Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping (Teng Hsaio-ping) said today that China is willing to use American equipment on Chinese soil to monitor Soviet compliance with a proposed new arms limitation treaty, according to U.S. senators visiting Peking.
Deng's statement, in response to a question from Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), made clear that the monitoring stations would have to be run by Chinese and that Peking would share the collected data with Washington.
U.S. ability to monitor adequately Soviet compliance with a new strategic arms limitation pact, reported to be nearly ready to be sent to the Senate for debate, has become a crucial issue since the new government in Tehran forced the shutdown of sophisticated electronic monitoring posts manned by Americans on Iranian soil.
Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho), leader of the Senate delegation visiting Peking, said, "We'd have to pursue the matter further" when asked his reaction to the Deng statement.
Church, outlining in a telephone interview from Peking this morning's conversation with Deng, said the vice premier was "very definite in the way he expressed his displeasure" at recent U.S. congressional guarantees to Taiwand and suggestions that the United States might consider holding joint military exercises with the Nationalist Chinese-held island.
"He was very strong saying this is a violation of the agreement," Church said, referring to U.S. agreement to withdraw its forces and cut all official ties with Taiwan in return for full diplomatic relations with Peking.
When a member of the delegation asked if U.S. naval forces would be allowed to call at Chinese ports, Church >See CHINA, A23, Col. 1> >CHINA, From A1> said Deng replied that previously Peking would have "welcomed them tomorrow," but in light of the recent congressional actions and suggestions of maneuvers with Taiwan "this was a matter that would have to be studied."
Church said he did not think it likely that joint U.S.-Taiwan maneuvers would be carried out, although U.S. government spokesmen have declined to rule them out. Deng also warned that the United States "should be very careful about the military equipment it sells to Taiwan," Church said, in what he described as paraphrasing of Deng's remarks.
Washington insisted that it be allowed to continue to sell arms to Taiwan even after normalizing relations with Peking. The Chinese have objected verbally, on grounds that Taiwan is in their view a rebel province that must be brought back under mainland control. But they have tacitly accepted the U.S. insistence on guaranteeing Taiwan's military security. Further statements in recent congressional legislation endorsing that security however, have brought further official objections from Peking.
Church said Deng appeared to be saying the effect of such actions on Sino-american relations "could be very serious." He said Deng indicated the Chinese are "adopting a watchful waiting attitude and hoping we can proceed with expanded trade and cultural exchanges."
Church, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he and Sen. Jacob K. Javits of New York, the only Republican on the delegation, told Deng the Congress considered "there was nothing" in recent legislation on Taiwan that "ontradicted the understanding between our two governments."
When asked if the United States could set up monitoring bases along China's border with the Soviet Union to make up for the bases closed in Iran, Deng "made it very plain that American bases on Chinese territory would not be acceptable," Church said.
"He said if the United States wished to furnish the technology, and train the Chinese to use it, China could operate the stations and share the information," he added.
Deng's statement is somewhat surprising in light of China's regular propaganda attacks on the strategic arms limitation talks between Washington and Moscow. The Chinese press has argued that the two superpowers, particularly the Soviets, are bent on continuing the arms race and that arms limitation treaties are meaningless because they are full of loopholes.
Repeating earlier interest in U.S. arms, Deng said China would have the courage to buy advanced fighter air-craft from the United States if the United States had the courage to sell them. The Carter administration has ruled out such sales, however, and Church said he thought it unlikely this ban would be lifted.
Deng repeated China's willingness to wait for peaceful reunification with Taiwan. But he did not entirely rule out the use of force. Church said the vice premier mentioned two circumstances that might bring a mainland attack on Taiwan:
First, if the Nationalist government continued to reject all Peking overtures for talks and peaceful exchanges after several years's time or, second, if the Soviet Union became involved in Taiwan.
Deng said he assumed the United States would not object to Chinese intervention in the case of Soviet intrusion in the island.
Church said his delegation, one of three congressional groups in China today, would leave Friday. The other members are Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.) and Edward Zorinsky (D-Neb.).
Deng, in the meeting, also rejected the idea of an international conference in Indochina and advised the United States against recognizing Vietnam.
Chinese Vice Premier Fang Yi, meeting separately with U.S. corporate leaders visiting Peking, said China's current readjustment of its economic plan did not mean an end to purchases of foreign equipment. In a press conference, however, U.S. Ambasasador Leonard Woodcock said U.S.-China trade negotiations had slowed recently.