The United States should pursue "an equilibrium strategy" between the giants of international communism, avoiding a permanent tilt toward either the Peoples' Republic of China or the Soviet Union, a study committee on U.S.-China relations reported yesterday.
The 23-member panel of the United Nations Association, a private U.S. body, made its recommendations in a report given to Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance in a meeting Friday. The study panel was headed by William A. Hewitt, board chairman of Deere & Co., and included businessmen, members of Congress and Asian experts.
The panel recommended granting "most favored nation" trade status to China in order to partially correct the current imbalance of bilateral trade and expand future transactions. This action "should be accompanied by similar action regarding the Soviet Union in order to maintain a relatively even-handed posture toward the two countries," the group added.
The Carter administration has decided to move ahead toward granting trade benefits to China, but status of Soviet trade arrangement remains in doubt. The Russians have made it plain they will not provide explicit assurances about emigration policy that would pave the way for the administration to ask Congress to approve trade benefits under the Jackson-Vanik amendment.
Some panelists said they got the impression from Vance that the administration still expects to move ahead with "most favored nation" status for the Russians. State Department offials said the matter is still unresolved.
The panel recommended that the United States resist Chinese pressure to adopt a "united front" against the Soviet Union.
The United States should refrain from selling American weapons or technology of direct military use to China, but should not place obstacles in the way of arms sales to China by NATO allies, the group said. This is current U.S. policy.
At the same time, the study group recommended continuing U.S. sales of "defensive" weapons to Taiwan.
The panel said Chinese texts of Sino-American communiques distort the American position on Taiwan, and it recommended that the United States state its real position clearly to Peking. Chinese language statements, as cited by the panel, tend to imply that Washington agrees with Peking's stand about Taiway. The English text says only that the United States "acknowledges the Chinese position.