Zagoria, Donald S.
January 1978
Foreign Affairs;Jan1978, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p306
The article examines the reasons Soviet Union has failed in its efforts to expand its influence in Asia. For ten years the Soviet Union has pursued a Dulles-like strategy of containing China in Asia by building up its ground forces on the Chinese border and its naval power in the Pacific, while seeking through a variety of political and economic means to check the expansion of Chinese influence. Yet the result of that strategy has been to leave the Soviet Union in virtual political isolation in Asia. Certainly since the late 1960s, when the Russians quadrupled their military forces on the Chinese border, the Soviet Union's major preoccupation in Asia has been with China. Indeed, Moscow's Asian policy has been Moscow's China policy. Chief among Moscow's long-range goals in Asia has been the desire to establish nothing more nor less than a cordon sanitaire around the periphery of China, to weaken it internally, and, in one way or another, to pressure China into an accommodation with the Soviet Union. The most spectacular Soviet failure in Asia has been its inability to come to terms with China. China has become the most active, and the most uncompromising, adversary of the Soviet Union not only in Asia but in the world at large.


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