Soviet Premier Nikolai Tikhonov has strongly attacked the Reagan administration's foreign policy as born out of a "passion for power diplomacy" and at the same time called for resumption of dialogue with China.
In what appeared as one of the most positive signals to Peking in recent months, Tikhonov asserted that "there are no problems in Sino-Soviet relations that could not be decided on the basis of equality and in the spirit of mutual understanding."
Tikhonov said that Moscow would not avoid "concrete steps" to improve Sino-Soviet relations and expected a reciprocal attitude in Peking.
Tikhonov made the remarks in an interview with the Japanese newspaper Asahi. The text of the interview was released here by the government news agency Tass.
In his criticism of the United States, Tikhonov singled out the administration's stance on arms control, its record 1983 military budget and what he called its "political adventurism" toward Poland as impediments to a balanced relationship. Tikhonov said, "We are for even and stable relations with the United States."
"Deplorably," he said, "there are so far no signs from Washington indicating that the affairs are shaping there in a favorable direction. What is more, the actions taken recently by the U.S. administration place additional obstacles on this road."
Asserting that "the Soviet Union is vitally interested in the restoration of normal life in Poland," Tikhonov accused the United States and "official circles of some other capitalist powers" of trying to "internationalize" the Polish crisis. He said this was "a very dangerous" policy of interference in Polish internal affairs and was directed against the entire Soviet Bloc.
In publicly renewing a Kremlin offer to China to negotiate a bilateral treaty of cooperation and good-neighborly relations, the Soviet leader appeared to be following up a diplomatic proposal to China extended last summer for the resumption of a Moscow-Peking dialogue.
The proposal is apparently timed to exploit Peking's current unease about Reagan's foreign policy. A resumption of the dialogue was not expected here to wipe out bitter resentments accumulated during the past two decades.
But the Soviets apparently calculated that--like Washington playing its "China card" to influence relations with Moscow--they could influence their relations with the United States by trying to improve relations with Peking.
Diplomatic sources here said Tikhonov's remarks coincided with reports, which could not be substantiated, that at least low-level border talks between Moscow and Peking may soon be held. Such negotiations were broken off more than three years ago.
Tikhonov also expressed readiness for a treaty with Japan but ruled out as "unrealistic" Tokyo's demand for the return to Japan of four islands in the Kurile chain seized by the Soviets at the end of World War II. The territorial dispute has been the main stumbling block to a Soviet-Japanese peace treaty.
Clearly addressing U.S. allies, Tikhonov said it was "staggering how reckless" the Reagan administration's course is for international security.
"It is necessary to see clearly that this political adventurism is directed not only against the socialist community" but also is used by the Reagan administration "to undermine independence of a number of states connected by alliances to the United States," Tikhonov asserted.
He linked Reagan's "policy of pressure and sanctions" over Polish repressions to the American policy "of confrontation with the socialist world."
"I would like to emphasize," he said, "that the American attempts to disrupt the existing military balance in the world in [Washington's] favor are without prospect."
Tikhonov said he saw "no ground for optimism" at the current Soviet-American talks in Geneva on reducing nuclear arms in Europe and reaffirmed Moscow's position that Reagan's zero-option proposal "is such only in name."
He said the proposal constituted an attempt to "disrupt the existing military balance in Europe and was on a global scale" to America's advantage.
Reagan had proposed that the Soviets dismantle all their medium-range missiles aimed at European targets in return for the United States abandoning the scheduled deployment next year of new medium-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe.
Tikhonov said his government was prepared for reductions of medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe down to 300 units on each side by the end of the decade.
"We are prepared to go even further and agree that there should be no nuclear weapons on the European continent at all," he said, repeating previous Soviet proposals rejected by the West.
Tikhonov said that "American leaders should realize" that their policy of "heightening tensions and imparting elements of confrontation" in international affairs "cannot result in anything but the aggravation of war danger."
"We are against the Soviet-American relations being made the object of a shortsighted political gamble conceived in a passion for power diplomacy," he said. He described the new U.S. military budget as the source of additional difficulties because it demonstrated "the fact that Washington now clearly gives priority to the speedy buildup of military preparations."