a v o r a b l e t o t h e USSR have p r o f o u n d l y a f f e c t e d t h e i r a s p i r a t i o n s . Spokesmen o f t h i s group s e e t h e b a l a n c e of world developments a s f r e q u e n t l y c o u n t e r t o S o v i e t d e s i g n s . Domestic and i n t e r n a t i o n a l f a c t o r s a r e p e r c e i v e d a s l i m i t i n g S o v i e t freedom t o pursue t h e i r o b j e c t i v e s . S o v i e t l e a d e r s a r e s a i d t o be aware o f t h e f a c t t h a t t h e i r i d e o l o g i c a l g o a l s a r e p r e s e n t l y u n a t t a i n a b l e and t h e y are finding i t necessary t o adjust t h e i r policies t o current r e a l i t i e s . While t h e S o v i e t Union might s t r i v e t o a c h i e v e s u p e r i o r i t y o v e r t h e United S t a t e s , i t i s seen a s having g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y i n doing so. In short, the S o v i e t Union t o d a y q u a l i f i e s o n l y m i l i t a r i l y a s a superpower. A t h i r d g r o u p b e l i e v e s t h a t t h e S o v i e t Union i s f a r l e s s e x p a n s i o n i s t i c t h a n i n t h e p a s t and t h a t S o v i e t p o l i c i e s a r e b e i n g shaped p r i m a r i l y by t h e c o u n t r y ' s r e q u i r e m e n t s o f i n t e r n a l s o c i a l and economic development and a h i s t o r i c s e n s e of i n s e c u r i t y . A more c o n f i d e n t and s e c u r e S o v i e t l e a d e r - s h i p , a c c o r d i n g t o t h i s v i e w , would b e r e a d y t o a c t a s a r e s p o n s i b l e p a r t i c i p a n t i n an i n c r e a s i n g l y i n t e r d e p e n d e n t w o r l d . Soviet m i l i t a r y e f f o r t s a r e s e e n by t h i s g r o u p a s an unwanted d r a i n o n r e s o u r c e s b a s e d on t h e S o v i e t v i e w ( p e r h a p s m i s g u i d e d ) of what i s needed t o m a i n t a i n s e c u r i t y . Since Soviet l e a d e r s u n d e r s t a n d t h a t t h e y a r e b e s t s e r v e d by i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t a b i l i t y , t h e i r fundamental i n t e r e s t s a r e r e c o n c i l a b l e w i t h t h o s e o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . A n a l y s t s who t a k e t h i s more b e n i g n v i e w o f S o v i e t p o l i c i e s and g o a l s c a u t i o n a g a i n s t l o o k i n g a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t s i n t e r m s o f superpower w i n n e r s and l o s e r s . They judge t h a t i t i s s h o r t s i g h t e d a u t o m a t i c a l l y t o e q u a t e S o v i e t s e t b a c k s w i t h Western g a i n s and v i c e - v e r s a . & They s t r e s s t h a t t h e r e a r e s h a r e d i n t e r e s t s , d a n g e r s and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s between t h e s u p e r powers i n a number o f a r e a s . They a d v o c a t e American p o l i c y aimed a t i n c r e a s i n g t h e S o v i e t s t a k e i n i n t e r n a t i o n a l s t a b i l i t y and p r o v i d i n g t h e S o v i e t Union w i t h i n c e n t i v e s f o r c o n t i n u e d c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h t h e West. 2. U.S. A b i l i t y t o Deal With S o v i e t Power C l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o t h e d i f f e r i n g views o f S o v i e t power and i n t e n t i o n s a r e d i v e r g i n g a s s e s s m e n t s o f U.S. a b i l i t y t o d e a l w i t h t h a t power. On one s i d e a r e t h o s e who s e e American a b i l i t i e s a s somewhat l e s s t h a n i n t h e p a s t , when t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s e n j o y e d dominant m i l i t a r y , economic and p o l i t i c a l i n f l u e n c e i n world a f f a i r s , b u t n o n e t h e l e s s s t i l l q u i t e a d e q u a t e t o h a n d l e emerging S o v i e t power. O t h e r s s t r e s s t h a t U.S. p o w e r - - e s p e c i a l l y m i l i t a r y power--has d e c l i n e d s t e a d i l y t o a p o i n t where t h e USSR now e n j o y s b a s i c s u p e r i o r i t y o v e r t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n b o t h c o n v e n t i o n a l and s t r a t e g i c weapons. They a r e g e n e r a l l y o p t i m i s t i c , however, t h a t t h e United S t a t e s h a s begun t o r e d r e s s t h e m i l i t a r y b a l a n c e and w i l l be a b l e t o c a t c h up w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union and c l o s e t h e s o - c a l l e d "window o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y " by t h e end o f the decade. 151 S t i l l o t h e r s a r e more p e s s i m i s t i c about U.S. m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s , which t h e y s e e a s l i k e l y t o d e c l i n e f u r t h e r r e l a t i v e t o t h e S o v i e t Union, s h o r t of a m a j o r shock i n American f o r e i g n p o l i c y . It i s sometimes n o t e d t h a t even though U.S. m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s may d e c l i n e , t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s s t i l l @ s many more c a p a b l e a l l i e s t h a n d o e s t h e USSR; U.S. presumably c a n a s s i s t i n c h e c k i n g S o v i e t e x p a n s i o n . allies However, s e v e r a l m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s have s t r e s s e d t h a t t h e a l l i e s have been slow and h a l t i n g i n t h e i r e f f o r t s t o r e d r e s s what i s s e e n a s an emerging East-West d i s e q u i l i b r i u m . They p e r c e i v e , f o r i n s t a n c e , a weakened a l l i e d p o s t u r e i n N o r t h e a s t A s i a . They judge t h a t t h e b a l a n c e t h e r e h a s become more d i s a d v a n t a g e o u s a s U.S. 151 They sometimes add t h a t p r o j e c t e d S o v i e t economic and o t h e r i n t e r n a l d i f f c u l t i e s by t h e end of t h e decade w i l l r e s t r i c t Moscow's a b i l i t y t o expand i t s m i l i t a r y power a s i n t h e p a s t and w i l l t h e r e b y enhance A m e r i c a ' s a b i l i t y t o c l o s e t h e power g a p . T e c h n i c a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e term "window o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y " r e f e r s t o t h e p e r i o d when U.S. land-based ICBM's w i l l b e v u l n e r a b l e t o S o v i e t a t t a c k - - a p e r i o d t h a t i s supposed t o end w i t h t h e deployment of t h e new MX m i s s i l e . However, t h e t e r m i s sometimes used more b r o a d l y t o r e f e r t o what i s s e e n a s a g e n e r a l superpower i m b a l a n c e , a g a i n s t t h e United S t a t e s . f o r c e s h a v e b e e n drawn down a s a r e s u l t o f t h e end o f t h e Vietnam War and t h e d i v e r s i o n of f o r c e s t o t h e P e r s i a n Gulf and I n d i a n Ocean, and a s t h e S o v i e t Union h a s c o n t i n u e d t o b u i l d s t e a d i l y i t s a i r , n a v a l and ground f o r c e s i n t h e a r e a . c a p a b l e U.S. They add t h a t Japan--the a l l y i n Asia--has l a r g e s t and most helped inadequately t o r e d r e s s t h e balance o v e r t h e p a s t s e v e r a l y e a r s . l&/ 3. C h i n a ' s U t i l i t y i n U.S. C o m p e t i t i o n With t h e USSR China p l a y s an i m p o r t a n t and h e l p f u l r o l e i n U.S. g l o b a l and r e g i o n a l s t r a t e g i c planning, e s p e c i a l l y vis-a-vis analysts. t h e USSR, a c c o r d i n g t o many Most a g r e e t h a t China c u r r e n t l y a s s i s t s t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s by t y i n g down S o v i e t t r o o p s and r e s o u r c e s t h a t o t h e r w i s e m i g h t b e f o c u s e d a g a i n s t t h e West i n Europe o r t h e Middle E a s t . This complicates Soviet d e f e n s i v e s t r a t e g y , n o t a b l y by r a i s i n g u n c e r t a i n t y i n t h e USSR a b o u t t h e 161 Some a n a l y s t s o f f e r s i m i l a r l y a l a r m i n g views o f t h e d e c l i n e of t h e a l l i e d p o s i t i o n i n t h e f a c e of S o v i e t o r Soviet-backed expansionism i n S o u t h e a s t A s i a , and t h e y a r g u e s t r o n g l y f o r c l o s e r r e l a t i o n s w i t h China a s a means t o s u s t a i n a f a v o r a b l e e q u i l i b r i u m . A s i n t h e c a s e o f N o r t h e a s t A s i a , t h e s e a n a l y s t s s e e i t a s f u n d a m e n t a l l y i m p o r t a n t t h a t t h e U.S. i n c r e a s e m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a , n o t s o much b e c a u s e t h e y w i l l i n c r e a s e Chinese power a g a i n s t t h e USSR, b u t b e c a u s e t h e y w i l l c o n s o l i d a t e U.S. r e l a t i o n s w i t h t h e PRC and t h e r e b y i n c r e a s e p r o s p e c t s t h a t China w i l l s i d e w i t h t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n t h e e v e n t o f East-West c o n f r o n t a t i o n i n N o r t h e a s t o r Southeast Asia. I n c o n t r a s t , some o t h e r m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s a r e l e s s c o n c e r n e d by t h e c h a n g i n g m i l i t a r y b a l a n c e i n E a s t A s i a . They t e n d t o emphasize S o v i e t l o g i s t i c a l problems and o t h e r s o u r c e s of m i l i t a r y v u l n e r a b i l i t y a s w e l l a s Moscow's p o l i t i c a l i s o l a t i o n . I n p a r t i c u l a r , Moscow h a s made few g a i n s i n e x p a n d i n g i t s i n f l u e n c e a s t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s h a s p u l l e d back i t f o r c e s , and t h e two m a j o r r e g i o n a l powers -- China and J a p a n -- c o n t i n u e t o work a g a i n s t S o v i e t i n t e r e s t s i n the region. s e c u r i t y o f t h e Soviet Asian f r o n t should c o n f l i c t break out f a r t h e r 171 west. But w i t h i n t h i s c o n t e x t , t h e r e a r e wide r a n g i n g views of C h i n a ' s u t i l i t y i n h e l p i n g t h e United S t a t e s i n i t s c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union. Some h o l d t h a t China i s a r e l a t i v e l y weak s o u r c e o f l e v e r a g e a g a i n s t t h e USSR, n o t i n g t h a t China i s s o much weaker t h a n t h e USSR t h a t i t would be u n l i k e l y t o c a u s e s e r i o u s c o n c e r n f o r Moscow i n t h e e v e n t o f East-West 18/ c o n f l i c t elsewhere. - O t h e r s s e e China a s s u f f i c i e n t l y s t r o n g m i l i t a r i l y and r e l i a b l e p o l i t i c a l l y t h a t i t r e p r e s e n t s a u s e f u l p a r t n e r f o r t h e United S t a t e s i n e f f o r t s t o curb Soviet expansionism. S t i l l others stress that w h i l e China may be e f f e c t i v e a g a i n s t t h e USSR t o d a y , t h e growing d i s e q u i l i b r i u m between C h i n e s e and S o v i e t f o r c e s a l o n g t h e b o r d e r o v e r t h e l o n g e r t e r m c o u l d c a u s e China t o r e c o n s i d e r i t s a n t i - S o v i e t p o s t u r e and r e a c h an accommodation w i t h Moscow c o n t r a r y t o American interests. 171 S o v i e t m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s a r e t h o u g h t t o a s s e s s C h i n a ' s l i m i t e d m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t e s much more r e a l i s t i c a l l y t h a n t h e s h r i l l S o v i e t media commentaries which warn o f t h e China " t h r e a t . " Nevertheless, Soviet l o g i s t i c a l problems and o t h e r weakness i n A s i a a s w e l l a s t h e i r a s s e s s ment of t h e p r o b a b l e c o s t of any p r o t r a c t e d c o n f l i c t w i t h China a r e t h o u g h t t o promote g e n e r a l S o v i e t c o n c e r n a b o u t t h e A s i a n f r o n t . 18/ A few i n t h i s group h o l d t h a t C h i n a ' s commitment t o an a n t i - S o v i e t f o r e i g n p o l i c y i s l e s s s t r o n g t h a n i t a p p e a r s , emphasizing t h a t China would l i k e l y a r r a n g e a modus v i v e n d i w i t h t h e USSR r a t h e r t h a n r i s k b e i n g drawn i n t o a U.S:-Soviet c o n f f o n t a t i o n . They sometimes add t h a t t h e l i k e l i h o o d of such Chinese b e h a v i o r may have become somewhat g r e a t e r i n r e c e n t months a s a r e s u l t o f r e p o r t e d Chinese i r r i t a t i o n w i t h t h e Reagan A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s avowed p o l i c y o f improved r e l a t i o n s w i t h Taiwan. B. C o n t e n d i n g S c h o o l s of Thought L a r g e l y d e p e n d i n g on how t h e y a s s e s s t h e Soviet-American r i v a l r y and C h i n a ' s p o t e n t i a l r o l e i n t h a t r i v a l r y , a n a l y s t s t e n d t o i d e n t i f y w i t h s e v e r a l d i s c e r n a b l e g r o u p s of o p i n i o n o r s c h o o l s o f t h o u g h t h a v e begun t o emerge i n t h e p a s t few months. 191 t h a t Observers i n t h e s e groups have n a t u r a l l y been i n c l i n e d t o g i v e more s t r e s s t o some i s s u e s , w h i l e softpedaling others. They have p r e d i c t a b l y done s o w i t h an e y e toward s a f e g u a r d i n g a s p e c t s of U.S. foreign p o l i c y of p a r t i c u l a r importance t o them. Thus, f o r example, many U.S. m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s h a v e shown p a r t i c u l a r c o n c e r n w i t h what t h e y have s e e n a s t h e r e l a t i v e d e c l i n e of U.S. m i l i t a r y power v i s - a - v i s t h e S o v i e t Union i n r e c e n t y e a r s . D i s s a t i s f i e d with a l l i e d e f f o r t s t o h e l p r e d r e s s t h e b a l a n c e , many p l a n n e r s v i e w U.S. m i l i t a r y c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h China a s a u s e f u l s o u r c e of l e v e r a g e t h a t c o u l d h e l p t o remedy t h a t d e c l i n e . 201 I n c o n t r a s t , Americans i n t e r e s t e d 191 These s c h o o l s of t h o u g h t a r e by no means c l e a r l y d e f i n e d g r o u p s , w i t h u n i f o r m p o i n t s o f view. R a t h e r , t h e y r e p r e s e n t o n l y t h e b e g i n n i n g s of t h e development of f o c a l p o i n t s i n t h e growing d e b a t e on U.S-China military ties. 201 T h i s p o i n t o f view was v o i c e d by a number o f U.S. m i l i t a r y a n a l y s t s who were i n t e r v i e w e d , a l t h o u g h t h e y acknowledged t h a t p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n t o t h e i r a p p r o a c h h a s been s p a r s e . For a c l a s s i c example o f t h i s p o i n t of v i e w , s e e t h e a r t i c l e s by Michael P i l l s b u r y c i t e d a t t h e end o f t h i s s t u d y . It s h o u l d be added t h a t t h e s e m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s t e n d t o s t r e s s t h a t even though PRC m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s a r e n o t e x p e c t e d t o i n c r e a s e r a p i d l y a s a r e s u l t of i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a , c l o s e r U.S.-China s e c u r i t y t i e s a r e b e n e f i c i a l t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . They would h e l p e n s u r e t h a t China would remain on t h e U.S. s i d e i n t h e e v e n t of a m a j o r E a s t West c o n f r o n t a t i o n and would i n c r e a s e S o v i e t worry a b o u t China t a k i n g a c t i o n a g a i n s t t h e USSR i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h U.S. a c t i o n s a g a i n s t t h e S o v i e t Union. i n arms c o n t r o l w i t h t h e USSR f r e q u e n t l y a r e c o n c e r n e d w i t h r e s t o r i n g enough t r u s t i n U.S.-Soviet r e l a t i o n s t o f a c i l i t a t e c o n c l u s i o n of i m - p o r t a n t a g r e e m e n t s on SALT, MBFR and n u c l e a r arms c o n t r o l i n Europe. They s e e U.S. m i l i t a r y moves toward China a s c o n t r a r y t o t h i s o b j e c t i v e and a s of m a r g i n a l u t i l i t y t o t h e United S t a t e s when compared t o t h e i m p o r t a n c e of m a j o r U.S.-Soviet arms a c c o r d s . 2 1 S o v i e t s p e c i a l i s t s a r e d i v i d e d i n t o two g e n e r a l g r o u p s on t h i s issue. Some s e e Sino-American m i l i t a r y c o o p e r a t i o n a s c o n t r a r y t o what t h e y judge s h o u l d be t h e p r i m a r y U.S. g o a l o f e s t a b l i s h i n g an i n t e r n a t i o n a l o r d e r based c h i e f l y on a Soviet-American modus v i v e n d i . 221 Many o t h e r s , however, s e e t h e USSR a s a newly emerging g r e a t power and b e l i e v e t h a t t h e United S t a t e s s h o u l d work c l o s e l y w i t h o t h e r s o u r c e s o f world power--including China--in o r d e r t o p r e c l u d e more S o v i e t e x p a n s i o n and e n c o u r a g e t h e USSR t o a d j u s t t o and c o o p e r a t e w i t h t h e s t a t u s quo. They s e e U.S. m i l i t a r y c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h China a s u s e f u l i n t h i s c o n t e x t . 2 3 1 211 Former U.S. Ambassador t o Moscow, Malcolm Toon, v o i c e d t h i s v i e w i n t e s t i m o n y b e f o r e t h e House F o r e i g n A f f a i r s Committee on August 2 6 , 1980. 221 See i n p a r t i c u l a r , t h e t e s t i m o n y of Raymond G a r t h o f f o f t h e ~ r o o k i n ~I ns s t i t u t i o n b e f o r e t h e House F o r e i g n A f f a i r s Committee on August 26, 1980. M a r s h a l l Shulman h a s a l s o been a s t r o n g proponent of t h l s p o i n t o f view. 2 3 1 Harvard U n i v e r s i t y P r o f e s s o r R i c h a r d P i p e s h a s been o u t s p o k e n i n t h i s regard. China specialists are also divided. Many are concerned with the negative impact a U.S. refusal to transfer military supplies would have on Sino-American bilateral relations. E/ But many other Chinese specialists worry about potential negative consequences of closer military cooperation with China for future Sino-American relations. g/ Of course, not all views of U.S. arms transfers to China are governed by the Soviet-U.S.-Chinese triangular relationship. Thus, for example, many Asian specialists have reflected the uneasiness of the countries of 241 Several judge that the United States. might seriously disappoint the Chinese leaders by not following through with military supplies, after having given the Chinese the impression during visits and other interchanges that such equipment would be forthcoming. Some of them add that the supply of limited amounts of weapons and weapons-related technology represents an effective way to consolidate relations with the Chinese leadership. Amicable Sino-American relations are seen as a most useful means to stabilize the situation in Asia in the face of possible internal and external challenges, including possible Soviet expansion. While this view has been held by several important China analysts in the U.S. Government in recent years, it has not been subject to much media attention. For a variation on this view, see Roger Brown's article listed in the last section of this study. 251 Some worry about leadership instability in China or voice concern overChinese intentions toward their neighbors. U.S. military ties might identify the United States too closely with only one group in the Chinese leadership--a group whose tenure may be limited and whose successors may not be favorably disposed to the United States. Some analysts, who have been critical of recent developments in China, have been associated with this view. See in particular Ray Cline's analysis of the "China Card" in the Washington Star, October 14, 1980. Other China specialists stress that the Chinese may come to rely too much on the United States, or may find U.S. military equipment inappropriate for China's military modernization--developments possibly leading to a severe downturn in U.S.-Chinese relations in the future. A. Doak Barnett and Allen Whiting voiced these kinds of reservations in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on July 22, 1980. t h e r e g i o n o v e r U.S.-China m i l i t a r y cooperation. 26/ Specialists with p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i n Taiwan h a v e an o b v i o u s s t r o n g i n t e r e s t i n b l o c k i n g m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h China. Meanwhile, A m e r i c a n s i n t e r e s t e d i n i n c r e a s e d t r a d e w i t h t h e PRC h a v e s o m e t i m e s f a v o r e d improved m i l i t a r y t i e s a s a means t o show A m e r i c a n good f a i t h toward C h i n a , t o i n s u r e a f r u i t f u l economic r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e PRC, and t o b u i l d C h i n a ' s s e n s e o f s e c u r i t y . 271 261 T h e i r c o n c e r n s f o c u s on C h i n a ' s i r r i d e n t i s t c l a i m s and i t s r o l e a s a d e s t a b i l i z i n g force i n t h e region--factors t h a t a r e s e e n a s p o s s i b l y more d i f f i c u l t t o d e a l w i t h i f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s seems t o d e f e r more t o C h i n a ' s i n t e r e s t s i n A s i a n a f f a i r s . S t a n f o r d U n i v e r s i t y P r o f e s s o r Harry Harding h a s urged t h a t t h e r e be c l o s e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g b e t w e e n t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and i t s a l l i e s i n A s i a on C h i n a p o l i c y b e f o r e t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s b e g i n s t o s e l l weapons o r w e a p o n s - r e l a t e d technology t o China. See h i s t e s t i m o n y b e f o r e t h e House F o r e i g n A f f a i r s C o m m i t t e e , S e p t e m b e r 25, 1 9 8 0 . 27/ These developments r e p o r t e d l y w i l l i n c r e a s e t h e l i k e l i h o o d t h a t t h e ECw i l l p l a y a s t a b i l i z i n g r a t h e r t h a n d i s r u p t i v e r o l e i n t h e econom i c a l l y i m p o r t a n t E a s t A s i a n r e g i o n . T h i s v i e w was v o i c e d by some U.S. b u s i n e s s persons w i t h a s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t i n E a s t Asian a f f a i r s . V. ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF U.S. U.S. MILITARY SALES TO CHINA p o l i c y makers i n t h e 9 7 t h Congress and t h e Reagan Admin- i s t r a t i o n may w e l l a l l o w t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r v i e w s on t h e U.S.-SovietChinese r e l a t i o n s h i p o r t h e i r s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t i n U.S. (e.g., foreign policy, Taiwan, t r a d e w i t h C h i n a , e t c . ) t o i n f l u e n c e t h e i r d e c i s i o n s on which of t h e c o n t e n d i n g s c h o o l s o f t h o u g h t t h e y w i l l f a v o r i n r e g a r d t o U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a . But t h e y a r e u n l i k e l y t o do s o w i t h o u t c a r e f u l r e v i e w of what s p e c i a l i s t s s e e a s t h e main a d v a n t a g e s and d i s a d v a n t a g e s o f such U.S. moves. This s e c t i o n provides an a n a l y s i s of t h e p e r c e i v e d p r o s and cons of t h i s p o l i c y i n o r d e r t o a s s i s t p o l i c y makers and o t h e r s i n making up t h e i r mind. It i s d i v i d e d i n t o two s u b s e c - t i o n s , d e a l i n g r e s p e c t i v e l y w i t h s t r a t e g i c a d v a n t a g e s and d i s a d v a n t a g e s and w i t h p o l i t i c a l - e c o n o m i c a d v a n t a g e s and d i s a d v a n t a g e s . A. Strategic Considerations 1. Pro: - Some of t h e s t r o n g e s t arguments i n f a v o r o f i n c r e a s e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China c e n t e r on t h e e f f e c t t h e y a r e s a i d t o h a v e on C h i n e s e and S o v i e t s t r a t e g i c p l a n n i n g . U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a , i t i s a s s e r t e d , w i l l f u r t h e r i n s u r e t h a t China would r e m a i n on t h e American s i d e a g a i n s t t h e USSR d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d of U.S. y e a r s ahead. strategic vulnerability i n the The t r a n s f e r s would a l s o s e r v e t o c o n s o l i d a t e American t i e s w i t h what i s viewed a s t h e emerging g r e a t power i n Asia--China. A few m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s p o i n t o u t t h a t t h e U.S. m i l i t a r y moves w i l l h e l p pave t h e t h e way t o what t h e y s e e a s a d e s i r e a b l e and n e c e s s a r y Sino-American m u t u a l security arrangement in Northeast Asia--an alliance system that they judge should also include Japan. 281 The U.S. military supplies would increase China's sense of security vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and reduce the chance that the USSR would be able to intimidate or otherwise pressure China into a more pro-Soviet foreign policy stance. A greater Chinese sense of security is said to be necessary before the United States can expect the PRC to join in serious discussions on limiting nuclear arms development. While the U.S. transfers are not seen as substantially altering China's ability to project power against the USSR, a number of analysts have said that such transfers could seriously complicate Soviet military plans in Asia. Moscow would not only have to devote more resources to countering whatever limited improvements are made in Chinese forces, but it would also have to worry more about conflict along its Asian front in the event of an East-West confrontation over Europe or the Middle East. Some analysts worry about the Soviet Union redeploying westward forces in Asia in the event of a crisis with the West in Europe. They add that such redeployments would be less likely under circumstances of closer SinoAmerican military cooperation. Closer military cooperation with China could also give the United States the option of using facilities in China (air fields, ports, etc.) in the event of a major confrontation with the USSR, 2 8 1 These analysts are predictably vague in defining the outlines of this proposed mutual security arrangement, although they repeatedly compare it directly with the North Atlantic alliance. t h e r e b y p l a c i n g S o v i e t c e n t r a l A s i a and t h e F a r E a s t u n d e r g r e a t e r pressure than a t p r e s e n t . Another s t r a t e g i c a d v a n t a g e s e e n by a few a n a l y s t s r e l a t e s t o Japan. N o t i n g U.S. f r u s t r a t i o n with t h e slowness o f t h e Japanese d e f e n s e development and t h e seeming i n a b i l i t y o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s e f f e c t i v e l y t o p r e s s u r e J a p a n on t h i s i s s u e f o r f e a r o f a l i e n a t i n g o u r most i m p o r t a n t a l l y i n A s i a , t h e s e o b s e r v e r s s t r e s s t h a t c l o s e r m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h China c o u l d h e l p i n t h e s e a r e a s . They c o u l d a l l o w t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s more l a t i t u d e i n p r e s s u r i n g t h e J a p a n e s e t o do more i n d e f e n s e a g a i n s t t h e USSR, a s w e l l a s i n o t h e r a r e a s , and c o u l d i n c r e a s e t o some d e g r e e J a p a n ' s s e n s e o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y . This feeling o f v u l n e r a b i l i t y i s d e s c r i b e d a s t h e most i m p o r t a n t e l e m e n t i n i n f l u e n c i n g Japan t o g i v e defense a h i g h e r p r i o r i t y . 2. Con: Opponents of U.S.-China m i l i t a r y cooperation a r e n o t im- p r e s s e d by t h e s e supposed a d v a n t a g e s and p o i n t t o a v a r i e t y o f s t r a t e g i c d i s a d v a n t a g e s t h e y s e e a s s o c i a t e d w i t h U.S.-China military ties. F o r one thing, China's current nuclear s t r a t e g i c capability i s potentially threat e n i n g t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , and U.S. a i d t o C h i n a ' s c o n v e n t i o n a l f o r c e s c o u l d presumably a l l o w t h e PRC t o d e v o t e more a t t e n t i o n t o d e v e l o p i n g s t r a t e g i c weapons. China i s s a i d t o b e l i k e l y o v e r t h e l o n g e r t e r m t o pose a t h r e a t t o U.S. i n t e r e s t s i n A s i a . As i t g e t s s t r o n g e r w i t h U.S. s u p p o r t , China may w e l l a c t more i n d e p e n d e n t l y and a s s e r t i v e l y and come i n t o c o n f l i c t w i t h some of i t s n e i g h b o r s whose i n t e r e s t s a r e c l o s e t o t h o s e o f t h e United S t a t e s . Taiwan i s t h e most o b v i o u s a r e a f o r such conflict. 29/ C l o s e r m i l i t a r y c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h China c o u l d l e a d t o such n e g a t i v e c o n s e q u e n c e s a s even more S o v i e t m i l i t a r y p r e s s u r e on China 301 o r p e r h a p s a p u n i t i v e Soviet s t r i k e along t h e Chinese b o r d e r . 31/ The S o v i e t c o u n t e r - moves, i f s u c c e s s f u l , c o u l d u n d e r c u t t h e r e l a t i v e l y pro-Western leadership of China and d i s c r e d i t t h o s e C h i n e s e o f f i c i a l s who have l i n k e d C h i n a ' s d e f e n s i v e s t r a t e g y t o c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n with t h e United S t a t e s . 32/ 29/ For i n s t a n c e , i t i s c l a i m e d t h a t U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China m i g h t s o i n c r e a s e C h i n a ' s perceived leverage over t h e United S t a t e s i n Asia t h a t P e k i n g might t a k e more f o r c e f u l a c t i o n s - - s u c h a s a n a v a l b l o c k a d e - - a g a i n s t t h e i s l a n d . U.S. arms a r e n o t t h o u g h t t o i n c r e a s e s u b s t a n t i a l l y t h e PRC a b i l i t y t o c o n d u c t such an o p e r a t i o n , a t l e a s t f o r s e v e r a l y e a r s . But t h e t r a n s f e r s c o u l d s i g n a l P e k i n g , Taiwan and T a i w a n ' s l e a d i n g t r a d i n g p a r t n e r s of a s h i f t i n U.S. p r i o r i t i e s i n t h e r e g i o n , s u g g e s t i n g t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s would n o t r e a c t s t r o n g l y t o s u c h a PRC r e s o r t t o f o r c e a g a i n s t t h e i s l a n d . I n t h e e v e n t of a PRC blockade--which i s t h o u g h t by many t o be w i t h i n t h e r a n g e o f C h i n a ' s c u r r e n t m i l i t a r y c a p a b i l i t i e s - - t h e United S t a t e s would have t o d e c i d e whether t o c o n f r o n t i t s s t r a t e g i c a l l y i m p o r t a n t f r i e n d i n A s i a o r a l l o w Taiwan t o be p r e s s u r e d i n t o an accommodation w i t h t h e mainland. 30/ Some a n a l y s t s would welcome an i n c r e a s e i n S o v i e t deployments a g a i n s t China b e c a u s e t h e y would r e d u c e S o v i e t a b i l i t y t o c o n f r o n t t h e West e l s e w h e r e . 311 While a few a n a l y s t s s e e Moscow a s p o s s i b l y r e a c t i n g i m m e d i a t e l y w i t h f o r c e t o U.S. s a l e s t o C h i n a , o t h e r s s t r e s s t h a t S o v i e t m i l i t a r y p l a n n e r s have n o t been r a s h i n t h e i r m i l i t a r y a c t i o n s a g a i n s t C h i n a . S e v e r a l have added t h a t t h e United S t a t e s s h o u l d be wary t h a t even t h r o u g h S o v i e t p l a n n e r s may a p p e a r c a u t i o u s , U.S. m i l i t a r y c o o p e r a t i o n c o u l d q u i c k l y b u i l d t o a p o i n t where i t would c r o s s an i l l - d e f i n e d " t h r e s h o l d " o f S o v i e t t o l e r a n c e , l e a d i n g t o a h a r s h m i l i t a r y r e s p o n s e a g a i n s t C h i n a , and p o s s i b l y , t h e United S t a t e s . 32/ Some China s p e c i a l i s t s a r g u e t h a t China i s u n l i k e l y t o change i t s a n t i z o v i e t p o s t u r e and w i l l c o n t i n u e t o t i e down S o v i e t f o r c e s , w h e t h e r o r n o t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n c r e a s e s m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o t h e PRC. They t h e r e f o r e s e e l i t t l e need f o r t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s t o r i s k t h e p o s s i b l e d i s a v a n t a g e s o f c l o s e r U.S.-China m i l i t a r y t i e s . The USSR c o u l d r e a c t t o U.S. t r a n f e r s o f m i l i t a r y s u p p l i e s t o China w i t h c o u n t e r m e a s u r e s i n v o l v i n g Vietnam o r p o s s i b l y I n d i a , p e r h a p s i n c l u d i n g s t e p p e d up e f f o r t s t o e s t a b l i s h S o v i e t m i l i t a r y i n s t a l l a t i o n s i n S o u t h e a s t and South A s i a . These moves n o t o n l y would h e l p t h e USSR t o e n c i r c l e China and c u r b C h i n e s e i n f l u e n c e i n A s i a , b u t t h e y would a l s o s e r i o u s l y c h a l l e n g e t h e a b i l i t y of t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s t o d e f e n d s e a l i n e s o f commun i c a t i o n s i n t h e s e important a r e a s . U . S. moves toward m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h China c o u l d s e r i o u s l y dampen S o v i e t i n t e r e s t i n arms c o n t r o l w i t h t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and u p s e t e x i s t i n g East-West understandings f o r these negotiations. I n p a r t i c u l a r , Moscow would be more l i k e l y t o demand c o m p e n s a t i o n i n any disarmament p r o p o s a l due t o C h i n e s e n u c l e a r f o r c e s - - s o m e t h i n g t h e United States has rejected i n the past. B. Political-Economic Factors 1. Pro: - Perhaps t h e s t r o n g e s t p o l i t i c a l argument f o r g o i n g ahead w i t h l i m i t e d m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China i s t h a t U.S. l e a d e r s have a p p a r e n t l y a l r e a d y g i v e n Chinese o f f i c i a l s t h e i m p r e s s i o n t h a t t h e y would do s o . To r e v e r s e c o u r s e a t t h i s s t a g e c o u l d l e a d t o s e r i o u s c o m p l i c a t i o n s i n SinoAmerican r e l a t i o n s . The t r a n s f e r s would show American "good f a i t h , " b u i l d s u p p o r t f o r and e s t a b l i s h American i n f l u e n c e w i t h t h e r e l a t i v e l y p r a g m a t i c l e a d e r s c u r r e n t l y g o v e r n i n g C h i n a , and promote i m p o r t a n t c h a n n e l s o f communic a t i o n s w i t h segments of t h e C h i n e s e m i l i t a r y l e a d e r s h i p who m i g h t o t h e r w i s e r e m a i n s k e p t i c a l o f C h i n a ' s r e c e n t t i l t toward t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . 331 I t i s a s s e r t e d t h a t p r e p a r i n g s u c h a s o l i d f o u n d a t i o n f o r Sino-American t i e s i s e s s e n t i a l i n o r d e r t o permit t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p t o withstand f u t u r e d i f f i c u l t i e s o v e r such i s s u e s a s Taiwan, 341 U.S.-Soviet arms c o n t r o l and human r i g h t s . M i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China a r e a l s o s a i d t o provide t h e United S t a t e s w i t h a " C h i n a c a r d " u s e f u l i n p r o m o t i n g more p o s i t i v e S o v i e t b e h a v i o r toward t h e United S t a t e s o r i n compensating t h e United S t a t e s f o r S o v i e t g a i n s made e l s e w h e r e i n t h e T h i r d World. h a v e i n d i r e c t a d v a n t a g e s f o r U.S. They r e p o r t e d l y t r a d e w i t h China, a s China i s s a i d t o be l i k e l y t o give business people associated with i t s major m i l i t a r y b a c k e r more a d v a n t a g e o u s t r e a t m e n t t h a n t h e i r c o m p e t i t o r s from o t h e r countries. 35/ C l o s e r m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h C h i n a c o u l d r e d u c e U.S. d e p e n d e n c y 3 3 1 I t h a s b e e n n o t e d by some t h a t C h i n e s e m i l i t a r y l e a d e r s h a v e r e c e i v e d l e s s b e n e f i t t h a n o t h e r PRC l e a d e r s from C h i n a ' s m o d e r n i z a t i o n p r o g r a m o r i t s o p e n i n g t o t h e West; t h e y t h e r e f o r e would h a v e l e s s t o l o s e , and p o s s i b l y more t o g a i n , i f t h a t program and C h i n a ' s p r a g m a t i c , r e l a t i v e l y pro-Western l e a d e r s h i p u n d e r Deng X i a o p i n g w e r e c h a n g e d . American c o n c e r n o v e r t h e l o y a l t y o f C h i n a ' s m i l i t a r y t o t h e c u r r e n t Deng X i a o p i n g l e a d e r s h i p i n P e k i n g was i n c r e a s e d i n l a t e 1980 by p r e s s r e p o r t s t h a t D e n g ' s o p p o n e n t s were t r y i n g t o a p p e a l t o t h e m i l i t a r y i n o r d e r t o u n d e r c u t D e n g ' s p r o g r a m s and t o s a v e t h e i r own l e a d e r s h i p p o s i t i o n s . 3 4 1 It i s s a i d t h a t t h e United S t a t e s cannot e x p e c t r e l a t i o n s w i t h China t o remain c o r d i a l i f i t continues--as expected--to s e l l hundreds o f m i l l i o n s of d o l l a r s w o r t h o f m i l i t a r y e q u i p m e n t t o Taiwan w h i l e m a i n t a i n i n g a d e f a c t o arms embargo a g a i n s t t h e PRC. I n p a r t i c u l a r , some s a y t h a t t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s c o u l d a v o i d a d o w n t u r n i n U.S.-China r e l a t i o n s and s t i l l go a h e a d w i t h t h e p r o p o s e d s a l e o f t h e FX f i g h t e r a i r c r a f t t o Taiwan b y s i m u l t a n e o u s l y a l l o w i n g t h e t r a n s f e r t o C h i n a o f s o p h i s t i c a t e d U.S. a i r c r a f t e n g i n e t e c h n o l o g y n e e d e d f o r t h e PRC f i g h t e r a i r c r a f t p r o g r a m . 351 One C h i n a s p e c i a l i s t went f u r t h e r i n t h i s r e g a r d , a s s e r t i n g t h a t c h i n a g i v e s b e t t e r t r e a t m e n t and more a d v a n t a g e o u s t r a d e t o t h o s e i n d i v i d u a l American c o m p a n i e s which h a v e b e e n most h e l p f u l i n p r o m o t i n g U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o China. on Japan and i n c r e a s e U . S . l e v e r a g e o v e r t h e J a p a n e s e on a v a r i e t y of i s s u e s , i n c l u d i n g U.S.-Japanese 2. Con: trade disagreements. 361 Opponents o f m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s r a i s e a h o s t o f p o s s i b l e p o l i t i c a l and economic d i s a d v a n t a g e s t o s u c h t i e s . t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s i n t o an a n t i - S o v i e t They c o u l d l o c k posture i n international a f f a i r s a t a t i m e when t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s may have more t o g a i n from c o o p e r a t i o n t h a n c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h t h e USSR. T h i s c o u l d happen even i f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s wanted o n l y a l i m i t e d m i l i t a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e PRC, b e c a u s e s u c h r e l a t i o n s h i p s , once s t a r t e d , d e v e l o p r a p i d l y and p r o v e d i f f i c u l t to stop. The t r a n s f e r s c o u l d l i n k t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s c l o s e l y w i t h t h e C h i n e s e s i d e of t h e Sino-Soviet d i s p u t e i n Asia, n o t a b l y reducing p r o s p e c t s f o r more i n d e p e n d e n t U . S. p o l i c i e s v i s - a - v i s Vietnam o r I n d i a . They c o u l d promote a v i e w t h a t t h e United S t a t e s p e r c e i v e d C h i n a , r a t h e r t h a n J a p a n , a s i t s main a l l y i n A s i a , t h e r b y l e a d i n g t o an e r o s i o n o f t h e U.S.Alliance. They c o u l d s i g n a l a l o s s of U.S. influence i n Asia, well as a l o s s i n influence over China's f u t u r e behavior. 371 Japan as The l a t t e r would be even more l i k e l y i f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s a g r e e d t o c o p r o d u c t i o n - t y p e a r r a n g e m e n t s w i t h China t h a t would a l l o w t h e C h i n e s e t o have f u l l c o n t r o l 361 A few o b s e r v e r s h a v e c l a i m e d t h a t J a p a n ' s l e a d e r s h a v e b e e n a r g u i n g a g a i n s t U.S. arms s a l e s t o China i n p a r t f o r s e l f i s h reasons. The Japanese a l l e g e d l y j u d g e t h a t i f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s moves ahead w i t h s u c h s a l e s , China w i l l f a v o r U.S. b u s i n e s s m e n o v e r J a p a n e s e businessmen on p o t e n t i a l l y l u c r a t i v e t r a d e d e a l s . 3 7 1 One A s i a n s p e c i a l i s t s a i d t h a t some o f t h e ASEAN c o u n t r i e s , i n r e s p o n s e t o U.S.-China m i l i t a r y t i e s , would b e g i n t o r e a s s e s s t h e i r v i e w of t h e S o v i e t p r e s e n c e i n S o u t h e a s t A s i a and m i g h t come t o s e e t h e USSR and i t s a l l y , Vietnam, a s a u s e f u l b u f f e r t o growing C h i n e s e power i n the region. S e v e r a l o t h e r a n a l y s t s expressed doubt t h a t t h e t r a n s f e r of arms t o China would a u t o m a t i c a l l y r e s u l t i n s u c h a s h i f t o f ASEAN attitude. o v e r t h e u s e of weapons produced w i t h t e c h n o l o g y s u p p l i e d by t h e United S t a t e s . E/ I n view of C h i n a ' s h i s t o r y o f p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y , i t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e t h a t a new l e a d e r s h i p l e s s f a v o r a b l e t o t h e United S t a t e s c o u l d emerge i n China o v e r t h e n e x t few y e a r s . The example o f S o v i e t m i l i t a r y c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h China i n t h e 1950s i s a l s o n o t r e a s s u r i n g , a s i t seemed t o prompt u n r e a l i s t i c C h i n e s e e x p e c t a t i o n s which t h e USSR was u n w i l l i n g to fulfill. T h i s l e d t o a s e r i o u s downturn i n r e l a t i o n s - - a p a t t e r n which c o u l d be f o l l o w e d i n Sino-American r e l a t i o n s d u r i n g t h e 1 9 8 0 ' s i f t h e China army l e a d e r s and o t h e r C h i n e s e o f f i c i a l s come t o r e l y t o o h e a v i l y on American s u p p l i e s and s u p p o r t . E/ 3 8 / Even some a n a l y s t s who f a v o r arms t r a n s f e r s t o China a r g u e t h a t s u c h s a l e s s h o u l d be s e e n o n l y a s a supplement t o , n o t a s u b s t i t u t e f o r , U.S. power i n t h e r e g i o n . O t h e r w i s e , t h e y warn, t h e United S t a t e s would become t o o d e p e n d e n t on China t o p r o t e c t U.S. i n t e r e s t s i n t h e r e g i o n . However, o t h e r s f a v o r i n g Sino-American s e c u r i t y t i e s judge t h a t i t i s u n r e a l i s t i c t o e x p e c t t h e United S t a t e s n o t t o u s e China a s a s u b s t i t u t e f o r U.S. power i n E a s t A s i a t o some d e g r e e . They emphasize t h a t t h e United S t a t e s n e e d s t o c o n s o l i d a t e i t s f o r c e s i n o r d e r t o d e a l w i t h t h e USSR i n o t h e r i m p o r t a n t a r e a s , n o t a b l y t h e P e r s i a n G u l f , and t h a t i t s h o u l d u s e China a s a s t r a t e g i c bulwark i n E a s t A s i a . Some n o t e t h a t t h e United S t a t e s i n e f f e c t h a s a l r e a d y s t a r t e d t h i s k i n d of a p p r o a c h i n S o u t h e a s t A s i a , where China--and n o t t h e United S t a t e s - - i s s e e n a s t h e main s t r a t e g i c g u a r a n t o r of American i n t e r e s t s i n T h a i l a n d a g a i n s t m i l i t a r y p r e s s u r e from Soviet-backed Vietnam. Meanwhile, s e v e r a l o b s e r v e r s have p o i n t e d o u t t h a t many of t h e d i s a d v a n t a g e s of U.S. arms s a l e s t o China c o u l d b e overcome i f West Europeans--not Americans--sold arms t o C h i n a . But o t h e r s have added t h a t t h e s e c o u n t r i e s f r e q u e n t l y have shown t h e m s e l v e s t o b e v e r y s e n s i t i v e t o S o v i e t p r e s s u r e n o t t o s e l l arms t o t h e PRC--pressure t h a t would presumably have l e s s e f f e c t on t h e United S t a t e s . 39/ Some a n a l y s t s c l a i m t h a t Chinese l e a d e r s l a c k a f i x e d and v i a b l e d e f e n s e s t r a t e g y and t h a t U.S. m i l i t a r y s u p p l i e s c o u l d prove t o b e l e s s t h a n f u l l y u s e f u l i f Chinese d e f e n s e p l a n s changed i n t h e f u t u r e . Chinese l e a d e r s m i g h t t h e n b e i n c l i n e d t o blame t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s f o r t r a n s f e r r i c g " i n a p p r o p r i a t e " equipment a t g r e a t c o s t t o C h i n a ' s l i m i t e d economic r e s o u r c e s . China i s a l s o s e e n a s g a i n i n g much more t h a n i t g i v e s i n i t s new r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s . Some s t r e s s t h e c o n t r a s t between t h e r i s k s t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s would t a k e i n i n c r e a s i n g m i l i t a r y t i e s w i t h China and t h e f a c t t h a t t h e Americans would s t i l l have no g u a r a n t e e t h a t China would b e any more l i k e l y t o s i d e w i t h t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s on i s s u e s i m p o r t a n t t o American i n t e r e s t s v i s - a - v i s Union o r e l s e w h e r e . the Soviet VI. PROSPECTS AND OPTIONS Members of the 97th Congress and the Reagan Administration will be buffeted by cross currents of political opinion as they attempt to deal with the issue of increased U.S. military supplies to China in the months ahead. Recent trends in U.S.-Soviet-Chinese relations seem to favor those Americans who wish to transfer more military equipment and arms to China. Support for such sales is likely to build so long as U.S. relations with the Soviet Union remain characterized more by hostility than by cooperation, U.S. relations with China continue along their rapid evolution toward closer friendship, and Sino-Soviet relations remain stalemated. The Chinese, for their part, appear likely to continue to press the United States for more advanced military equipment and technology. A flat U.S. refusal to sell such material to China would almost certainly prompt expressions of strong disappointment by Chinese leaders, who would see it as a clear sign of America's lack of trust of China and U.S. determination to maintain an "arms embargo" against the PRC. When taken together with the Reagan Administration's well known differences with Peking over U.S.-Taiwan relations, the refusal could lead to a serious downturn in Sino-American relations. The main worry about the military transfers concerns their symbolic importance, especially their implications for future U. S. policy toward China and their meaning for American relations with the USSR, Japan, and o t h e r Asian s t a t e s . Here l i e s what many c u r r e n t l y s e e a s t h e g r e a t e s t c h a l l e n g e t o American p o l i c y makers i n d e a l i n g w i t h China. The i n c r e m e n t a l l y d e v e l o p i n g American s e c u r i t y r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h China o v e r t h e p a s t d e c a d e h a s from time t o time l e d t o m i s p e r c e p t i o n s of U.S. i n t e n t i o n s on t h e p a r t o f American i n t e r e s t g r o u p s , t h e S o v i e t Union, A s i a n c o u n t r i e s and even t h e Chinese l e a d e r s . I f U.S. leaders m a i n t a i n a v a g u e n e s s a b o u t C h i n a ' s p l a c e i n American s e c u r i t y p o l i c y w h i l e moving ahead w i t h more m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a , v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t e d p a r t i e s c o u l d make t o o extreme an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of U.S. o b j e c t i v e s ; t h e i r r e a c t i o n s c o u l d w e l l be c o n t r a r y t o American i n t e r e s t s . Thus, C h i n e s e l e a d e r s m i g h t i n c o r r e c t l y s e e s u c h t r a n s f e r s a s s i g n a l i n g a m a j o r s t r e n g t h e n i n g of what t h e y may v i e w a s A m e r i c a ' s commitment t o p r o t e c t C h i n a ' s s e c u r i t y a g a i n s t t h e USSR. S o v i e t l e a d e r s might p e r c e i v e them a s t h e consumation of a d e f a c t o U.S.-China must b e a c t i v e l y r e s i s t e d by t h e USSR. military alliance that Japan and o t h e r U.S. a l l i e s and f r i e n d s i n A s i a c o u l d s e e them a s s i g n a l i n g a fundamental s h i f t i n American i n t e r e s t i n A s i a , away from them and toward t h e PRC a s t h e main b a c k e r o f American s e c u r i t y i n t e r e s t s i n t h e r e g i o n . By c o n t r a s t , a d i f f e r e n t a p p r o a c h , which would a l l o w t h e United S t a t e s t o make c l e a r e r t o t h e v a r i o u s i n t e r e s t e d p a r t i e s t h e l i m i t e d o b j e c t i v e s o f i t s China p o l i c y , c o u l d r e d u c e p o s s i b l e a d v e r s e c o n s e q u e n c e s f o r U.S. interests. Under t h e s e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h e United S t a t e s would a g r e e t o i n c r e a s e t o a c a r e f u l l y l i m i t e d d e g r e e U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s t o C h i n a , i n c l u d i n g some d e f e n s i v e weapons o r r e l a t e d t e c h n o l o g y . It would u s e t h e o p p o r t u n i t y t o s e r v e n o t i c e t o Peking t h a t t h e Chinese l e a d e r s s h o u l d e x p e c t no more such military help until Sino-American relations have matured over several more years. This policy would remain in effect barring a gross change in the international balance of power or a substantial increase in Soviet military power in Asia designed to pressure China into a less proAmerican posture. The United States could continue to solidify its ties with China in economic and political areas which are seen as having little negative consequence for U.S. interests. It would be particularly important to clarify the limits of Sino-American military cooperation to the leaders of the Soviet Union. It could be noted in conversations with the Soviets that U.S. supplies to China are in part governed by a desire to maintain, but not to narrow substantially, the current gap in the military capabilities of Sino-Soviet forces along China's northern border. Thus, Moscow would know that any major Soviet effort to expand its military power in Asia in order to intimidate China would likely prompt increased U.S. support for China's military modernization. Japan and other Asian states would also have to be reassured. A solid consensus in the United States in support of the limited military relationship with China would appear to be required. Such a consensus might prove difficult to build, and yet remain within the confines of the limited military relationship noted above. In particular, some in the Congress may be inclined to ask for a "quid pro quo" for U.S. military help to China. While this could involve preferential treatment of U.S. business representatives in trade with China, some U.S. representatives might demand that the United States be compensated with increased military access to China, such a s with basing r i g h t s o r i n t e l l i g e n c e g a t h e r i n g f a c i l i t i e s . Of c o u r s e , s u c h a move would be more l i k e l y t o i n c r e a s e t h e r i s k s o f S o v i e t and o t h e r f o r e i g n r e a c t i o n s c o n t r a r y t o U.S. interests. Another o p t i o n i s t o u s e l i m i t e d m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r s a s t h e f i r s t i n a s e r i e s o f s t e p s l e a d i n g t o some s o r t o f m u t u a l s e c u r i t y a r r a n g e m e n t w i t h China a g a i n s t t h e USSR. These s t e p s c o u l d i n c l u d e U.S. t r a i n i n g of C h i n e s e m i l i t a r y p e r s o n n e l , t h e s t a t i o n i n g of American m i l i t a r y e x p e r t s i n C h i n a , t h e p r e s e n c e o f U.S. i n t e l l i g e n c e f a c i l i t i e s i n China, Sino-American maneuvers and e x e r c i s e s , and U.S. forces. planning with Chinese While such an a p p r o a c h would c l e a r l y have a t l e a s t a s h o r t t e r m p o s i t i v e impact on U.S.-China r e l a t i o n s , i t would make a l m o s t i m p o s s i b l e any l a s t i n g U.S r e a s s u r a n c e of t h e S o v i e t Union and o t h e r i n t e r e s t e d Asian n a t i o n s o v e r American i n t e n t i o n s toward China. Should U.S. p l a n n e r s p u r s u e t h i s o p t i o n , t h e y p r o b a b l y s h o u l d c o n t i n u e an ambiguous and s e c r e t i v e p o l i c y i n r e g a r d t o U.S.-China security t i e s . As n o t e d above, s u c h a p o l i c y c a r r i e s t h e r i s k of prompting extreme i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s -- reactions which c o u l d s e r i o u s l y c o m p l i c a t e American i n t e r e s t s b o t h a t home and a b r o a d . I n s h o r t , U.S. r e f u s a l t o s e l l any weapons o r r e l a t e d t e c h n o l o g y t o China c o u l d s e r i o u s l y a f f e c t Sino-American r e l a t i o n s a n d , by e x t e n t i o n , a v a r i e t y o f i m p o r t a n t U.S. i n t e r e s t s i n world a f f a i r s . o f moving ahead w i t h s u c h s a l e s - - w h e t h e r But t h e r i s k s o r not they a r e designed t o f o s t e r a c l o s e Sino-American m u t u a l s e c u r i t y arrangement a g a i n s t t h e S o v i e t Union--will r e m a i n g r e a t s o l o n g a s U.S. l e a d e r s remain vague a b o u t t h e o b j e c t i v e s of t h e i r s t r a t e g i c r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h China. The r i s k s of a c a r e f u l l y l i m i t e d U.S. m i l i t a r y t r a n s f e r t o China c o u l d b e r e d u c e d subs t a n t i a l l y i f U.S. l e a d e r s s h i f t e d t o a more c l e a r l y d e f i n e d p o l i c y o f moderate U.S. o b j e c t i v e s toward China t h a t c o u l d a s s u r e f r i e n d s and f o e s a l i k e o f American i n t e n t i o n s toward t h e PRC. VII. I. APPENDIX C h i n a ' s Defense S t r a t e g y and F o r c e P o s t u r e The C h i n e s e b a s e t h e i r n a t i o n a l d e f e n s e s t r a t e g y o n d e t e r r i n g a n a t t a c k by making i t t o o c o s t l y f o r a p o t e n t i a l enemy. They h a v e imple- mented t h i s s t r a t e g y by b u i l d i n g a modest b u t c r e d i b l e n u c l e a r f o r c e and l a r g e c o n v e n t i o n a l armed f o r c e s c a p a b l e of f i g h t i n g a p r o t r a c t e d war. 401 A. S t r a t e g i c Programs C h i n a ' s n u c l e a r d e t e r r e n t c o n s i s t s o f manned bombers and a s m a l l b u t growing b a l l i s t i c m i s s i l e f o r c e . The l i g h t and medium bomber u n i t s a r e n o t s e e n a s t r a i n e d and o r g a n i z e d a s a n u c l e a r s t r i k e f o r c e , b u t t h e y c o u l d d e l i v e r n u c l e a r bombs on t a r g e t s c l o s e t o t h e b o r d e r s . The m i s s i l e f o r c e c o n s i s t s o f a few dozen CSSl MRBMs and CSS2 IRBMs d e p l o y e d i n a semimobile o r o t h e r mode t o enhance t h e i r s u r v i v - ability. A few CSS3 ICBMs a r e a l s o i n u s e . r e a c h Moscow. These m i s s i l e s c o u l d I n a d d i t i o n , China h a s made p r o g r e s s i n d e v e l o p i n g a t r u l y i n t e r c o n t i n e n t a l b a l l i s t i c m i s s i l e system t h a t w i l l enable 401 P u b l i c a t i o n s g i v i n g d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n on C h i n e s e and S o v i e t f o r c e d e p l o y m e n t s a r e noted i n t h e s e l e c t e d readings s e c t i o n a t t h e end of t h i s s t u d y . F i g u r e s used h e r e a r e t a k e n from The M i l i t a r y B a l a n c e , 1980-1981, I n s t i t u t e f o r S t r a t e g i c S t u d i e s , London, 1980. Among books and a r t i c l e s of p a r t i c u l a r u s e , s e e John M. C o l l i n s , U.S.-Soviet M i l i t a r y B a l a n c e , 1960-1980; P e t e r Young, " C h i n a ' s M i l i t a r y C a p a b i l i t i e s , " A s i a n Defense J o u r n a l , F e b r u a r y , 1979; U.S. Cong r e s s . S e n a t e F o r e i g n R e l a t i o n s Committee, "Sino-American R e l a t i o n s : A New Turn"; and Angus F r a s e r , " M i l i t a r y M o d e r n i z a t i o n i n C h i n a , " Problems o f Communism, September-December, 1979. t h e PRC t o d e l i v e r n u c l e a r warheads on t a r g e t s a l m o s t anywhere i n t h e world, i n c l u d i n g t h e c o n t i n e n t a l United S t a t e s . The CSS4 ICBM h a s been t e s t e d s u c c e s s f u l l y and may become o p e r a t i o n a l i n t h e n e a r f u t u r e . China i s a l s o d e v e l o p i n g a network o f r a d a r s t o p r o v i d e a l l - a r o u n d e a r l y warning of b a l l i s t i c m i s s i l e a t t a c k . And i t h a s p u r s u e d a s p a c e program which h a s p l a c e d a h i g h p r i o r i t y on d e v e l o p i n g s a t e l l i t e s f o r i n t e l l i g e n c e c o l l e c t i o n purposes. B. General Purpose Forces The C h i n e s e have one of t h e l a r g e s t c o n v e n t i o n a l armed f o r c e s i n t h e world--over 4 m i l l i o n men. They do n o t pose a d i r e c t m i l i t a r y t h r e a t t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s , b u t t h e y c o u l d a t t a c k U.S. b a s e s and U.S. a l l i e s i n t h e Far East. P e k i n g c o n s i d e r s t h e S o v i e t Union t o b e i t s most d a n g e r o u s p o t e n t i a l a d v e r s a r y . About h a l f o f t h e armed f o r c e s a r e a r r a y e d i n a d e f e n s i v e p o s t u r e t o meet t h e S o v i e t t h r e a t . Ano- t h e r t h i r d of t h e f o r c e s a r e l o c a t e d a l o n g t h e c o a s t and n e a r Vietnam, where P e k i n g c o n t i n u e s t o p e r c e i v e a t h r e a t . Most o f t h e r e m a i n d e r a r e l o c a t e d i n c e n t r a l China a s a r e s e r v e ; o n l y a few u n i t s a r e i n w e s t e r n China and T i b e t . 1. Employment f o r A t t a c k Without t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n o f t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s o r USSR, China c o u l d overwhelm i t s smaller neighbors. A g a i n s t t h e S o v i e t Union, Taiwan o r I n d i a , however, i t s c o n v e n t i o n a l m i l i t a r y f o r c e s would be hampered by i n a d e q u a c i e s i n f i r e p o w e r , m o b i l i t y and l o g i s t i c s , a s w e l l a s by g e o g r a p h i c a l and t o p o g r a p h i c a l f a c t o r s . The v a s t d i s t a n c e s i n v o l v e d and t h e q u a l i t y o f S o v i e t f o r c e s a l o n g t h e b o r d e r would a l l o w t h e C h i n e s e t o make a t b e s t o n l y s h a l l o w i n c u r s i o n s i n t o t h e USSR. The Taiwan S t r a i t i s s t i l l a n e f f e c t i v e b a r r i e r a g a i n s t a Chinese i n v a s i o n of Taiwan. The d i f f i c u l t t e r r a i n o f T i b e t and c a p a b l e I n d i a n d e f e n s e s would l i m i t any a t t a c k a g a i n s t I n d i a . Indian t r o o p s would be d e f e n d i n g t h e i r own t e r r i t o r y o v e r l i n e s o f communication much s h o r t e r t h a n t h e C h i n e s e ; i f t h e I n d i a n s were d e t e r m i n e d , t h e C h i n e s e would n o t be a b l e t o mount and s u s t a i n an o f f e n s i v e t h r o u g h T i b e t w i t h a f o r c e l a r g e enough t o d e f e a t them. 2. Employment f o r Defense To c o u n t e r an i n v a d e r w i t h s u p e r i o r f i r e p o w e r and m o b i l i t y , t h e C h i n e s e would employ d i s t a n c e and t e r r a i n . They do n o t a p p e a r t o i n - t e n d t o g i v e up t e r r i t o r y e a s i l y , b u t t o wear down t h e a t t a c k e r s a s t h e y t r y t o d r i v e through s u c c e s s i v e l i n e s of i n c r e a s i n g l y s t r o n g e r forces. The Chinese c o n t i n u e t o emphasize d i s p e r s a l , redundancy and o t h e r p a s s i v e d e f e n s e measures t o improve t h e s u r v i v a b i l i t y o f m i l i t a r y i n d u s t r i e s and c e r t a i n e l e m e n t s o f t h e armed f o r c e s . The s h e e r s i z e o f C h i n a ' s s t a n d i n g armed f o r c e s compensates t o some d e g r e e f o r t h e i r i n a d e q u a c i e s . Moreover, t h e v a s t m o b i l i z a t i o n p o t e n t i a l would p r o v i d e c o n s i d e r a b l e r e s o u r c e s d u r i n g a p r o l o n g e d war. China h a s between 5-10 m i l l i o n l i g h t l y armed men o r g a n i z e d i n p a r a military organizations. They c o u l d be used p r i m a r i l y t o wage g u e r r i l l a w a r f a r e , s u p p o r t r e g u l a r f o r c e s , and m a i n t a i n i n t e r n a l s e c u r i t y . They c o u l d n o t be t u r n e d i n t o r e g u l a r f o r c e s q u i c k l y ; C h i n a d o e s n o t h a v e enough heavy weapons and c o u l d n o t t u r n them o u t r a p i d l y i n t h e number t h a t would be needed. 3. Ground F o r c e s C h i n a ' s r e g u l a r army c o n s i s t s o f a p p r o x i m a t e l y 3.5 m i l l i o n men o r g a n i z e d i n t o main and r e g i o n a l f o r c e s . Main f o r c e s c o n s i s t o f a b o u t 130 combat d i v i s i o n s , m o s t l y i n f a n t r y , and 40 combat s u p p o r t d i v i s i o n s . The combat d i v i s i o n s a r e t h e b e s t e q u i p p e d and most m o b i l e o f t h e ground f o r c e s . They have most Of t h e e s t i m a t e d 1 0 , 0 0 0 t a n k s i n C h i n a ' s i n v e n t o r y , and b o t h t h e i r t a n k and a r t i l l e r y e l e m e n t s a r e g r a d u a l l y b e i n g upgraded. Their p r i m a r y m i s s i o n s a r e t o h a l t enemy p e n e t r a t i o n s and t o l a u n c h c o u n t e r a t t a c k s o r offensives. The r e g i o n a l f o r c e s , w i t h o v e r 80 d i v i s i o n s , a r e o r g a n i z e d , armed and t r a i n e d f o r d e f e n s e o f s p e c i f i c a r e a s . Some o f t h e r e g i o n a l d i v i - s i o n s man e l a b o r a t e f i x e d d e f e n s e s , which have been e s t a b l i s h e d on t h e major avenues o f approach. Most o f t h e ground f o r c e equipment produced by C h i n a ' s new i n d u s t r y i s based on o l d e r S o v i e t d e s i g n s . Though u n s o p h i s t i c a t e d by U.S. o r S o v i e t s t a n d a r d s , t h e s m a l l arms, t a n k s , and a r t i l l e r y a r e r u g g e d , r e l i a b l e and g e n e r a l l y a d e q u a t e f o r t h e i r i n t e n d e d u s e . China a n n u a l l y p r o d u c e s s e v e r a l hundred type-59 medium t a n k s ( c o p i e s o f t h e S o v i e t T-54) and a s m a l l number o f Chinese-designed and l i g h t t a n k s . armored p e r s o n n e l c a r r i e r s The f i e l d a r t i l l e r y i n v e n t o r y o f 1 6 , 0 0 0 weapons i n - c l u d e s g u n s w i t h c a l i b e r s o f up t o 130 mm, h o w i t z e r s o f up t o 152 mm, and a growing number of m u l t i p l e r o c k e t l a u n c h e r s . The C h i n e s e produce a wide v a r i e t y o f r u d i m e n t a r y p r o t e c t i v e equipment f o r c h e m i c a l and b i o l o g i c a l d e f e n s e s , and t h e y emphasize i t s use i n t r a i n i n g . They have t h e i n d u s t r i a l b a s e and t e c h n i c a l competence t o produce c h e m i c a l w a r f a r e a g e n t s , b u t i t i s n o t known i f t h e y h a v e s t o c k p i l e d l a r g e amounts. T h e r e i s no e v i d e n c e i n d i c a t i n g t h a t China h a s an o f f e n s i v e b i o l o g i c a l w a r f a r e c a p a b i l i t y . The ground f o r c e s a r e s e e n a s r e q u i r i n g m a j o r improvement i n s e v e r a l a r e a s i n c l u d i n g a n t i a r m o r weapons, p a r t i c u l a r l y a n t i t a n k g u i d e d m i s s i l e s ; t a c t i c a l a i r d e f e n s e weapons, i n c l u d i n g m o b i l e m i s s i l e s and r a d a r - d i r e c t e d , rapid-fire g u n s ; and g e n e r a l t r a n s p o r t f o r equipment and t r o o p s . A i r Force 4. C h i n a ' s A i r F o r c e h a s around 6 , 0 0 0 combat a i r c r a f t . It i s s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d , however, by a l a c k o f modern p l a n e s and s o p h i s t i c a t e d weapons. It i s p r i m a r i l y a d e f e n s i v e f o r c e s , and i t s a i r c r a f t a r e b a s e d on S o v i e t technology. Only a v e r y s m a l l p e r c e n t a g e o f t h e r o u g h l y 4,500 a i r d e f e n s e f i g h t e r s a r e MIG-21s; t h e r e m a i n d e r a r e MIG-19s o r o l d e r m o d e l s . The a i r f o r c e h a s a b o u t 1 , 0 0 0 t a c t i c a l bombers; some 400 a r e C h i n e s e d e s i g n e d F-9 f i g h t e r bombers, and a n o t h e r 450 a r e IL-28 l i g h t bombers of Soviet design. A l l have r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t r a n g e s and s m a l l bomb l o a d s ( i n comparison w i t h U.S. a i r c r a f t and late-model Soviet planes). China's 90 TU-16s c a n be used i n a s t r a t e g i c r o l e , b u t t h e y a r e n o t known t o have air-to-surface m i s s i l e s and e l e c t r o n i c c o u n t e r m e a s u r e equipment and a r e h i g h l y v u l n e r a b l e t o modern i n t e r c e p t o r s and s u r f a c e - t o - a i r missiles. Few C h i n e s e combat a i r c r a f t have t h e g e a r r e q u i r e d f o r combat d u r i n g adverse weather. China m a n u f a c t u r e s MIG-19s, MIG-2ls, IL-28s, F-9s and TU-16s. It h a s produced o v e r h a l f o f t h e MIG-21s i n i t s i n v e n t o r y , b u t m a n u f a c t u r i n g p r o b l e m s , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h t h e e n g i n e s , have c a u s e d t h e MIG-21 program t o p r o c e e d haltingly. Britain. I n l a t e 1975 China b r o u g h t Spey j e t e n g i n e s and t e c h n o l o g y from These presumably w i l l improve C h i n a ' s a e r o n a u t i c a l i n d u s t r y , ~y t h e m i d d l e o f t h e 1 9 8 0 s , b u t u n t i l t h e n t h e A i r F o r c e must r e l y on t h e t e c h n o l o g y and p r o d u c t i o n i t now h a s . The Spey e n g i n e i s n o t s u i t a b l e f o r u s e i n t h e MIG-21 a s i t i s c u r r e n t l y c o n f i g u r e d . 5. A i r Defense The ground-based a i r d e f e n s e s c o n s i s t o f t h o u s a n d s o f a n t i a i r c r a f t guns and s e v e r a l hundred s u r f a c e - t o - a i r of t h e S o v i e t SA-2). m i s s i l e l a u n c h e r s ( t h e CSA-1, a v e r s i o n These d e f e n s e s a r e t h o u g h t t o be deployed p r i m a r i l y around u r b a n and i n d u s t r i a l c e n t e r s and c r i t i c a l m i l i t a r y f a c i l i t i e s . C h i n a ' s a i r s u r v e i l l a n c e network p r o v i d e s some e a r l y warning c o v e r a g e a t medium and h i g h a l t i t u d e s b u t h a s many g a p s a t low a l t i t u d e s . The couunand and c o n t r o l s y s t e m i s i n e f f i c i e n t , and i t s p e r s o n n e l l a c k e x p e r i e n c e i n o p e r a t i n g i n an e l e c t r o n i c c o u n t e r m e a s u r e e n v i r o n m e n t . i s h i g h l y v u l n e r a b l e t o low-level The c o u n t r y p e n e t r a t i o n by a l a r g e f o r c e o f modern a i r c r a f t , e s p e c i a l l y during adverse weather. By v i r t u e o f t h e i r numbers, however, t h e C h i n e s e f i g h t e r s ( i n c o m b i n a t i o n w i t h ground-based a i r defenses) c o u l d i n f l i c t s i g n i f i c a n t c a s u a l t i e s ( g i v e n t i m e and good w e a t h e r ) o n enemy a i r c r a f t f l y i n g a t low t o medium a l t i t u d e . 6. Navy A l r e a d y an e f f e c t i v e c o a s t a l d e f e n s e f o r c e , t h e 350,000-man Navy i s b e g i n n i n g a t r a n s i t i o n t o a deep-water force. North S e a , E a s t Sea and South Sea F l e e t s . It i s organized i n t o t h e Each h a s b o t h s u r f a c e s h i p s and submarines assigned t o i t . The Navy h a s more t h a n 2,000 v e s s e l s , i n c l u d i n g h u n d r e d s o f c o a s t a l p a t r o l c r a f t , a number o f amphibious s h i p s and l a n d i n g c r a f t , o v e r 200 The Navy h a s o n l y 38 m a j o r m i s s i l e b o a t s and s e v e r a l hundred a u x i l i a r i e s . s u r f a c e w a r s h i p s , t h e l a r g e s t of which a r e d e s t r o y e r s . Most o f t h e s e s u r - f a c e s h i p s a r e armed w i t h S t y x ( S o v i e t ) a n t i s h i p c r u i s e m i s s i l e s , b u t t h e y depend on t h e i r guns f o r a n t i a i r c r a f t p r o t e c t i o n . Of t h e Navy's 99 o p e r a t i o n a l s u b m a r i n e s , a l l b u t two a r e d i e s e l - p o w e r e d torpedo a t t a c k submarines. One i s an o l d G-class m o d i f i e d i n t o a t e s t p l a t f o r m f o r C h i n a ' s SLBM. The o t h e r one i s a Han- a t t a c k s u b m a r i n e t h a t was l a u n c h e d i n 1970. c l a s s nuclear-powered second Han-class submarine, a p p a r e n t l y A submarine i s now s a i d t o be u n d e r g o i n g s e a t r i a l s . Over t h e l a s t s e v e r a l y e a r s , n a v a l s h i p b u i l d i n g and m a r i t i m e o p e r a t i o n s h a v e d e m o n s t r a t e d P e k i n g ' s i n t e n t i o n t o p r o j e c t t h e Navy's p r e s e n c e beyond c o a s t a l w a t e r s . I n a d d i t i o n t o b u i l d i n g m i s s i l e b o a t s and sub- m a r i n e s f o r c o a s t a l d e f e n s e , t h e C h i n e s e have expanded t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n of l a r g e s u r f a c e w a r s h i p s , i n c l u d i n g d e s t r o y e r s ( t h e L u t a c l a s s ) and f r i g a t e s ( t h e Kiang-hu c l a s s ) . distant operations. They a l s o a r e working on n a v a l s u p p o r t s h i p s f o r I n t h e p a s t few y e a r s C h i n e s e o c e a n o g r a p h i c r e s e a r c h s h i p s have c o n d u c t e d long-range c r u i s e s t o t h e southwest P a c i f i c , c o l l e c t i n g t e c h n i c a l d a t a needed t o o p e r a t e i n t h e open o c e a n . Chinese naval s h i p s a r e seen a s having major shortcomings i n a n t i s u b m a r i n e w a r f a r e and a i r d e f e n s e . T h e i r o b s o l e s c e n t ASW d e t e c t i o n equipment and weapons s y s t e m a r e r e a s o n a b l y e f f e c t i v e i n s h a l l o w c o a s t a l w a t e r s b u t u n s a t i s f a c t o r y i n t h e open o c e a n . For a i r d e f e n s e , t h e s h i p s must depend on t h e i r g u n s , u n l e s s t h e y a r e w i t h i n r a n g e o f s h o r e - b a s e d planes. C. Modernization China i s w e l l aware o f i t s m i l i t a r y s h o r t c o m i n g s and s i n c e a b o u t 1975 h a s renewed i t s e f f o r t s t o improve and modernize i t s armed f o r c e s . The long-term program p l a c e s emphasis b o t h on improving t h e q u a l i t y and combat s k i l l s o f t r o o p s and on a c q u i r i n g modern arms. The C h i n e s e can- n o t d e v e l o p s o p h i s t i c a t e d weapons q u i c k l y , and t h e y a l m o s t c e r t a i n l y f o r e s e e a g r a d u a l weakening r e l a t i v e t o t h e S o v i e t s u n l e s s t h e y b e g i n arming t h e i r f o r c e s w i t h modern weapons. Therefore, t h e Chinese a r e i n t e r e s t e d i n b u y i n g advanced c o n v e n t i o n a l weapons and r e l a t e d t e c h n o l o g y from t h e West. They c a n n o t a f f o r d t o buy e v e r y t h i n g t h e y n e e d , however, and have a d o p t e d an a p p a r e n t s t r a t e g y o f b u y i n g l i m i t e d q u a n t i t i e s o f modern equipment o u t r i g h t , and i n a d d i t i o n a c q u i r i n g t h e t e c h n o l o g y and l i c e n s i n g r i g h t s t o produce and d e v e l o p them d o m e s t i c a l l y . The C h i n e s e seem most e a g e r t o p r o c u r e such equipment a s a n t i - t a n k missiles, anti-aircraft missiles, a i r c r a f t , anti-ship missiles, antisubmarine w a r f a r e equipment and d i e s e l m a r i n e e n g i n e s , b u t few d e a l s a r e known t o have been c o m p l e t e d . P u r c h a s e s o f Western m i l i t a r y equipment a r e u n l i k e l y t o have any m a j o r impact on C h i n a ' s f o r c e c a p a b i l i t i e s s o o n . China would need many y e a r s t o f i e l d modern weapons i n l a r g e numbers, t o e s t a b l i s h a s u p p o r t s t r u c t u r e t o s u s t a i n them, and t o t r a i n p e r s o n n e l i n t h e i r operation. Because most o f t h e weapons t h e y a r e s e e k i n g a r e u n l i k e any t h e y now h a v e , t h e Chinese would need t o make major changes i n t h e i r f o r c e s t r u c t u r e b e f o r e they could e f f e c t i v e l y i n t e g r a t e t h e weapons i n t o o p e r a t i o n a l u n i t s . U n i t s s t a t i o n e d a l o n g t h e S i n o - S o v i e t b o r d e r would l i k e l y g e t t h e new weapons f i r s t . Modern weapons would enhance t h e i r e f f e c t i v e n e s s ; b u t no s i n g l e c o n v e n t i o n a l weapon s y s t e m would s i g n i f i c a n t l y change t h e c u r r e n t m i l i t a r y s i t u a t i o n on t h e S i n o - S o v i e t b o r d e r . 11. The S i n o - S o v i e t M i l i t a r y B a l a n c e China h a s i d e n t i f i e d t h e S o v i e t Union a s i t s most d a n g e r o u s p o t e n t i a l adversary. Both c o u n t r i e s m a i n t a i n a s u b s t a n t i a l p o r t i o n of t h e i r f o r c e s a l o n g t h e b o r d e r ; b o t h k e e p t h e i r f o r c e s i n an e s s e n t i a l l y d e f e n s i v e p o s t u r e ; and a c o n v e n t i o n a l war would b e r i s k y and c o s t l y f o r both. C h i n e s e c o n v e n t i o n a l f o r c e s c o u l d make o n l y s h a l l o w i n c u r s i o n s i n t o Soviet t e r r i t o r y . S o v i e t f o r c e s and s t r o n g f i x e d d e f e n s e s a r e c a p a b l e of h a l t i n g an i n v a s i o n . S o v i e t t r o o p s i n v a d i n g China would meet f o r c e s t h a t a r e o r g a n i z e d , e q u i p p e d and d e p l o y e d f o r a n o n n u c l e a r defense. The Chinese a r e s e e n a s h a v i n g a r e a s o n a b l e c h a n c e o f s t a l e - m a t i n g a S o v i e t c o n v e n t i o n a l a t t a c k b e f o r e i t r e a c h e d t h e N o r t h China plain. Should h o s t i l i t i e s e s c a l a t e t o t h e u s e o f n u c l e a r weapons, China would b e no match f o r t h e USSR. Nonetheless, i f they could launch t h e i r n u c l e a r f o r c e s , t h e Chinese could d e v a s t a t e t h e S o v i e t s ' urban support b a s e s i n t h e F a r E a s t and make i t d i f f i c u l t f o r s u r v i v i n g S o v i e t m i l i t a r y forces t o sustain operations. A. Ground F o r c e s The Chinese have p o s i t i o n e d a b o u t 1 . 5 m i l l i o n men i n t h e f o u r m i l i t a r y regions adjacent t o the border. Most o f t h e t r o o p s a r e i n f a n t r y - - a r o u n d i O O d i v i s i o n s ; t h e t a n k d i v i s i o n s i n t h e a r e a number n i n e . t h e combat u n i t s a r e f u l l y manned and e q u i p p e d . Virtually a l l Most o f them a r e l o c a t e d n e a r t h e f i r s t d e f e n s i b l e t e r r a i n w e l l back from t h e b o r d e r . The USSR m a i n t a i n s o v e r 400,000 men ( a b o u t a q u a r t e r o f t h e S o v i e t ground f o r c e s ) i n t h e b o r d e r d i s t r i c t s and i n Mongolia. Most o f t h e 40-odd d i v i s i o n s a r e m o t o r i z e d r i f l e u n i t s w i t h s u b s t a n t i a l amounts o f armor; t h e y h a v e more t h a n 1 0 , 0 0 0 t a n k s . Many o f t h e S o v i e t d i v i s i o n s ( u n l i k e t h e C h i n e s e ) a r e under s t r e n g t h . The S o v i e t s c o u l d i n c r e a s e t h e i r combat f o r c e s t o a b o u t 1 m i l l i o n men by f u l l y m o b i l i z i n g t h e i r r e s o u r c e s i n t h e F a r E a s t a l o n e . They probably could n o t begin major o f f e n s i v e operations f o r a t l e a s t a week, and f u l l m o b i l i z a t i o n of t h e s u p p o r t s t r u c t u r e would t a k e l o n g e r . B. A i r F o r c e s and A i r Defense The C h i n e s e e n j o y an edge i n t h e number o f combat a i r c r a f t a l o n g t h e b o r d e r b u t most S o v i e t a i r c r a f t a r e f a r s u p e r i o r t o and b e t t e r armed t h a n t h o s e o f C h i n a , and S o v i e t p i l o t s r e c e i v e more t r a i n i n g . The S o v i e t s a l s o have armed h e l i c o p t e r s t h a t would p r o v i d e f i r e s u p p o r t t o ground f o r c e u n i t s , w h i l e t h e Chinese have n o t h i n g c o m p a r a b l e . S o v i e t ground f o r c e u n i t s have one o f t h e most e f f e c t i v e a r r a y o f a i r d e f e n s e weapons i n t h e w o r l d . The number, d i v e r s i t y and s o p h i s t i c a - t i o n o f t h e i r a i r d e f e n s e m i s s i l e s and guns would i n f l i c t heavy l o s s e s on any C h i n e s e a i r a t t a c k . Chinese ground f o r c e s must depend on a l a r g e number o f f i g h t e r p l a n e s and towed a n t i a i r c r a f t guns f o r d e f e n s e . Over t i m e , C h i n e s e f i g h t e r s and ground-based a i r d e f e n s e s c o u l d t a k e a s i g n i f i c a n t t o l l on enemy a i r c r a f t , b u t t h e S o v i e t s s t i l l c o u l d e s t a b l i s h local a i r superiority. C. S i n o - S o v i e t B o r d e r War The t h r e a t o f war between China and t h e USSR h a s d i m i s h e d s i n c e t h e b o r d e r c l a s h e s and S o v i e t s h i n t s o f p r e e m p t i v e n u c l e a r s t r i k e i n 1969. Although a g r a d u a l S o v i e t m i l i t a r y b u i l d u p i n t h e F a r E a s t h a s b e e n o n g o i n g s i n c e t h e e a r l y 1 9 6 0 ' ~i t~ a p p a r e n t l y was n o t viewed i n Peking a s a s e r i o u s t h r e a t o r a s i g n i f i c a n t a l t e r a t i o n o f t h e f o r c e s balance. Peking a p p e a r e d c o n t e n t t o c o n t i n u e t h e i d e o l o g i c a l war of words, n o t f e a r i n g t h a t t h i n g s might d e t e r i o r a t e i n t o a m i l i t a r y confrontation. They g e n u i n e l y seemed t o h a v e b e e n c a u g h t o f f g u a r d when t h e b o r d e r s k i r m i s h e s e s c a l a t e d , and t h e t h r e a t o f a m a j o r war w i t h t h e S o v i e t Union loomed l a r g e . Once t h e s e r i o u s n e s s o f t h e t h r e a t was r e c o g n i z e d , however, Peking moved q u i c k l y t o a m e l i o r a t e t h e s i t u a t i o n and r e d u c e t e n s i o n s . The f i r s t s t e p was t o a g r e e t o f a c e - t o - f a c e talks w i t h t h e S o v i e t s a t t h e Peking a i r p o r t i n September 1969. Almost i m m e d i a t e l y t h e r e a f t e r a r e o r i e n t a t i o n o f t h e PLA commenced greatly strengthening the northern border. These moves s h i f t e d t h e f o c u s o f t h e PLA's d e f e n s e s from seaward a p p r o a c h e s t o t h e c o n c e p t o f a l l around d e f e n s e . I n t h e p r o c e s s a l a r g e number of f o r c e s were r e p o s i t i o n e d , new u n i t s e s t a b l i s h e d , and t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f m i l i t a r y weapons and e q u i p ment i n c r e a s e d d r a m a t i c a l l y . I n 1971 P e k i n g ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e imminence o f h o s t i l i t i e s a p p e a r e d t o have b e e n s h a r p l y r e d u c e d , however. The f r a n t i c p a c e o f d e v e l o p m e n t s o f t h e e a r l i e r p e r i o d was r e p l a c e d by programs d e s i g n e d f o r t h e l o n g haul-a l b e i t i n a new t h r e a t environment--and preparations. c o n t i n u e d improvement on i t s m i l i t a r y I n a r e l a t e d development t h e b e g i n n i n g s o f a new e r a i n Sino-United S t a t e s r e l a t i o n s dawned t h a t e v e n t u a l l y would l e a d t o t h e d r a m a t i c b r e a k t h r o u g h i n 1972 a t S h a n g h a i . The PLA i s much b e t t e r p r e p a r e d t o d e a l w i t h a S o v i e t c o n v e n t i o n a l a t t a c k t o d a y t h a n i t was i n 1969, b u t would s u f f e r from d i s t i n c t d i s a d v a n t a g e s on a n u c l e a r o r c h e m i c a l b a t t l e f i e l d . I n a c o n v e n t i o n a l war t h e C h i n e s e p r o b a b l y c o u l d s t o p a S o v i e t o f f e n s i v e b e f o r e a l l of Manchuria was l o s t . On t h e o t h e r hand, a PLA c o u n t e r o f f e n s i v e t o d i s l o d g e t h e USSR from C h i n e s e t e r r i t o r y p r o b a b l y would a l s o f a i l . l e a d i n g t o a war o f a t t r i t i o n would f a v o r t h e C h i n e s e . Such a s t a l e m a t e Any S o v i e t a t t e m p t t o occupy and p a c i f y a h o s t i l e t e r r i t o r y v i r t u a l l y t h e s i z e o f Western Europe would s u r e l y pose a l m o s t i n s u r m o u n t a b l e d i f f i c u l t and l e a d t o a m a s s i v e d r a i n on S o v i e t manpower and r e s o u r c e s . The S o v i e t p o s t u r e a l o n g t h e b o r d e r s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e r e a r e many s i m i l a r i t i e s between c o n t i n g e n c y p l a n n i n g f o r war i n Europe and t h e Far East. That i s , a f i r s t c a m p a i g n - - l a s t i n g a p p r o x i m a t e l y 60 days-- would c o n c e n t r a t e on r a p i d l y o v e r r u n n i n g t h e n o r t h e r n h a l f o f Manchuria w h i l e a l e s s e r f o r c e marched i n t o C h i n a ' s n o r t h w e s t e r n p r o v i n c e , Sinkiang. F o r c e s p u s h i n g s o u t h from Manchuria would l i n k up w i t h a f o r c e from Mongolia s p e e d i n g toward Peking i n a second 60-day campaign capt u r i n g a l l of North China i n a s t r a t e g i c p i n c e r s movement. To b l u n t s u c h a S o v i e t o f f e n s i v e , t h e PLA h a s c o u n t e r e d w i t h a defense i n depth. Along m a j o r avenues of a p p r o a c h on t h e f i r s t d e f e n - s i b l e t e r r a i n , l o c a l f o r c e u n i t s would l i k e l y engage i n p o s i t i o n a l o r trench warfare. Once t h e s e o b s t a c l e s were overcome, S o v i e t f o r c e s would e n c o u n t e r e v e r i n c r e a s i n g numbers o f C h i n a ' s b e s t main f o r c e d i v i s i o n s . Although t h e S o v i e t s p r o b a b l y would o v e r r u n t h e d i v i s i o n s t h e y met on t h e Manchurian p l a i n , t h e b u l k o f t h e PLA would r e m a i n uncommitted i n t e r r a i n move f a v o r a b l e t o t h e l e s s m o b i l e C h i n e s e u n i t s i n s o u t h e r n Manchuria. It i s n e c e s s a r y t o d i s l o d g e t h e s e u n i t s b e f o r e t h e n e c e s s a r y l i n k u p of f o r c e s i s a c h i e v e d i n t h e a l l i m p o r t a n t second campaign. Moreover, t h e t i m e e l a p s e d would g i v e t h e C h i n e s e t i m e t o draw down f o r c e s from o t h e r a r e a s and move them t o s t a g i n g and r e s e r v e p o s i t i o n s farther north. The outcome of t h e a i r war i n such a c o n f l i c t i s o f c o u r s e a c r u c i a l variable. I n an a l l o u t c o n t e s t f o r a i r s u p e r i o r i t y , t h e S o v i e t s sophi- s t i c a t e d a i r c r a f t and c o m p a r a t i v e l y b e t t e r t r a i n e d p i l o t s would o f f s e t China's numerical advantage. P e k i n g a p p e a r s t o r e a l i z e t h i s , and t h u s , i f p o s s i b l e , would a v o i d c o n f r o n t i n g d i r e c t l y S o v i e t a i r p o w e r . Instead, t h e C h i n e s e a p p a r e n t l y p l a n t o husband t h e i r r e s o u r c e s a s l o n g a s p o s s i b l e and a t t a c k o n l y when t h e y b e l i e v e t h e odds a r e f a v o r a b l e o r when d i c t a t e d b y a r e q u i r e m e n t t o s u p p o r t ground o p e r a t i o n s . 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