Chinese Premier in Moscow

CHINESE Premier Li Peng traveled to Moscow Monday to salvage relations with the Soviet Union that have run aground over major ideological differences. Premier Li's goal in meeting with Soviet leaders is to ``clear up some misunderstandings'' over domestic and international events, says Lu Nanquan, Director of the Institute of Soviet and Eastern European Affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Despite ideological differences, Li is expected to tell Soviet leader Gorbachev that China still views the Soviet Union as a ``socialist nation pursuing reform,'' and will refrain from criticizing Moscow or interfering in Soviet domestic affairs, says a Chinese official who requested anonymity.

Such reassurances suggest that Beijing will stop short of labeling the Soviet Communist Party ``revisionist'' as Mao Zedong did. Beijing and Moscow will attempt to leave Marxist rhetoric aside for a more pragmatic relationship centered on economic and trade ties, while easing tensions along the Sino-Soviet border.

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