Soviets, Chinese sit down to discuss border dispute

Soviet and Chinese officials opened their first talks in three years Thursday to discuss a possible compromise on a bitter border dispute involving nearly 2 million troops along a 4,500-mile Asian frontier, Peking sources said.

But the best that can be expected from the meetings will probably be an agreement to resume formal talks on normalizing relations, diplomats said. The two communist giants agreed before the talks to skirt sensitive issues such as the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and Moscow's support for Vietnam, China's southern rival.

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