Sino-Soviet border tension eases

Tension along the Chinese-Soviet frontier has relaxed further this year following Moscow's calls for detente with China, according to a rare official eyewitness account from the border, which was made available in Peking Tuesday.

It says Soviet military exercises, once held regularly as a show of force by the Kremlin, have been held less frequently, and minor day-to-day border problems have stood a better chance of being resolved in a reasonable manner through discussions.

The account was given in an article to be published in the forthcoming edition of the official magazine Observation Post, regarded as an authoritative mouthpiece of the party leadership, and printed earlier in a Shanghai evening paper that arrived in the capital Tuesday.

The author, journalist Lu Fowei, said he visited the border shortly before the passing of Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev in November. Moscow and Peking had renewed bilateral consultations the previous month.

''Over the past six months or so, the border has seemed quieter than before, military exercises by the Soviet Army have been held less frequently, and disputes involving [each other's] foreign nationals have stood a better chance of being solved fairly reasonably,'' the report said.

Chinese leaders have said repeatedly that Moscow must first take concrete action toward removing three obstacles it says are blocking the way to an improvement. They are the Soviet military intervention in Afghanistan, Moscow's support for Vietnam in Kampuchea, and more than 50 divisions along China's northern borders that Peking says constitute a major threat.

''Superficially it would seem that there are traces of a relaxation, but we will have to let further facts and actions judge whether or not it is a substantial one,'' the article quoted a Chinese military officer there as saying.

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