The Soviet Union delivered a stinging attack on China today, accusing Peking of continuing anti-Soviet propaganda that only served U.S. interests to use China "as a partner in the strategy of struggle against" the Soviet Union and its allies.
The attack in a commentary in the government newspaper Izvestia reinforced earlier impressions that the recently concluded second round of Sino-Soviet political talks has produced no major breakthroughs.
The commentary underscored that Moscow remained prepared to "actively contribute" to an improvement in Sino-Soviet relations. But, it said, Moscow has the right to expect "a similarly constructive approach from the Chinese side."
Seeking to demonstrate an absence of such an approach by China, Izvestia listed a catalogue of complaints against Peking and charged that the Chinese have done little to create an atmosphere in which better ties could be expected to flourish.
Peking, Izvestia said, continues to make political and propaganda statements of the kind that have previously "poisoned" Sino-Soviet relations.
Despite the resumption of political dialogue, Izvestia said, hostile statements "unfriendly to the Soviet Union and misrepresenting the policy of our country continue to be made in Peking as frequently as before." It said the Chinese Communist Party paper, the People's Daily, "publishes between 120 and 140 such articles every month."
The Chinese, it said, are repeating western charges about an alleged Soviet military threat, they are ascribing to Moscow intentions to achieve military superiority and they have accepted the western notion about Soviet military superiority.
The commentary denounced the list of "impediments" to improved bilateral relations advanced by China as a kind of "propaganda platform to exonerate the unjustified claims of the Chinese side." The Chinese list of impediments include the Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, Moscow's support for the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia and the presence of Soviet troops in Mongolia and along the Sino-Soviet border.
It was the second time this year that the Soviet media carried a sharply negative commentary on China. The Izvestia article appeared to have been timed to indicate Moscow's displeasure with China over artillery exchanges on the Sino-Vietnamese border in recent days. The Soviets firmly side with the Vietnamese.