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February 20, 1972 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1972-02-20

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Number.57 Night Editor: Pat Bauer

Sunday, February 20, 1972

rn E NIXON VISIT to Peking is being
treated in this country like a television
spectacular, roughly equivalent to the moon
landing of July, 1989. The advance ballyhoo
for the Nixon trip has, however, been on a
_much larger scale, and the couple of weeks
leading up to D-day are increasingly filled
on the tube with various "specials" on China
at backdrops for the Presidential junket,
complete with shots of Kissinger walking the
great Wall.
Tiresome as this may ie to some, it may
not be wholly inappropriate, since the ma-
jor and maybe the only significance of Nix-
on's visit is symbolic. And, this may be
equally true from the Chinese point of view.
Is is certainly important that an American
president is going to China, especially after
the history of the past 23 years.
The United States now officially acknow-
ledges not only China's existence, but the
legitimacy, permanence, and major import-
ance of the People's Republic, important






Ever since President Nixon announced last August that he
would visit the People's Republic of China, attention has fo-
cused on the novelty of the event. Here five University schol
ars debate what concrete results of the trip might be.

enough that the President himself must
make a state visit. The public relations bal-
lyhoo in this country is one way to make up
for lost time-23 years of it-during which
all of these things were true but few people
here knew or recognized them.
Suddenly the American people have to be
educated, if not up to the level of most of
the rest of the world in this respect, then at
least subjected to a crash course. Nixon too
is reportedly being given special instruction;
presumably he knows where China is, but is
being coached in a few phrases of the lan-
guage and provided with some elementary.
IT IS EASY to make fun of all these
things, and there is no reason to dignify the
absurdities inherent in the effort somehow
to reconcile what America wants to think
now with what it wanted to think, or not

Center for

Murphey, professor of Chinese
is Director of the University's
Chinese Studies.

to think, before. But eleventh-hour recogni-
tion of reality is better than none at all,
and may require as well as deserve special
What is significant is the recognition it-
self, and its symbolic manifestation in the
much-buzzed-about visit. It does not detract
from the genuine importance of this event
to say that one should expect very little if
any specific or immediate results from it.
All the Americans and the Chinese have
agreed to do is to meet and to talk, now on
the highest and most public level with full
benefit of television, as opposed to the pri-
vate but nevertheless official talks which
have taken place off and on at Warsaw and
elsewhere for years.
It is not easy to see more than a very few
things about which they could talk with
much hope of quick agreement. The Chinese
have made clear on repeated occasions their
fundamental objection to the ring of U.S.
bases and military establishments surround-
ing them to the east and southeast, from
Korea through Japan and Okinawa to For-
mosa, Indochina, and Thailand.
Although some adjustments may more or
less easily be made in the U.S. military es-
tablishment in Formosa, it seems at best un-
likely that Nixon is prepared to discuss for
the present comparable shifts in the rest of
the grand American military design in the
western Pacific and Southeast Asia. It is
equally unlikely that the Chinese can ac-
cept American blandishments about the
"peaceful" purpose of this vast array of
military power on China's doorstep.



Realism to replace


-Japanese chill

There is little basis for bargaining, since
China has no troops or bases outside its own
territory, and can hardly be expected to take
an indifferent position (short of armed in-
tervention) on the outcome of political or
military struggles in areas adjacent or close
to its borders: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cam-
bodia, and Thailand, where American forces'
and equipment are involved on a vast scale.
HOWEVER, ONE MUST begin somewhere,
and the talks in Peking will doubtless in-
clude some mention of all of these matters.
It would hardly be possible for Nixon to go
there without at least going through the mo-
tions of discussing concrete issues, which is
what Kissinger tried to work out with the

Chinese on his previous visits.
These preparations have, one hopes, laid'
things out in such a way as to minimize the
chances that Nixon will blow it, or that dis-
ruptive or unforseen issues will come up
which could allow the talks to degenerate
into a slanging match. They will probably
not be genuine negotiating sessions except
perhaps on small matters, but opportunities
for what is usually referred to as "exchange
of views", which is no doubt what the com-,
muniques will say.
Their real importance will lie in the fact
that the American president has come to,
Peking, recognizing that he can no longer
sweep China under the rug or deal with it
simply as a faceless "enemy". From such a

symbolic beginning, concrete results may la-
ter come.
They will be slow, given the well-estab-
lished American posture in Asia and its in
compatibility with the Chinese interest,. but
it is likely that they will ultimately include
mutual diplomatic recognition, perhaps some
relatively small-scale trade agreements, and
special provisions for cultural exchanges.
Cultural exchange is primarily symbolic, in-
volves few major commitments or conces-
sions, is certain to be popular, and is seen by
each side as helping its image.
It is possible that some such exchanges
may be announced before Nixon leaves Pe-
king, including perhaps the date for the re-
See THE TRIP, Page 7


'F' VAT ARE NixoNS reasons for going to
China? Andre Malraux, among others,
has attributed the trip to a "dream of his-
torie destiny." Whatever visions of bronze
monunents to his statesmanship that have
sustained Nixon in his project, hard political
'need for the trip--what makes the Adminis-
tration willing to accept risks and pay costa
-arises from the Indochina War. It is the
resistance of popular movements in Indo-
china to U.S. power and the inability of U.S.
policies to defeat them that make the trip
so crucial to Nixon. According to my reading
of the situation, he wishes to create an at-
mosphere in East Asia, via talks in Peking,
that would be conducive to an Indochinese
settlement on his terms. As a minimum, he
hopes to distract Americans from his Indo-
chinese failures as we get deeper into the
election year,
But criticism of Nixon's trip by leading
foreign affairs pundits, like George Ball,
William Bundy, and Edwin Reischauer, have
focused not on the Indochinese heart of the
matter, but on passible damage to U.S. rela-
tions with Japan. Surely Nixon's China trip,
ilong with his economic policies, has been
a grievous blow to the Japanese government.
The resulting resentment and possible
changes in Japanese policy are some of the
costs that Nixon seems willing to pay in or-
der to reap the calculated gains from the
trip. Ball, Bundy, Reischauer, et al., are hor-
rified. Are there good reasons why Ameri-
cans generally should share their distress?
I would argue that there are not.
The main point to bear in mind is that
the policy of the Japanese government to-
ward China (in brief, favoring Taipei over
Peking), does not reflect the preferences of
the Japanese population. Nor has it for the
last twenty years. There may have been
some short-lived irritation at the way the
Nixon trip was announced (the Japanese
government heard only minutes before it
was public) but the response in virtually all
parts of the society except the government
Ernest Young, professor of Chinese his-
tory, is a specialist in Sino-Japanese relations.

Indochina: Nixon's tri4will solve nothing

Kissinger and Chou
has ranged from mildly favorable to enthu-
THE CHINA POLICY of the Japanese
government was written for it by John Fos-
ter Dulles in the early fifties and then bur-
eaucratically and politically internalized in
conservative government circles. Elections
were won and lost on other issues. In any
case, the Japanese government could justify
its unpopular China policy on grounds that
America, Japan's senior ally, insisted. The
present Prime Minister, Sato Eisaku, actu-
ally needed no pushing from the U.S. He
went further in political involvement with
the Taipei government than any of his pre-
decessors. Nixon's turn-about was profound-
ly embarrassing. In effect, Sato's cover was
blown. For the first time he had to defend
See JAPAN, Page 5

PRESIDENT NIXON has continually
sought to project the image of a great
innovator in foreign policy, claiming to have
taken the initiative in several problem areas.
In particular, he emphasizes the warming of
relations with China as the principal "break-
through" of his adminstration's foreign pol-
In the 1968 presidential campaign, Nixon
pledged to end the Vietnam War-a feat
accomplished by enlarging it into an Indo-
china War. Throughout his administration,
Nixon has deemphasized the importance of
the Paris talks, meaning he has put a low
value on direct negotiations with the Viet-
namese to end the conflict.
Now in the last month we have learned
that secret negotiations have actually been
occuring throughout the period. But by blow-
ing Kissinger's cover, Nixon has again ex-
ploded chances for direct negotiations. Is he
seeking to end the War through the media-
tion of a third party which has been a prin-
cipal supporter of the Indochinese peoples,
namely China? If so, how does the China
trip fit into this? Furthermore, what is the
Chinese response likely to be?
In 1954 China was a participant in the
Geneva Conference on Indochina which was
supposed to settle the Indochina War by
temporarily splitting Vietnam and guaran-
teeing elections to unify Vietnam within two
years. U.S. support for the Diem government
in the South, however, prevented such elec-
tions from taking place with at least the
Rich Levy and Les Ross are Political Sci-
ence teaching fellows and members of the
Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars.

saw talks for a period of months. The Chi-
nese reaction to the invasion would seem to
indicate that at this point the Chinese con-
sidered support of the Indochinese peoples
to have a higher priority than improving re-
lations with the United States. In addition,
the Chinese probably interpreted the blatant
expansion of the war beyond the borders of
Vietnam by the United States as a new
threat to their own territory.
The net effect of the invasion of Cam-
bodia and the switch in emphasis from a
ground war to an air war together with in-
creasing political dissent in the United States
probably convinced the Chinese that the U.S.
could only hope to postpone eventual defeat
in Indochina at the hands of the Indochi-
nese peoples themselves.
The Nixon Administration's Vietnamiza-
tion policy also apparently posed no threat
to China's southern provinces. Thus, an im-
provement in Sino-American relations would
increase the security of China's territory
from American attacks without, in their
view, jeopardizing the final victory of the
Indochinese peoples.
At this point a series of small steps were
taken by the two governments to improve
relations between the two countries. Among
these were the Chinese invitation to the U.S.
ping-pong team to visit China and the lift-
ing by the United States of variousk restric-
tions on travel and trade with China. This
favorable response by the U.S. government
was in marked contrast to its behavior in


U. S. S. R.d
Arrives Peking Feb. 21
Then Visits Shanghai
and Han gchow


tacit agreement of the U.S. government.
In addition, the Soviet Union in early
1967 offered to serve as a go-between in, ar-
ranging a settlement of the war. As the
Pentagon ' Papers have disclosed, however,
this country wasn't very interested in a ne-
gotiated settlement of the war at the time.
U.S. actions, including bombing Hanoi dur-
ing Kosygin's visit, doomed the Soviet effort
to failure and led instead to increased So-
viet aid and support for the Vietnamese.
THE CHINESE HAVE NOT, however, pub-
licly indicated any willingness to serve in the
role of U.S. errand boy. In fact, in an inter-
view last summer, Premier Chou En-lai dis-
avowed the possibility of the Chinese acting
in a capacity similar to their role in Geneva
in 1954. If we can rule out any likelihood
of the Chinese pressuring the Vietnamese on
behalf of the U.S., what led the Chinese to
invite Nixon? What 'common interests do
the United States and China share?
In January 1969, as the Cultural Revolu-
tion drew to a close, Nixon's inauguration
was greeted by a Chinese government state-
ment suggesting the possibility of an im-
provement in Sino-American relations. This
Chinese initiative was subsequently reaf-
firmed at the joint ambassadorial talks in
Warsaw. In the period extending from early
1969 to May 1970, the ambassadors contin-
ued with low-level publicity to discuss im-
provements in relations between the two
The Chinese initiatives may well be seen
as a result of internal Chinese developments.
The Cultural Revolution enabled the Chinese
to make a thorough reevaluation of their
foreign nolicy. As- the Cultural Revolution
brouaht the Chinese a greater understanding
of the anals of their own revolution and its

Taiwan stance normalie

-Associated Press
flicts over the demarcation of China's nor-
thern border and disagreements over ob-
jectives in the Vietnam War. The Chinese
have, however, vehemently denied the valid-
ity of this theory. These denials notwith-
standing, the Chinese continue at present to
build air raid shelters as protection against
a possible Soviet attack.
THE CHINESE, HOWEVER, as a reaction
to the joint U.S.-South Vietnamese inva-
sion of Cambodia, put an end to the growing
U.S-China dialogue by cancelling the War-


The following are exerpis from a Daily
interview with political science Prof. Allen
Whiting, long a well-known China scholar
who will be doing network television com-
nentary on Nixon's trip. Here Whiting com-
ments on U.S.-Taiwanese relations.
DAILY: You have said that only if we
cease all hostile operations involving t h e
Chinese Nationalists, whether from Taiwan
and the off-shore islands or elsewhere in
Asia, can there be real hope for a successful
"journey of peace." Specifically, what U.S.
involvement would have to stop, andi how
far will Nixon, in view of his past state-
ments,, go toward meeting these require-
WHITING: If normalization of relations
is to be achieved and the U.S. is genuinely
innere in its statement that the future dis-

where in the arc of Asia extending from
the Republic of Korea to/India.
Such activities have continued from the
early years of the Korean War at least until
1971, although newspaper reports claim they
are being discontinued piecemeal in the
past year. President Nixon seems determin-
ed to achieve his main objective of norm-
alized relations with the People's Republic
and therefore is likely to phase these other
activities, overt and covert, out of operation
in the foreseeable future . .
The Taiwan question is central to U.S.-
Chinese relations and therefore is certain to
be discussed in Peking. In fact it is the only
major problem which does not involve third
countries and therefore has the least re-
striction on either side.
DAILY: How popular is the Chigng re-
gime among Taiwanese and mainlanders on
Formosa"? Would there be lasting onnosition

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