A Chinese delegation arrived here today for the sixth round of Sino-Soviet normalization talks amid signs that both sides are seeking improved relations.
In his acceptance speech last month, the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, singled out the need for a "serious improvement" in relations with the Soviet Union's neighbor and Communist rival.
Accounts in the Chinese press of Chinese Vice Premier Li Peng's trip to Moscow for the funeral of Soviet president Konstantin Chernenko echoed a similar wish. Li was quoted as saying improved relations were "in the interests of both countries."
Before leaving Peking, Qian Qichen, head of the delegation and vice minister of foreign affairs, told the official New China News Agency, "We take a serious attitude toward the consultations and hope progress can be achieved."
Talks begin Tuesday, and the Chinese delegation is expected to leave in 10 days.
Sino-Soviet normalization talks have been held alternately in Peking and Moscow since 1982 and so far have not lifted the obstacles barring a resumption of political ties, ruptured during the early 1960s.
China consistently has set three conditions for normalizing relations with the Soviet Union: a reduction of Soviet troops on the Chinese border, withdrawal from Afghanistan and an end to support for the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia.
Despite these obstacles, trade between the countries jumped from about $526 million in 1983 to about $1.15 billion in 1984, according to Soviet statistics released last week.