Ray Cline, a foreign policy adviser to President-elect Ronald Reagan, was accused in the official Chinese press today of "crudely interfering" in China's internal affairs by suggesting that Peking renounce use of force against Taiwan.
In a lengthy commentary by the official New China New Agency, Cline, a former CIA official who has been involved in the Reagan transition operation, was sharply criticized for remarks attributed to him at a press conference in Singapore last week. Cline has been on a tour of Asia and was scheduled to return to the United States yesterday.
Cline was quoted as saying in Singapore, "If quietly, tacitly they [the Chinese] stop emphasizing that they have the sovereign right to occupy Taiwan by force, that would be a more civilized norm of behavior."
Cline also is quoted in the commentary as recommending that Peking "open up the country to the outside world." Reports from other news agencies said he also suggested that China stop supporting communist insurgencies in Southeast Asia.
"China is an independent country and Taiwan is part of its territory," said today's New China News report. "It is hardly civilized behavior for an American to lecture a foreign country to open itself to the outside world and to attain national reunification in a way he deems fit."
The commentary said, "It is sadly uncivilized to bring mankind back to jungle law barbarism." Claiming that he had "crudely interfered" in China's affairs, the report concluded that Cline "has actually disgraced his own country by showing contempt for the norms of international relations."
As the sharpest attack on a member of the Reagan entourage since the U.S.
elections last month, the commentary renewed official Chinese concern that the incoming administration will show partiality toward the nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan.
Although Peking harshly criticized Reagan's campaign proposal to upgrade relations with Taiwan, Chinese leaders have dropped the issue since his election, maintaining instead that he is a "practical man" who realizes the global significance of good Sino-American relations.
In normalizing relations with China two years ago, the United States agreed to recognize Peking as the sole government of China, labeling its 30-year split with Taiwan as an internal matter for the two governments to resolve by themselves.
Today's New China News commentary also critized Cline for past statements on China, quoting him as saying at one time that China is too weak to assist Washington in deterring the Soviet Union.
"The Chinese on their part are a proud people, despite their apparent poverty," said the commentary. "They have not the habit of currying favor with or bending their knees to any foreign power. And they know how to deal with those who try to provoke them and show disdain for their national feelings and sovereign rights."