An influential Soviet journal today sharply criticized China's foreign and domestic policies in a long article reviewing Sino-Soviet relations over the past 35 years.
The article in the monthly International Life emphasized Moscow's interest in improving relations with China and conceded that Peking had made some "corrections" in its policies during the past couple of years.
But it accused China of moving steadily to the right in its strategic thinking and pursuing a course detrimental to the interests of socialism.
The "corrections" in Peking's policies were designed to give them an appearance of "flexibility," the journal said. But it said the pronouncements of China's leaders in recent months "leave no doubt that their course, just as before, has an anti-Soviet direction."
The appearance of the public attack on China came as a surprise here as there were reports that Ivan Arkhipov, first deputy premier, would pay an official visit to Peking next month. The visit had been scheduled for last May but it was postponed following President Reagan's trip to China. The visit would be the latest in a series of contacts between the two countries that has led to somewhat warmer relations on peripheral issues.
The journal's criticism of China's domestic policies appeared to be directed at Peking's economic reforms introduced recently. China has considerably relaxed its centralized economic system in the direction of market socialism, including a measure of foreign investments in China's economy.
The article focused its criticism on China's decision to allow foreign investers to enter the Chinese market. It said there already were 21 Chinese-American joint ventures in China and that, moreover, China has allowed U.S. companies to explore for oil on China's continental shelf.
This economic policy, it said, was designed by the West to undermine China's socialist system.
A larger part of the article was devoted to China's foreign policy, which the journal said has been steadily "de-ideologized." Although the Chinese have refused to be drawn into a strategic partnership with the United States, the journal argued, they have come under the influence of Washington through large-scale American investments in Chinese development projects.
At the same time, China has adopted "double standards" in dealing with the Soviet Union and the United States, the journal said. While dealing with Moscow, Peking had advanced "artificial" impediments to the improvement of relations, it said, adding that such artificial obstacles are not raised in China's dealings with the United States.
The Chinese leadership should know, it continued, that "even without entering a formal alliance with imperialism, it is possible to impose substantial damage to the cause of socialism."
The journal also accused China of failing to develop its relations with other socialist states. It said Peking had friendly relations only with North Korea, Romania and Yugoslavia.
In general, the journal said, China's new domestic reforms are potential "new sources of social tensions in China" while its foreign policy course was designed to extract greatest advantage without any concern for political considerations.
China's policies, it said, could be summarized in the words of Benjamin Disraeli, a 19th century British statesman, who said Britain had no friends and no enemies, only its own interests.