fifty years ago June 19, 1970 Archives

Veiled Signals from Peking

Veiled signals from Peking, indicating that China is interested in mending its fences with the U.S., as well as other countries, with whom its relationship has not been happy, have been seeping through to Washington in the last few days. The third round of U.S.-Chinese talks, since Mr. Nixon took office here [Washington], was to have been held in Warsaw last month [May] but the Chinese called off that meeting when the U.S. marched into Cambodia. According to a report in to-day [June 18]’s New York Times, the Chinese Premier, Mr. Chou-En-lai is reported to have recently told some East European diplomats in Peking that China looked forward to resuming contacts with the U.S. as soon as the Cambodian crisis quietened down. These East European diplomats also reported that Mr Chou seemed anxious to improve relations with countries everywhere — meaning possibly India also. U.S. officials who believe they detect an “increasing flexibility and agility” in Chinese foreign policy of late, interpret it as flowing from the Chinese anxiety to prevent the development of a U.S.-Soviet coalition directed against them. Peking, according to this thesis, is convinced that if it follows its old policy of doctrinaire rigidity that might result in the U.S. and Soviet Union drawing closer to each other impelled by their common hostility to China.

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