An Interview with Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro on communism, his own death, and the U.S. embargo.

EDITORS' NOTE: The transcript of this interview was prepared by a Cuban stenographer, and both the rendering of Barbara Walters' English questions and the translation of Fidel Castro's remarks from Spanish were, in many instances, rough. The material in these excerpts has been edited to read smoothly, but the original substance and tone of the conversation have been preserved.

Castro released 11 American prison­ers in June 1977. According to State Department esti­mates, at least 20 Americans remained in Cuban pris­ons on various drug, hijacking, or political charges. In August, Castro said he would permit the Cuban families of 84 U.S. citizens to leave Cuba.


In May 1975, I was one of a group of reporters who accompanied Senator George McGovern (D.-South Dakota) on a trip to Cuba. At that time I met Fidel Castro, who had a way of popping up and disappearing unexpectedly somewhat in the fashion of the Lone Ranger. During one of his appear­ances, I asked whether I could interview him at length. Castro agreed that if at any time in the future he granted a television interview to an American reporter, it would be with me. He promised to be back in touch with me within a year ... but he never said which year.

I waited for two years. Every few months I called or wrote to the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York, reminding them of Castro's promise. Finally, the an­swer came back "yes," and I returned to Cuba on May 16, 1977. That was a Mon­day, and I was told I might see the president on Wednesday or Thursday. But instead, only minutes after my arrival at the Hotel Riviera in Havana, I was told to be in his office within 15 minutes.

There I found a very courtly, somewhat portly Fidel Castro. He apologized for mak­ing me wait for two years and said that now he wanted to cooperate. Castro (who asked the entire production team to call him Fidel except during the interviews) suggested that he personally escort us on a visit to other parts of the country, and he gave me the choice of places. I selected the Bay of Pigs and the Sierra Maestre mountains, where he lived with his small army of guerrilla fighters for three years before coming to power.

On Wednesday, Castro himself came to our hotel to pick us up, to the amazement of the American tourists there. Then, driving a Russian-made jeep, he took us to the Bay of Pigs, where we boarded an armed patrol boat. We thus became, according to Castro, the first Americans to cross the Bay of Pigs since the U.S.-supported invasion there in 1961.

On Friday, we traveled in a Russian-built plane to the province of Santiago. There We again jumped into jeeps and, with Castro at the wheel of the lead vehicle, drove for five and a half hours through the mountains, the last two and a half hours on unpaved roads. Hung across the dashboard of the jeep was a rifle. Castro's belt with a .45-caliber revolver, his small box of cigars, a tin of hard candies, and a leather-bound copy of the selected letters of Ernest Hemingway rested on the floor of the jeep. Every time we crossed a stream (we forded 18 of them), J picked these things up, because water was seeping through the floor. Throughout our trip, we stopped at random, often at spots that J picked, to talk with farmers, tractor operators, or the people in small stores. Reac­tion ranged from cheers for Castro to a cool acceptance of the fact that he was making his first appearance in that part of the coun­try in more than a year. This was the poorest part of Cuba. Castro has built schools and hospitals, yet the area is still extremely im­poverished. There is little in the way of agriculture, but there are many lovely vistas and potentially fine beaches. Castro hopes to turn it into a tourist area, but that will be a long time in coming.

One security jeep full of soldiers drove far ahead of us and out of our view. There was no other security that we could see. The jeeps behind us were filled with our crew, including our two producers, Richard Rich­ter and Tom Capra. Friday night we stayed at Castro's camp somewhere in the moun­tains, where armed guards surrounded us. For dinner ... roast pig and Algerian wine. Saturday we returned to Havana.

Our major interview was conducted Thursday night in Castro's sparse headquar­ters in Havana. For almost five hours, until 1:30 in the morning, we questioned each other, argued and debated. Castro speaks English haltingly and agreed to do so in answering my final question; but because he has trouble expressing himself in English, most of his answers were given in Spanish with a simultaneous translation. The ques­tions -- none of which were submitted in advance, a few of which he refused to an­swer -- covered a wide range of domestic, in­ternational, and personal topics. Again and again, Castro referred to the Central Intelli­gence Agency. He seems almost obsessed by the CIA, which becomes understandable when he tells you of the dozens of attempts on his life of which he is aware.

Castro particularly wanted to make the point in the interview that he was a revolu­tionary and a Communist long before he actually came to power. He insisted that reporters who wrote otherwise were incor­rect. He became a Communist, he said, through his own reading at college. Castro does not want Americans to believe that he would change his philosophy if relations be­tween the United States and Cuba improve.

A one-hour special, "Fidel Castro Speaks," was presented by ABC News on the evening of June 9, 1977. But in an un­precedented action, Castro had Cuban televi­sion air almost all of our original five hours of discussion, including our arguments and disagreements. The only part he deleted was my question about whether he is married and his evasive answer. "Formally, no!" That is a matter he would apparently prefer not be discussed in Cuba. This was the first time Castro had ever shown Cubans an in­terview with an American journalist, or an interview during which he had been openly called naive (an adjective I used to describe his views of the American relationship with China).

What you will read here is, for the most part, a portion of the interview. 

Several months after I re­turned, another reporter for ABC visited Cuba, and Castro teasingly complained to him that after working so hard in the in­terview with me, he had earned nothing for the effort; he compared himself with Richard Nixon, who had earned hundreds of thousands of dollars for his televised conversa­tions with David Frost. " Well, El Comman­dante," said my colleague, "that's what happens when you are a Socialist president."

When will your country and my country have normal relations?

I believe that Carter himself will have to re­move many internal obstacles. History proves that any change in U.S. policy needs time and resistance must be overcome ... It is not probable that in the following four years, relations will be re-established, if they are going to be re-established on serious and solid grounds ... Maybe in Carter's second term, between 1980 and 1984 ... The ob­stacles cannot be eliminated overnight, believe that ... the first steps have been taken. And I consider them positive. But there are also some manifestations of resis­tance. Recently, the House of Representa­tives opposed the motion presented by [Sen­ator George] McGovern for a partial lifting of the blockade. And in spite of the fact that it did not solve the problem, it is undoubt­edly a good gesture, a good initiative. In the Senate committee they have already agreed to adopt the partial lifting of the blockade in respect to food, medicine--only in one direction. That step alone wall very modest; if they do not buy food or medicine from us, we will not buy food or medicine from the United States. In principle, we cannot accept any type of unilateral formula for trade... As long as the embargo exists, in any form, adequate conditions will not exist to better relations between the United States and Cuba. Now then, I ask myself, does Carter want to lift the embargo? Can Carter lift the embargo?

Well, suppose the embargo is lifted ...Would that mean normal relations?

I think it would be a decisive step toward normal relations. Then we could sit down on equal terms to discuss the differences be­tween the United States and Cuba. Many problems could be discussed. But we cannot hold discussions if you are not on equal footing. This is the fundamental principle that we maintain.

We have made many gestures recently of friendship, or of trying to improve rela­tions ... Now, what signs from you? What gesture in return?

We have responded to the gestures of the United States. For instance, on fishing, we have historical rights to fish in those seas, since we respected the 12-mile limit that had been established. [Then] the U.S. govern­ment makes a unilateral decision, which does not correspond to an international agree­ment, to expand its jurisdiction to 200 miles. We did not have any alternative other than to expand our seas to 200 miles... We have accepted U.S. law and we have also been willing to reach an agreement ... The United States has authorized U.S. citizens to visit Cuba ... What does that mean? First, the re-establishment of a freedom for

U.S. citizens that they had been deprived of before ... What has our attitude been? We have responded by authorizing these visits of U.S. citizens, facilitating that right of U.S. citizens to visit Cuba, even though we do not know how inconvenient that could be for us, because we face the risk that terrorist elements could come. We also face the risk of CIA elements coming in.

You also make some money.

We might earn some money. But the econom­ic element has not been the decisive factor, because, as I say, there are risks. We have done this simply as a gesture of friendship to U.S. citizens. We are not going to solve our economic problems through those visits. We do not even have enough facilities to develop high-level tourism here. That is why I can tell you that it was a gesture, on our part, of confidence and of friendship to the U.S. people, being certain that they will be received with all of the courtesy, hospi­tality, and friendly spirit in our country. That is to say that for each gesture on the part of the United States, there has been a corresponding gesture on our part. But aside from that, you also mentioned the lifting of spy flights over Cuban territory. That pleases us. We appreciate that gesture ... But we cannot respond with a measure equal to that, since we have never carried out spy flights over the United States ... Who prof­its from this? Cuba gains in that we don't have planes flying above us, that every once in a while would break the sound barrier and bother everybody ... Who gains more in suspending these flights? Cuba or the United States? I think that it is the United States, in accepting international law; in eliminating an act that was an open viola­tion of our sovereignty, they gain in the face of world public opinion, they gain in re­spect; so we both gain by this.

We have made these gestures, whether you think that they are to our benefit or not, as gestures of friendship. There are gestures that you could make in return. For example, you could let Cubans in the United States, maybe even second-generation Cubans, re­turn to this country to visit their families; release any or all of the 24 Americans in prison here; reinstate the hijacking agree­ment that ended on April 15; make some effort toward compensation of the property, estimated at $2 billion, confiscated at the time of the revolution. Perhaps, at this time, you cannot do any of this, but maybe you could make one sign that shows your heart­felt intentions.

It seems funny that you speak about the possibility of a country under economic blockade by the United States making any promise for indemnity of U.S. property. First of all, these properties recovered, in benefits, at least 10 times the investments made in Cuba before the triumph of the rev­olution. Second, the United States, through 18 years of hostility, aggression, subversive plans, and economic blockade, has brought about far worse damage in our country than the value of the properties that, as you say, were confiscated. So in that sense, we cannot make any gesture. I admit that on these questions of mutual economic interest and of mutual economic damages we could hold discussions in the future when the blockade against our country has ceased. On the air piracy agreement, we cannot forget that only a few months ago a Cuban plane was sabo­taged while in fight; 73 people died, includ­ing the whole youth fencing team that had just obtained almost all the gold medals in an international match ... More than one million people accompanied the scarce re­mains of these victims to the burial place. That event that was perpetrated by people trained by the CIA, with the unquestionable complicity of the CIA, was the reason that we denounced the agreement ... How could our people understand, only a few months after that criminal act, and at a time when we still have no proof that the United States has made the decision to take measures against these terrorists, our signing this hi­jacking agreement ? We have said that as long as the economic blockade exists we will not sign this agreement ... We consider the eco­nomic blockade a serious act of hostility against our country, and it encourages ter­rorism. You blockade Cuba. On the other hand, you trade with South Africa; you make investments in a fascist country, a rac­ist country, where 20 million blacks are dis­criminated against and oppressed.

Will you allow Cubans to visit this country, to visit their families?

Not until relations with the United States are normalized.

Is it possible to have any of the American prisoners released?

I cannot commit myself now to take any measure, but it is something that can be considered ... You cannot hope that we will free them all, since some of them are important CIA agents ... And speaking of gestures, I hear that you concern yourselves about some of these CIA agents that are in prison, and this is humane; and I ask my­self, why has there never been any effort to free Lolita Lebron, for instance, and a group of Puerto Rican patriots who have been in prison for more than 25 years in the United States?

As I listen to you, I am reminded that Batista released you from prison and that you came back. Perhaps that has entered into your thinking.

Batista came to power by force, through a coup d'etat. He looted the country. All his acts were illegal. Our struggle against Ba­tista's regime was totally just, and totally legal. What's more important, it was in agreement with the precepts of the constitu­tion. I was as worthy of going to jail as Washington and Jefferson when they rose up against English domination in the old American colonies. And nobody questions the legitimacy, honor, and greatness of those American patriots who rose up against tyr­anny. And that is what we did. Batista was not the one who freed us; it was the people -- the masses with their demands that coin­cided with Batista's interest in an electoral masquerade. And he could not do it as long as we were in prison ... The CIA agents are men who, coming from a foreign country, worked to overthrow the revolutionary gov­ernment, thus committing a very serious act ... We were doing something just. They were not doing anything just. We were serv­ing our homeland. They were serving a powerful foreign power ... I do not con­sider myself a George Washington or a Thomas Jefferson ... I have never fought to occupy a position in history. I have al­ways fought for concrete facts, for justice. I follow the slogan of Marti: All of the glo­ry of the world fits in one grain of corn.

Can you have trade relations with the United States before the embargo is lifted and before we have normal relations?

Before the lifting of the blockade -- you call it "embargo"-- it is impossible, because the U.S. laws and agreements, the provisions of the government prohibit it. If the embargo is lifted totally, we could have trade relations before establishing diplomatic relations, but I believe that that step would create the ap­propriate conditions for further development of relations ... Now then, if the embargo is lifted partially and only one side can purchase merchandise, that is to say, specific merchandise only, we could not have any trade, because we could not accept that dis­crimination, that is, that we buy food from the United States and the United States would not buy sugar or other agricultural products from us. But if it is partially lifted in both directions, then there could be a cer­tain trade of agricultural products between the United States and Cuba.

But if the embargo or blockade is lifted one way, so that you can buy food and medicine, would you do that?

If the embargo is lifted so that we can only buy agricultural products from the United States and we would not be able to sell agricultural products to the United States, we would not buy anything at all from the United States, not even an aspirin for head­aches-and we have a lot of headaches ... The U.S. policy of hostility toward Cuba, that is its worst policy. I am totally con­vinced that in regard to Cuba a policy of normal relations and of commercial exchange would be much more intelligent.

Do you think that the United States will one day be a Socialist country?

I do. One day. Some time ago, the United States was an English colony. If an English­man were asked if the United States would be independent, he would have said no, that it would always be an English colony. Af­terward, the colonies liberated themselves, a nation was established, but it contained slavery. The slave owners would have said that slavery would never disappear, but slavery ended. salaried workers came, capi­talism came, it developed extraordinarily, large multinational enterprises developed, and if a reasonable man is asked now if that will be eternal, he would have to say no. Some day the capitalist system will disappear in the United States, because no social class system has been eternal. One day, class societies will disappear. But you can be calm, I do not foresee in a short time any change toward socialism in the United States.

What do you think of Richard Nixon?

I was always of the impression that Nixon was a false man and that he was a mediocre politician, using tricks all the time. And I think that events have reinforced that im­pression.

Some Americans believe that you did not become a Communist until after you had control of the government; that when you were in the mountains, the people did not know that you were a Communist, so that you deceived the people. I would like to ask you, when did you become a Communist?

I became a Communist on my own, before reading a book by Marx, Engels, Lenin, or anyone. I became a Communist by studying capitalist political economy, and when I had some understanding of that problem, it ac­tually seemed to me so absurd, so irrational, so inhuman, that I simply began to elaborate on my own formulas for production and distribution. That was when I was a third-­year law student at the University of Ha­vana. And I'll tell you something more, because I do not hide my life, nor my origin, nor do I have any reason to invent things. If I were a false man, if my ideas were not deep and sincere, I would not have been able to convince anyone in this country, because when the revolution triumphed, the majority of the people were not Socialists, and the majority of the people were not Communists. But when the revolution tri­umphed, my convictions were Socialist, were Communist. I was born within a landhold­ing family, I studied in religious schools, that is, my primary and secondary education. I arrived at the University of Havana being a political illiterate and no one instilled ideas in me. These ideas were the result of my own analysis and my own meditations. I am very sorry not to have had, since I was a child, someone who would have educated me politically. Since I had to discover that on my own, I became what could be called a utopian Communist. Then I discovered Marxist literature, the Communist Manifesto, the works of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Maybe there are some in Cuba and even outside of Cuba who remember listen­ing to all the criticisms that I made about capitalist society when I had not even read one Marxist document ... Before the revo­lution, our program was not yet a Socialist program ... It was a program of national liberation, very close to socialism. I would say that it was the maximum that at that time and under those circumstances could have been understood by the masses of the population. Although our program was not Socialist as of yet, I did myself have deep Socialist and Communist convictions. When the revolution triumphed, the people were still not Socialists or Communists because they were still too deceived, too poisoned through anti-Communist propaganda, Mc­Carthyist propaganda, too poisoned by bourgeois papers, bourgeois books, bourgeois cinema coming exclusively from the United States ... What made our people Socialists and Communists? The revolutionary laws, the work of the revolution, persuasion, and education ... Now the people are Socialists and Communists ... That is a reality, and it is not going to change, no matter how many millions of tourists come here.

You have said that a man should not remain in office too long lest he become arrogant. Could that happen in your case?

I feel totally convinced that it could not happen. My life has always been an effort for constant improvement. A man in dif­ferent stages may feel assaulted by arrogance, vanity, and all sorts of things. I have always been very much on the alert against these. In my opinion, the more one matures, the more one struggles, the more a purpose is instilled in you. It has always been said that power corrupts people ... But do not forget that we have a doctrine. We are not tribal chiefs, whose influence and power are based on personality, our power, our strength, is based on ideas, on a doctrine, on convic­tions ... The danger simply does not exist in my case. not only because of subjective ideas, but also because of objective matter. When the revolution triumphed, we could say that my power was very great, because I was the chief of a victorious army, and a war is not led through collective, democratic methods, it is based on the responsibility of command. Immediately after the triumph, we started to establish a collective leadership, to create a party... Afterward came the whole process, the war, and then after the triumph of the revolution the institutionali­zation of the revolution. Since then, we have always preached incessantly against the cult of personality, against making men gods. We prohibit statues, the names of the leaders used in streets. So that in my case, far from entering a process in which the individual had greater power, the individual bad to share his power even more.

But children kiss you. People shout. "Fidel! Fidel!" You are a legend.

They take me as a symbol. The children have schools, but I was not the one who built the schools. There were tens of hun­dreds of workers who built those schools. They have a camp. That camp was not built by me, that camp was built by hundreds of workers. The economy of the country, from where the clothes, the shoes, the food for those children come is not produced by me, it is produced by the workers, it is produced by millions of people. The merit is in the millions of people. What happens is that the people cannot thank millions of people and they thank one person. But I have never even thought that I deserve all that merit. I have merit. I am not going to deny that I know I have merit, because of the influence I have had on events. But that is not a reason for me to feel that I deserve the recognition that is the result of the work of millions.

Do you think that you will be president until your death?

I do not wish so. But I don't think I have the right to resign... It would be, in my opinion, a selfishness on my part. So I could not do that. If I felt incapable, I would then have the obligation to do so, and the most probable thing is that if I myself did not understand that, my comrades would replace me. But as long as I have the capacity and as long as I can be useful in one position or in another, and as long as it is a demand of the revolution, I have the duty to carry out that job. Until when? I don't know when I'm going to die. I don't know if I'm going to die tomorrow, tonight, in an accident, natural death, I cannot know... Maybe if I have the capacity until that moment, maybe I could be up ... until I die.

Your newspapers, radio, television, and mo­tion pictures are under state control ... Why not allow dissent in the newspapers, or an opposition newspaper?

Our concept of freedom of the press is not like yours... Our mass media serve the revolution. As long as the revolution devel­ops, as long as hostility against Cuba exists, as long as there is counterrevolution sup­ported by the United States, and as long as this struggle exists, we will not allow any paper that goes against the revolution. And besides, who would pay for it? Would the CIA?

I sometimes think that you feel everything, everything comes back to the CIA.

The problem is that the CIA has a budget of $5 million for espionage, murder, and sab­otage. It's a lot of money. The CIA uses more money each year than the total volume of Cuban exports, and you don't want us to think about the CIA. The CIA has made plans to assassinate the leaders of the revolution for more than 10 years, and you don't want me to think about the CIA. In fact, I am not the only one. Everybody here thinks about the CIA.

Do you have proof of the last CIA attack against you, the last plan perhaps to assas­sinate you?

That was in 1971, when I visited Chile ... The CIA plans went on for more than 10 years, and I do not know when they ceased ... At this very moment, I have no proof that the CIA has stopped its plans. I have not received any CIA message telling me that the plans have stopped, nor have we received any excuse from the U.S. government for the fact that the country's authorities for more than 10 years have been preparing the plans to assassinate the leaders of the revolution. In spite of the fact that the Senate inves­tigated, and verified a very small part of those plans, never has any U.S. authority addressed the government of Cuba to apolo­gize for these events ...

Do you think that Nixon ordered or specif­ically approved assassination attempts?

I don't know how these mechanisms operate. I don't know how an assassination is planned in the United States. I don't know if they write down an order; I don't know if they discuss it with the CIA director; I don't know if they tell them directly, or if they tell them indirectly; that I don't know. But what I can assure you is that if there were plans and Nixon Were confronted with these plans, he did not change them.

Mr. President, may we talk about Africa! Do you think that one day all of Africa will be Communist?

Let's not say Communist. I don't know what is understood by Communist. I don't know if all of Africa is going to be Marxist­-Leninist. I could not say that, because there are African countries that have a strong relig­ious Islamic influence that determines their political philosophy. If you ask me if all of Africa will one day be Socialist, I could tell you that yes, it will be... They have no other alternative ... In Africa, there is a terrible backwardness: sanitation condi­tions are terrible; there are countries that only have one doctor for every 100,000 inhabitants; there are no universities, or they have very few students; there are no tech­nicians. Those countries cannot even allow the luxury of thinking of an anarchic de­velopment of the capitalist type-the path of neocolonialism, foreign investments that take over the national resources of the coun­try. I am not denying the possibility of agreements existing between foreign enter­prises and these countries, but, in essence, the control of the national resources should be in their hands, and economic development should be planned. The resources cannot be wasted, corruption cannot be admitted. If they don't follow a Socialist path, they will never be able to solve their problems. You have created a specific way of life, and a society that has a lot of wealth-badly distributed in fact. Do you think that your way of life could be a model for Africa, for India, for China? Imagine each Chinese citizen having an automobile, and each In­dian citizen having an automobile, and each African citizen having an automobile 20 years from now. How many years would it take before the fuel reserves, oil reserves were exhausted? So you have created a society that runs very well for you, if that is your criterion, but that cannot be the model for the underdeveloped countries of the world.

What do you see as Cuba's role in Africa?

The role of Cuba in Africa is mainly of a civilian nature, not of a military one. For a long time, we have been assisting a large number of countries, sending them technical assistance, especially doctors. On certain oc­casions, they have asked us for military ad­visers, to help organize their armed forces. And we have sent them, at the request of these governments. The case of Angola was the first occasion in which we sent military units. But we always had relations with the MPLA [Popular Movement for the Libera­tion of Angola] since they started their strug­gle for independence. And we assisted them. When they were at the point of achieving their independence an attempt was made to snatch it from them. The U.S. government invested some tens of millions of dollars to organize a movement, in Zaire, handled by the CIA. That is the famous FNLA [National Front for the Liberation of Angola]. The Portuguese organized another counterrevolu­tionary movement before they left-UNITA [the National Union for the Total Liberation of Angola]. South Africa was determined to stop the victory of the MPLA. We had been assisting them for a long time, and we were sending them weapons, and we had sent them some military instructors. We sent our first military unit at a time when the South African regular troops invaded Angola on October 23, 1975. Tank col­umns, artillery columns, blitzkrieg-type, Nazi-type, apartheid style. They sent their regular army. So we had to make a decision. Either we would sit idle, and South Africa would take over Angola, or we would make an effort to help. That was the moment. On November 5, we made the decision to send the first military unit to Angola to fight against the South African troops. That is the reason why we made the decision. If we would not have made that effort it is most probable that South Africa would have taken over Angola. We would also have Angola in the hands of the South African racists. I don't know what has been pub­lished in the United States about it, but I am sure that the American black people know the meaning of discrimination and of apartheid, and appreciate the effort we made. The American people, white or black, who understand apartheid will some day -- if they don't understand it today because they have not received the correct information -- he totally in agreement with us for the effort we made to save a black people of Africa.

Will you remove your troops from Angola?

They will not be there forever. The mission is that of supporting Angola against any ex­ternal attack while the Angolan army is or­ganizing, training, and preparing... But now I should tell you that when the war in Angola ended, in agreement with the An­golan government, we immediately started a process of withdrawing military person­nel. ... When France and Morocco inter­fered in Zaire in April, we stopped the process, and we are studying the develop­ment of events ... The day will come when the Angolans will not need us to defend them from South Africa or any other im­perialist. That is the only reason to be there. What interest could we have in maintaining that military personnel there forever? It is expensive for us. It implies sacrifices.

Did Cuban advisers train troops to fight in Zaire?

No. During the war in Angola, these Zairean citizens of the province of Katanga were together with the MPLA, and there were contacts with them. Once the war ended, more than a year ago, we had no contact with these people of Zaire. Why? Because we thought that what Angola needed was peace. Even when we knew that Zaire's gov­ernment was one of the most corrupt, re­pressive, and reactionary governments, what Angola needed was to improve relations with its neighbors. That is why we avoided contacts with Zaire that could hinder that development. We have consistently followed that criterion. Now the CIA knows, the U.S. government knows, the French government knows, and everybody knows that we Cu­bans have neither trained, nor armed, nor had anything to do with that question of Zaire, because it is strictly an internal ques­tion. They all know about it. The rest are lies, simply to justify France's, Morocco's, Egypt's interference with the approval, with the approval of the United States, to send troops from Morocco, Egypt, and other countries, with logistic support from France, to Zaire. That is why we stopped the pro­gram of withdrawal of Cuban military troops from Angola, because we have reasons to be­lieve that behind all this there may be a fur­ther plan to attack Angola.

Are you now sending military advisers to Ethiopia?

We have sent diplomatic personnel to Ethio­pia. All our personnel in Ethiopia are ac­credited as diplomatic personnel. There are no military advisers as such in Ethiopia.

What do diplomatic advisers do?

They are diplomatic advisers that have good experience in revolutionary matters, and they even have some experience in military questions. But, as such, we do not have military advisers there.

Do these diplomatic advisers assist in train­ing Ethiopian troops?

We do not have military instructors in Ethiopia but we do not give up our right to send them if the government asks and it is in our power... Look what your friend Haile Selassie did. A friend of yours, of North America. When he died, there were only 125 doctors in the country ... Ethio­pia is a country with over 30 million in­habitants. It is a country that is carrying out a deep revolution [with] great mass-support from the peasants and the workers, who come from feudal conditions.

If you have the right to be in Africa, do you feel that we have the right to be there?

No, we do not have the right. The right is of the governments that request that we be there. Besides, we don't have a bank, or a hectare of land, or a mine, or an oil well, or a factory. The civilian assistance and sup­port we give Africa and the military advisers are totally at our expense.

If there were forces in Puerto Rico that wanted to change the political conditions and become Socialist, would you send ad­visers, diplomatic or otherwise, into Puerto Rico?

If Puerto Rico becomes an independent state and asks us to send advisers, we would have the right to send them, if they would be willing to receive them. We have been send­ing advisers to countries that have legally established governments, but this is not the case with Puerto Rico.

Are you trying to help them achieve their independence?

Even before our independence, there had been bonds between Puerto Rico and Cuba. The Cuban Revolutionary party, which was the party of independence founded by Mar­ti, comprised Cuba and Puerto Rico. When U.S. intervention occurred -- the Spanish­-North American War, at the end of the last century -- the United States took over Puer­to Rico and transformed it into a colony. Historically speaking, political and moral support has been given to Puerto Rico al­ways. I remember when I was a student at the university. I belonged to the Puerto Rico Pro-Independence Committee. One day, in front of the U.S. Consulate in Old Havana, the police beat me because I was participating in a demonstration to support the independence of Puerto Rico. The Cu­bans at the university have always given political and moral support to the Puerto Ricans fighting for their independence. No one can accuse Cuba of having promoted violence... Some North Americans say that the problem is that the majority of Puerto Ricans do not want independence. Well, 20 or 30 years before U.S. independ­ence, many North Americans did not want the independence of the United States.

May we now talk about China? Do you consider China a friend or an enemy?

I consider China a good ally of the United States.

Does that make her an enemy of Cuba?

To the extent that the United States is our enemy. But you have done very good diplomatic work with China. You have them at your side now in all fundamental issues.

Are you saying that China is in the pocket of the United States?

I can't say that China is in the pocket of the United States because China is too large to fit in a pocket.

The United States supports Taiwan, China does not. The United States supports Israel. China does not. The United States in the United Nations voted against the Zionism-­is-racism statement. China voted for it. They do not vote the way the United States votes in the United Nations. They certainly  ...

But what is the importance of having some differences in the United Nations if they agree in all other things. You know this as well as I do, and besides you are very pleased with it.

We are pleased that we are having new re­lations with China just as we would be pleased to have relations with you.

But we would not act like the Chinese. If I were to promise the North Americans that if the blockade were lifted and relations were established that we would act like the Chi­nese and turn into allies of the United States, it would be a terrible deceit.

I find that your thinking on our relationship with China is almost naive. China does not consider herself our ally. We're just beginning to normalize relations. We don't even have diplomatic relations. We disagree about Taiwan. We have totally different oil. We certainly do not have, in any sense, the relationship with China that you have with the Soviet Union.

No, no. Of course not. We have interna­tionalist relations with the Soviet Union and China has reactionary relations with the United States. So there is no problem. You created Pinochet. China supported Pinochet. You created the FNLA and Holden Roberto. China supported the FNLA and Holden Roberto. You created Mobutu. Chi­na supports Mobutu... You created NATO. Didn't you?

China does not support NATO.

China does support NATO. China supports the English Conservative party ... China supports the reactionary forces of the Ger­man Federal Republic. I'm saying serious things. The Chinese Secret Services meet in Paris with those of France, the Federal Re­public of Germany. England, and the United States. China opposes U.S. withdrawal from the Guantanamo Naval Base. China uses the very same arguments that the United States uses to attack Cuba. I do not know if some of these Chinese leaders will later be ex­pelled, and then they will say that they are part of the Clique of Four. There are some things I do not understand about China. Now they blame Mao's widow and three others for everything that has happened in China. But for more than 10 years, these things had been happening. What type of genius, what type of god, and what type of revolutionary was Mao Tse-tung whose wife and a group of attaches were able to do these things that the present Chinese leader­ship is fighting?

Do you not feel that Mao Tse-tung was a true revolutionary?

I do. I believe he was a great revolutionary leader. But I believe that Mao destroyed with his feet what he did with his head for many years. I'm convinced of that. And some day the Chinese people, the Commu­nist party of China will have to recognize that. It is a question of time. That is my humble opinion.

What do you think Mao did to destroy; what were his mistakes?

First, cult of personality. He practically destroyed the Chinese Communist party. He unleashed a witch hunt there against many of the best cadres of the party. He admitted becoming a god and betrayed the people's revolutionary solidarity. That was Mao's gravest error. I think that he was an ex­traordinary man, with great capacity, who transformed China. What happens? The men that participate in these processes acquire great power and later abuse that power... I also acquired that power, but I never abused it, nor did I retain it in my hands. I distributed it. I gave it to the revolutionary institutions.

What about Stalin? What about Lenin!' Was there a personality cult? These are men who became heroes, legends.

One cannot compare Lenin with Stalin. Lenin was an extraordinary man in all as­pects and there is not a single dark spot in his life from my point of view. Stalin also had extraordinary merits, but during Stalin's time, the cult of personality developed and abuses of power did take place.

Do you not feel that China now is a true Socialist country?

I do think that China is a Socialist country. There are no great landowners. There are no capitalists. China's paradox is that al­though it has a revolutionary domestic policy it is carrying out a foreign policy that betrays the international revolutionary movement. But since it does not have a domestic base, since this is a malformation of the policy. I am confident that this will not last long.

Turning to another subject, Mr. President, do you think that Jimmy Carter is delib­erately trying to strain relations with the Soviet Union?

Unfortunately, yes... Well. I cannot say it is deliberate. Maybe he believes that is what he should do. But I know the Soviets well ... and I know that the main concern of the Soviet Union is to avoid the arms race, to create an environment of detente and peace.

How do you reconcile the Soviet domination of countries like Czechoslovakia and Yugo­slavia? How do you explain it when the Soviets put down what they call an uprising in Czechoslovakia?

I have relations with these countries. These countries have very close relations with the Soviet Union, in the economic, political, and ideological fields. But I can say that they are totally independent states. What you call domination is a type of unity that bas been created within these countries.

Do you think Russia is a free country?

I think it is the freest of all countries.

What do you say about the intellectuals? ... The writers, many of the artists, have com­plained worldwide of the restrictions on their intellectual freedom.

There are many intellectuals in the Soviet Union-writers, artists; the overwhelming majority of them support the Soviet power, support the Communist party of the Soviet Union. There is a minority, very much motivated by the West ... because on many occasions the West converts a mediocre writer into an international hero. You do not realize ...

Do you think that Solzhenitsyn is a medi­ocre intellectual?

I do not like his literature. Technically he may not be mediocre, but politically he is mediocre... Yes, there could be a very in­significant minority who are in disagree­ment. But who are those people compared with the dozens of millions of workers, of Soviet peasants who are the essence of the Soviet Union? Your mistake is to confuse the activity of four isolated cats with the formidable reality of the Soviet Union ... You never speak of a worker, of a worker hero of the Soviet Union, of a peasant hero; you only speak of three or four dissidents ... One question: Why doesn't Carter receive a worker hero ... an advanced peasant? Why does he only receive a dissident?

I think there are more than three or four dissidents . ... If Russia is so secure, if its system is so good, why can it not tolerate these four dissidents, these four cats? We tolerate dissidents in our country. We may not like it, but we don't imprison them, we don't put them in camps, they write, they speak...

Why do I have to tolerate the allies of my adversaries? If you want to tolerate them, O.K., but not me.

Are you independent of the Soviet Union?

Maybe we are another state of the Soviet Union. I would hope that there would be no independent states, that borders would not exist, that all of humanity would be one Socialist family, without exploitation of man by man, with true equality, and with­out exploiting and exploited classes. That would he my ideal. I'm not saying that it is I or anyone in particular who is going to make this change. But nationalism has played its role in history. First there were tribes, then there were nations. Someday, one will look at nationalism as we look at tribalism today. Someday the borders will have to disappear ... Now we are a sover­eign country and an independent country. You know that perfectly well. Carter knows it. The CIA knows it.

The Soviets give Cuba approximately $1 million a day in money, and almost $3 million in other aid.

Of what? Where are these millions?

All right then, set me straight. How much aid does the Soviet Union give you?

The Soviets have given us an extraordinary amount of assistance. When the oil com­panies cut off our oil, they sent us oil. When the United States stopped buying sugar, they bought our sugar. When the United States imposed an almost worldwide blockade on us, the Soviets sold us raw materials. ma­chinery, foodstuffs, and fuel. When the United States was preparing the Giron in­vasion, the mercenary attack, they sent us weapons that played a very important role at that time. During all these years our security has been threatened by the United States and they have freely supplied us with the weapons that we needed. When we faced difficulties from droughts or we were not able to fulfill our export commitments, they always fulfilled their commitments to us. Today, we have fulfilled all of our export commitments to the Soviet Union. We have established a satisfactory commercial ex­change... If the United States and Europe would trade with all the underdeveloped world as the Soviet Union does with Cuba, the problems of underdevelopment would be solved. And that is what you call a $3 million, $4 million, subsidy.

1 used a figure of $1 million a day in money and almost $J million in aid. If we are wrong, what is the figure?

Do you want me to give you a figure? ...

We have established agreements that if the goods they export to us increase in price, the sugar we export to them also rises pro­portionately in price... Our trade is based on just prices, more or less balanced prices. That's the way it is. They pay us a just price for our products, that's all. So forget the three, four, five, seven million. They simply pay us just prices for our goods.

How important is Guantanamo as a condi­tion for normalization with the United States?

Guantanamo is militarily useless for the United States today. They keep it as a show of strength. They have no right to be there because they are there against our will. So let us say that the United States is there by force. We have never wanted to make Guan­tanamo a special problem ... If some day we sit down to discuss normalization of relations, one of the points that must be discussed is the question of Guantanamo. Let us reach an agreement to see what day they will leave, what year. We have not used nor are we ever going to use force to recover Guantanamo. We are not going to wage a war against the United States because of Guantanamo.

Do you still have many political prisoners?

Maybe two or three thousand ... But there were times when the activity of the United States was more intensive against Cuba, and we reached a point of having more than

15.000 prisoners. About 20 percent of the prisoners must still be in prison. They are not political prisoners, they are counterrev­olutionaries, people who rose up in arms under the orders of the CIA in the Escam­bray Mountains and committed sabotage.


Cubans, yes ... nurtured, encouraged, armed, and trained by the United States. No one

in Cuba could have imagined that there was a possibility of overthrowing the revolution unless they believed that the United States was behind them. Since those years of inten­sive CIA activity in Cuba, we have liberated more than 15,000 counterrevolutionary pris­oners. This was not done because Carter asked us to do it. Can we now, when the blockade against Cuba is still maintained by the United States, free these counterrevolu­tionary prisoners? No, we can't do it. These are people who have committed crimes, seri­ous crimes.

If we lifted the embargo, would you release these prisoners?

Why are you demanding unilateral measures from us? We could reach a bilateral agree­ment. We free all counterrevolutionaries in prison and, at the same time, you liberate all those you have in jail, who had to steal because they were hungry, because they had no jobs, because they were impoverished. You free a certain number and we free another, bilaterally. Don't try to impose conditions on us, because we are not going to accept them.

I have one personal question: Will you ever shave off that beard?

As an exchange for what? The ceasing of the blockade?

If we stop the blockade, you shave off that beard, eh? I don't think that would make America do it, but . ...

We would be importing Gillette razor blades, right? I don't know if they still man­ufacture them in the United States, but ... do you know why we left our beards? We left our beards because we did not have razor blades at that time. As time passed, the guerrillas came to be known by their beards. And finally, it became a symbol. But now what happens? When gray hair appears, it shows up first in the beard, and you notice it more. My idea now is to wait at least until it is totally white. And then I will make a decision, whether to tint it or shave it.

I would like to ask you to say some words to the American people about anything you want. Please, in English.

I feel the best wishes for the people of the United States. Every time when I know a new American always I have the reason to try to understand your people and I think that every time too. I find that the Ameri­cans, the newspaper, the worker, the tech­nician are wonderful people. Really. I ap­preciate and admire the people of the United States for what they have achieved in tech­nician, in science and because I see that you, your people, is a people well working, is an honest and idealistic people. Clearly that are my feelings, my sincere feeling to the people of the United States. I hope in the future we will understand better and we will be friends.

OFF/AFP/Getty Images


Time Bomb in the East

Will China be the next oil giant?

The complex legal issues involved in the continental shelf controversy are discussed in the definitive works of Choon-ho Park of the Harvard East Asian Legal Studies Program. See especially "Oil Beneath Troubled Waters," Harvard International Law Journal, 1973. The author is indebted to Park for his help in dealing with these issues and related aspect, of the China offshore controversy.

The rapid emergence of China as a major oil producer is fundamentally transforming the geopolitical map of Asia. Already, by drawing only on its onshore reserves and those of the Po Hai Gulf. Peking appears likely to reach the current production level of Saudi Arabia by 1988 or soon thereafter. By exploiting its rich continental shelf re­serves as well. Peking could rival the present production leaders within two decades. Chi­nese preparations for offshore oil develop­ment have become increasingly intense, giv­ing new sensitivity to long-simmering dis­putes with Taiwan and South Korea over parts of the shelf widely believed to contain the most promising unexplored oil and gas deposits in the world. At the same time, China is utilizing oil exports to buy off other claimants to disputed offshore deposits, notably Japan, North Korea, and North Vietnam.

For the United States, the rise of China as an oil giant is not likely to mean a new source of crude oil in significant quantities or a sudden opportunity to "break OPEC." The net effect of expanded Chinese oil ex­ports would be to reduce global dependence on the Middle East and the Persian Gulf; but the principal direct beneficiaries of a Chinese export thrust are likely to be Japan and other politically favored customers, es­pecially in Asia. China has persistently re­buffed efforts by American oil companies to line up Chinese crude in return for techni­cal help in expediting undersea development. Instead, Peking is actively seeking to acquire its own offshore equipment and know-how, and it is the prospect of unilateral Chinese activity on the continental shelf that makes the Peking drive for oil power a matter of immediate concern to U.S. policy-makers.

As we shall see, the United States finds itself squarely in the middle of the explosive continental shelf controversy. Nine American oil companies hold offshore con­cessions granted by Taipei and Seoul in waters claimed by Peking, and many of these companies would rather get while the getting is good, under present arrangements, than wait for a hypothetical future change in the Chinese attitude. Washington, for its part, is more than ordinarily anxious to avoid provoking Peking in advance of the Presidential visit to China this fall. In two cases this year to be discussed later in this article, the White House and the State De­partment were able to dissuade leading oil companies from drilling in contested waters only after varying degrees of behind-the-­scenes pressure and a helpful, eleventh-hour assist, in each case, from lady luck.

For the past 11 years, Chinese crude pro­duction has increased at an average annual rate of 24.6 percent, jumping from 6.4 million tons in 1963 to 20 million tons in 1970 and nearly 70 million tons in 1974, the latter figure including exports of 5 million tons to Japan. How much longer this rate can continue, however, remains a subject of debate. The attempt to project future Chinese production and export levels is a risky game fraught with more than the cus­tomary quota of the booby traps that be­devil petroleum futurology. Japanese spokes­men inflate their projections to improve their bargaining posture with OPEC and the West­ern majors; the Chinese encourage Japanese optimism as part of their anti-Soviet strat­egy; and the Western oil companies, given their interests elsewhere, tend to minimize Chinese prospects and technical capabilities. In order to evaluate such projections, one should take into account a wide range of economic and political variables, among them China's industrialization plans, do­mestic energy needs, alternative energy sources, and the role of differing export strat­egies in various economic policy scenarios. At the same time, one should consider these factors against the larger regional back­ground of the continental shelf issue. OUI attention here will be focused primarily on the struggle over offshore resources, not only as a politically dangerous dilemma for the United States but as a pivotal variable mold­ing and shaping many of the other factors that will govern Chinese oil prospects.

Assessing the Reserves

Depending on the outcome of the off­shore boundary scramble, the addition of an offshore dimension could at least double the Chinese oil potential even by relatively conservative estimates. Thus, geologist A. A. Meyerhoff, who estimates recoverable on­shore reserves to be "not less" than 20 bil­lion barrels and says that they "may" reach 40 billion, has recently made a 30 billion estimate for recoverable offshore reserves.

These are cautiously low figures in com­parison with many other Japanese and American estimates, especially with respect to offshore reserves, though they are broad­ly similar to offshore estimates by Soviet geologists and by a Norwegian oceanogra­pher. Jan-Olaf Willums, who has utilized a different method of calculation. Meyer­hoff divides his total into 12.84 billion bar­rels for the East China Sea; 8.03 billion for the South China Sea, inclusive of the Tai­wan Strait; and 5.6 billion each for the Yel­low Sea and the Po Hai Gulf. By contrast, many Japanese estimates go as high as 10 billion for the Po Hai Gulf alone. In the case of the Yellow Sea, a U.S. Geolog­ical Survey China specialist, Maurice Ter­man, has recently completed unpublished tectonic studies that point to substantially higher estimates.

Meyerhoff excludes from his estimates po­tentially rich areas that are implicitly de­fined as part of its shelf jurisdiction by China but have not been treated as such by the United States in Law of the Sea dis­cussions. Other areas in the South China Sea claimed by China for different reasons have also been excluded. In any case, as the North Sea experience suggests, the full dimensions of the recoverable Chinese offshore potential could prove to be much higher (or lower) than 30 billion barrels. Prior to drilling, the highest North Sea estimate was 15 bil­lion barrels. Now company estimates range from 17 to 22 billion.

In the absence of extensive drilling under the concessions so far granted, what is known outside of China about the reserve potential of waters adjacent to the main­land has been largely based on seismic surveys and other geophysical studies con­ducted under the auspices of a United Na­tions agency, the Committee for the Co­ordination of Joint Prospecting for Mineral Resources in Asian Offshore Areas (CCOP); oil companies, big and small, mostly Amer­ican, Japanese, and British; geophysical companies operating independently, mostly American, German, and French; and gov­ernment oil enterprises in Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Saigon, and Hanoi, Peking, on its own, has conducted technically limited off­shore surveys since 1958 and has been quiet­ly acquiring sophisticated French, American, and Japanese equipment during the past three years for an expanded survey pro­gram that will be separately treated in a later part of this article. None of these sur­veys has resulted in the public disclosure of quantified projections. However, the CCOP has published a flow of generalized findings that has kept expectations high.

In 1968, a survey conducted jointly by CCOP and the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office led to the announcement of a "high probability … that the continental shelf between Taiwan and Japan may be one of the most prolific oil and gas reservoirs in the world. It is also one of the few large con­tinental shelves of the world that has re­mained untested by the drill, owing to mil­itary and political factors." 

The excitement generated by this report in the areas involved was a source of great irritation to many of the concerned oil com­panies. They had been cool to the very idea of a regional intergovernmental agency con­ducting public oil survey operations and were upset, in particular, to find their bar­gaining position complicated in then pend­ing negotiations for offshore concessions. As a result of company pressures, K. O. Emery of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institu­tion, the primary author of the report, was eased out as the American representative on the CCOP staff. In their estimate of the off­shore potential, however, most oil companies appear to share the optimism reflected in the Emery report. Their technical data is close­ly held, to be sure, and their public posture does not generally correspond to their actual plans and intentions. With this in mind, I have interviewed exploration executives and geologists in Asia-minded oil companies in the United States, Europe, and throughout Asia itself as part of a larger inquiry into the economic and political implications of the China offshore question. I have made a point of talking separately with different of­ficials working in different places within the same company and of checking them not only against one another but against what they say to the governments concerned.

In some cases, officials of leading Ameri­can and Japanese companies have made par­tial data available on a confidential basis after satisfying themselves that my research was not a cover for someone's commercial or other intelligence operations. In others, where companies holding concessions had at­tempted to sell an interest to other com­panies. I have been able to see proprietary seismic data used during the negotiations.

As my knowledge has grown over the past year, more and more doors have opened, and it now appears clear that the offshore areas adjacent to China are appraised with a remarkable degree of unanimity in in­formed quarters. Taken collectively, they are ranked as the most promising of the un­explored areas in the world. At the same time, there is widespread feeling that the high costs of exploration and development in many of these areas, added to the politi­cal uncertainties involved, may delay the commercial exploitation of these reserves. This is especially true where structures are small and complex ("fault-blocked") and where deep or tempestuous waters compli­cate test-drilling operations. Where explo­ration does occur and gas is found in areas far from shore, the peculiarly steep costs of offshore gas exploitation could also act as a deterrent to major private investments in the near future, Many American companies com­plain that the current confusion in U.S. en­ergy policy has left it unclear whether they will be helped or hindered in exploring new areas abroad. Among other things, the new tax bill enacted by Congress this year abol­ishes the "per country" tax credit, which had hitherto made it profitable to conduct test-drilling operations within a given na­tional jurisdiction even when no oil was found.

To Drill or Not to Drill

Given the political constraints involved, the limited drilling that has so far occurred has been inconclusive. The most promising finds have been in the South China Sea oft' Vietnam, where foreign companies had in­vested $64 million prior to the Communist victory, and in the Taiwan Strait, where a Conoco-Amoco venture has resulted in a major gas discovery that could make Tai­wan almost self-sufficient in energy within

10 years. The gas find is 60 miles off the southwest coast of the island, but it is sep­arated from Taiwan by an undersea can­yon that would have to he circumvented in piping the gas to shore. The initial devel­opment outlays required would reach at least $650 million, and the two companies are still debating whether to go ahead if test drilling continues to prove successful. Pe­king has greeted past drilling off Taiwan with reminders that any oil or gas found, like the island itself, belongs to China.

Conoco, Amoco, and Gulf have all de­liberately chosen concession areas relatively close to Taiwan in the belief that Peking will wink at exploration and development there pending an overall settlement of the status of the island. Their hope is that the island will remain independent and that pe­troleum discoveries will help to guarantee this outcome; but even if it does revert to Peking, they are gambling that an increas­ingly moderate China would, by that time, agree to tolerable terms in renegotiating their concessions. Gulf has accordingly drilled its second and third offshore wells northwest of Taiwan this year, including one less than 125 miles from Fuchou.

Reflecting its claim to jurisdiction over the entire mainland, Taiwan has not only granted close-in concessions but has also al­located offshore rights over a 500 mile belt, north of the Gulf concession, reaching to a point in the East China Sea opposite Shang­hai to the west and the South Korean and Japanese coasts to the northwest and north­east. These are even more provocative to Peking than the close-in concessions because they could only have been granted by Tai­pei in the capacity of an all-Chinese rather than a strictly Taiwan regime. To compli­cate matters further, the same areas where Taipei has granted concessions are also claimed by Tokyo as a consequence of the Japanese claim to the Senkaku islands (Tiao Yu-tai in Chinese), a group of rocky islets at the tip of the Ryukyuan chain that lies on the continental shelf and thus gives Ja­pan a basis for claiming rights as a shelf power. Despite scowls from Peking and Tokyo alike and cautionary words from Washington. Taipei is nevertheless pushing concession-holders to go ahead with drill­ing, and the prosperous government oil mo­nopoly, the Chinese Petroleum Corporation, is rapidly developing its own offshore know-­how with an eye to doing its own drilling in areas where foreign companies fail to de­liver on their commitments.

AU three of the most sensitive East China Sea concessions to the north of Taiwan are held by relatively small U.S. companies lacking the financial capability to conduct expensive deep-water drilling operations on their own. It is standard practice in oil ex­ploration for such small promoters to lo­cate promising possibilities, spend a few mil­lion dollars on surveys, and then try to find a better heeled partner to put in the multi­million dollar investment needed for sus­tained drilling operations. In the Taiwan case, one of these companies, Clinton Inter­national, was able to enlist the collaboration of the Superior Oil Company, among the larger and more solid independents operat­ing abroad. Superior and its self-made pres­ident, H. B. Keck, still retain some of the gung ho spirit of their earlier, wildcatting days, and the Houston-based company had decided that it was worth taking some chances to get an inside track on one par­ticular undersea configuration in the Clin­ton concession 350 miles north of Taiwan (straddling Zones 4-E and 4-F) where the geological odds for a major find were "10 to 1." Superior had lined up a rig and was scheduled to drill in April and May un­til the White House and the State Depart­ment intervened.

The confrontation between Superior and the U.S. government was the first and less strenuous of the two episodes this year in which Washington has blocked projected offshore drilling near China. Joseph Reid, the president of Superior's international di­vision, had begun to have doubts when he led a delegation to Washington in early February. The group was aware that U.S, policy is to discourage drilling in disputed areas by denying the use of government sat­ellites for navigation purposes and by for­swearing any responsibility for the defense of U.S.-owned rigs or survey ships in pos­sible clashes with Chinese naval craft. What they were not prepared for was the grim re­port on the current Peking attitude that they heard from ranking U.S. officials concerned with China. They were startled to learn that Peking laid serious claim to their concession area, had a substantial case, in U.S. eyes, and was making preparations for an offshore program of its own. Secretary Kis­singer would take the matter up personally with Keck, they were cautioned, if the com­pany persisted. In Taipei, a Clinton official asked the U.S. Embassy where it would be permissible to drill under Taiwan auspices. He was unable to get a direct reply but was told that it would not be advisable more than 200 miles from the island. Back in Houston, an anguished reappraisal had just begun when a threatening letter arrived from a Japanese oil firm (linked to Gulf) also claiming jurisdiction over Zones 4-E and 4-F.

Despite doubts aroused by the static from Washington and Tokyo, Superior was hes­itant to renege on such a geologically attrac­tive deal and was finally deterred from its drilling only by a last-minute complication indirectly linked with events in Vietnam. Since sophisticated. "semisubmersible" rigs cost some $50,000 a day to operate, and since it was so uncertain how China would react, Superior was prepared to drill only one well and had arranged to sublease the deep-water Margie from Shell. Shell had planned to use the rig extensively off Viet­nam, but made an unannounced decision in early February to cut back on its Saigon commitments and canceled its contract for the Margie. At that point, in order to get the rig, Superior would have had to take over Shell's costly, long-term contract. The deal finally fell through amid a cloud of le­gal recriminations between Superior, Clin­ton, and bitter Taiwan government oil offi­cials who blamed it all on Kissinger and talked of drilling on their own if necessary.

Danger in the Yellow Sea

In contrast to Superior, Gulf is accus­tomed to staring down the U.S. govern­ment and has kept its options open in the face of continuing State Department efforts to head off drilling in a sensitive area of the Yellow Sea. Gulf has two concessions off the west coast of South Korea, and the most promising geological structure in one of these lies relatively equidistant from the Korean and Chinese coasts in a potentially disputed zone just south of the 31st parallel.

China has not yet agreed to the median line principle in Law of the Sea discussions II and could well insist on geological criteria for sea boundaries more favorable to its in­terests. Moreover, in the case of the Yellow Sea. Peking does not recognize Seoul and is not likely to do so. Even if it did agree to a median line with South Korea, how­ever, the projected Gulf drilling site near the 31st parallel would be on what the Chi­nese would be likely to claim as their side of the line. The Peking stand is readily de­duced from Chinese maps indicating the is­lands that define Chinese coastal limits. But Gulf's lawyer, Northcutt Ely, argues that a case can be made against recognition of the islands in question under international law, and there are top Gulf officials who believe that the company should drill in any case, compelling Peking to make an issue of the matter if it chooses to do so.

"No oil company will withdraw from that part of the world until oil has been found and we've forced a resolve," one of these officials has explained. "Not until the claims have been resolved and we've been told by the governments concerned. Finding oil would act as a catalyst."

In a series of meetings with representa­tives of Gulf and its ex-partner in Korea, Zapata Exploration, between January and April, State Department officials urged Gulf not to drill in September, as planned, press­ing instead for a new drilling location in­disputably within the South Korean side of any future median line. Deputy Secretary of State Robert S. Ingersoll made a series of phone calls to Gulf Board Chairman Bob R. Dorsey, but Dorsey made no promises. Gulf has reportedly been under strong pres­sure from President Park Chong-hui to ac­celerate the search for oil in view of rising crude prices, and the pressure from Seoul was a matter of concern for Gulf in view of the company's many-sided stake there (e.g . $325 million in sales of Kuwait crude dur­ing 1974) . Gulfs attitude abruptly changed in May, however, after Dorsey's revelation in Senate testimony that the company had been forced to pay $4.2 million in slush funds to Park's ruling Democratic Republi­can Party. Since then, Gulf has hinted that it will not drill this year, as part of a "low­-profile" policy, though the door has been left open for the future fulfillment of its re­maining drilling obligations to Seoul. Shell and Texaco, it might be noted, also have West Coast concessions but do not display a comparable desire to force a "resolve."

At the very least, renewed drilling in the Yellow Sea could provoke a Chinese po­litical reaction that would aggravate the al­ready delicate interplay between Peking. Pyongyang, and Washington. At worst, it could trigger a military incident. The dan­ger of a Chinese military response to un­welcome drilling was underlined by the ap­pearance of Komar-class gunboats less than a mile from a Gulf rig on three different occasions during the last drilling by the company off South Korea in February and March of 1973.

Peking and Pyongyang would both ap­pear to have an interest in forestalling for­eign drilling activities off South Korea. Pyongyang has consistently objected to the "country-selling" terms of South Korean offshore concessions and is anxious to frus­trate oil discoveries that would help to make the Seoul regime viable. Peking, as a re­gional giant, would rather face Koreans than Americans in determining how the Yellow Sea is to be parceled out and how its devel­opment is to be organized. Already, Pyong­yang is leaning heavily on Peking for its oil supplies, and China's bargaining power seems sure to grow in relation to the two Korean regimes as its offshore know-how increases.

China Goes Offshore

The Yellow Sea is a peculiarly inflamma­ble arena of possible conflict over oil because Chinese offshore ambitions are currently centered there as a natural extension of the experimental activity hitherto undertaken in the Po Hai Gulf. It was at an undisclosed location in the "southern part" of the Yel­low Sea that China's first domestically built offshore rig, Kaman (Prospector) I, drilled its much-heralded first test well last Decem­ber in "fairly deep waters." Some of the most productive areas of the Takang and Shengli oil fields have proved to be in coast­al marshlands along the Po Hai Gulf and the Yellow Sea coast, strongly suggesting the existence of offshore fields geologically linked to the onshore discoveries. The initial assignment of one of the new seismic survey boats recently acquired by Peking has been to see whether-and how far-the Takang and Shengli fields extend offshore.

Chinese interest in the potential of the Po Hai-Yellow Sea area as the natural start­ing point for offshore activity goes back to extensive oceanographic and marine geolog­ical studies of the continental shelf during the 1958-1961 period. While fascinated by the potential of the East China Sea, the oceanographer who directed these studies, Ch'in Yun-shan, emphasized the contrast between the shallow water of the Po Hai­-Yellow Sea area, rarely exceeding 200 feet, and water three times deeper on the east­ernmost extremities of the East China Sea shelf.

Little is known concerning the extent of subsequent Chinese exploration activities during the 1960s, especially during the Cul­tural Revolution, but most evidence sug­gests that the Chinese Beet of some 35 ocean­ographic vessels has included at least three marine geological ships for at least a decade.

Given Chinese sophistication in seismolog­ical and computer sciences. Peking may have known more about its offshore oil potential for much longer than has generally been as­sumed in the West.

By 1972, Peking had slightly lifted the veil of secretiveness over its operations in Po Hai where at least five and possibly as many as eight offshore rigs have been in use. Working at first from fixed platforms in the shallowest water. Chinese oil technicians had then contrived their own jerrybuilt, barge-­style rigs, utilizing Rumanian and other imported components. The normalization of relations with Japan in 1972 opened the way for the acquisition of at least one for­eign "jack-up" rig through Tokyo chan­nels as well as several drill ships and possi­bly a "semi-submersible" as well. Simulta­neously. Peking was proceeding with its own domestic rig manufacturing program, using its new rigs, in effect, as working models. In addition to Kantan, Peking has also announced a relatively advanced self-esca­lating "jack-up," the Po Hai I. said to have a capability of drilling to 200 feet.

At this stage, China is not equipped to carry on extensive offshore test drilling be­yond Po Hai and relatively close-in Yellow Sea areas. By next summer, however, Pe­king will have the first of two Singapore­-made, U.S.-equipped, $33 million "jack­ups" capable of drilling in 275 feet of water. At least one other comparable rig has been ordered in Japan, and more are under active discussion not only in Japan but elsewhere. Supporting vessels and under­sea pipe have been acquired or ordered from Denmark, Japan, and Italy. Most signifi­cant, China has been negotiating a $310 million order with a West German-French consortium for six "semi-submersible" rigs capable of drilling in the deepest and storm­iest waters of the continental shelf conces­sions allotted by Taiwan.

In the rig trade, there are some cynics who accuse the Chinese of a canny variety of "window-shopping" that borders on patent theft. Peking's "negotiations." it is al­leged, are mainly a way of getting a feel for the latest foreign technology and of gathering ideas for use in Chinese rig-mak­ing. This suspicion is widespread, but is not shared by many of those who have dealt most intensively with the Peking agencies involved. The Chinese are afraid of being bilked, it is said, and are cautiously study­ing the ups and downs of the world rig mar­ket. Even if the "window-shopping" inter­pretation should prove valid, though, this would be of greater significance to rig com­panies than to U.S. policy-makers.

What matters in political terms is that China appears likely to have a substantially augmented fleet of rigs in the foreseeable fu­ture and will. Accordingly, be able to con­duct its own test drilling in contested areas where others have hitherto had a clear field. If Peking does buy rigs on the world mar­ket in quantity, this would speed things up; but in any case, rig purchases abroad would go hand in hand with accelerated domestic rig construction, based on foreign prototypes.

Peking's "self-reliance" approach is not meant to shut out foreign technology but rather to avoid technological dependence. This has been clearly foreshadowed by the way in which China has been upgrading its onshore oil capability with foreign help. By 1972, when Peking began to buy Western and Japanese equipment, China had a nu­cleus of trained personnel capable of incor­porating foreign technology into a Chi­nese-controlled administrative infrastructure. More than $20 million of American equip­ment alone has subsequently been imported in order to maximize recovery from existing wells and to speed up the development of new oil fields.

So far, the Chinese have apparently been able to move into the more arcane areas of offshore survey work without letting for­eign involvement get too far ahead of their own expertise. In a little-known but sig­nificant transaction, a leading French geo­physical firm (Compagnie General de Geo­physique, or CGG) has sold Peking at least one late-model seismic survey ship, the Lady Isabel, a somewhat unconventional departure from the usual industry practice of furnishing services rather than know­-how or equipment. The quid pro quo for the French appears to have been separate service contracts for ongoing survey work conducted in tandem with on-the-job train­ing for Chinese technicians. Similar arrange­ments have also been concluded with CGG for one or more additional boats and with Sumitomo for several Japanese survey ves­sels, one of them just delivered.

Since it arrived in early 1974, the Lady Isabel has done initial seismic surveys in the Liaotung Bay (a corner of Po Hai), the Yellow Sea (between Tsingtao and Shanghai), and the South China Sea near Hainan. The seismic tapes from the boat are being interpreted in Peking with the help of CGG advisers, some of them Tokyo-based, and will eventually utilize a Raytheon 703 computer and related American equipment obtained in a $5.3 million deal with the Geospace Corporation of Houston. Twenty Chinese have been to Geospace headquarters for training, and 70,000 pounds of seismic processing equipment was recently airlifted to Peking in the first commercial jet cargo flight between the United States and China.

On their own, the Chinese have already gone far in computer technology and re­cently announced a "hybrid analogue" com­puter said to combine the advantages of the analogue and digital varieties. In operational terms, however, their computer processing center for seismic data in Peking is not yet equipped to cope with the enormous volume of data now coming in as a result of the explosion of offshore survey work. In addi­tion to the Raytheon installation, meant mainly for onshore seismic data. Peking hopes to get additional processing equipment utilizing a Cyber 172, one of the largest

U.S. computers. But like certain types of gravity meters, magnetometers, and other U.S.-licensed items sought by the Chinese as part of their CGG arrangements, the Cyber 172 has militarily applicable components and has yet to clear U.S. export control procedures. In general, the United States has adopted a policy of "not standing in the way" of the Chinese acquisition of oil-re­lated technology. Some sales have been ac­tively encouraged, partly for balance-of-pay­ments reasons and partly in the belief that any increase in oil production anywhere will at least indirectly ease U.S. energy difficulties.

Playing for Time

As Western oilmen see it, the sensible thing for China to do would be to turn over its whole offshore exploration and de­velopment effort to a consortium of leading foreign companies who would work on a management contract basis and be paid in crude. This would expedite the process by years or even decades, it is argued, greatly multiplying the amount of oil available to China both for its political purposes and for financing its industrial imports. In this ap­proach, the issues governing Chinese oil policy are posed from an "onshore" per­spective, as it were, with a decision to "go offshore" seen as a function of economic variables alone. Thus, it is said, China will go offshore if it adopts an overall industrial­ization strategy calling for a growing vol­ume of imports that necessitates, in turn, an ever-rising influx of foreign exchange. As the converse of this, it is argued that China will defer costly offshore risks indefinitely if it opts for a slower rate of modernization. An either-or choice is offered between one policy implicitly presupposing large-scale foreign involvement and another in which offshore activity is delayed as part of an in­ward-focused economic policy.

My own investigation suggests a middle ground between these extremes in which China moves systematically offshore for a combination of economic and political rea­sons. The pace of this process is likely to be governed not only by how much oil is de­sired but also by the rate at which China can absorb foreign technology. So long as China can meet its domestic energy needs, it can afford to suffer delays in the expansion of its oil production for the sake of preserving its basic commitment to "self-reliance." At the same time, to the extent that offshore production can be increased under Chinese auspices, this would relieve pressure on on­shore reserves and would be attractive in long-range economic terms. As a totalitarian state, one should bear in mind, China can engage in the speculative business of off­shore drilling with less concern for an early payoff than foreign private operators.

On purely economic grounds, there might be a case for postponing offshore activity in order to concentrate available resources on the development of onshore oil, gas, coal, and hydroelectric power. Politically, how­ever, offshore oil development offers a way to avoid concentrating too much oil activity near the Soviet border: and in any case, the continental shelf controversy would make delay difficult. Most of China's neighbors have unilaterally allocated concessions in areas where Peking has implicit or explicit claims and. sooner or later, China seems likely to respond to this affront in its own fashion. Military action would be one way of doing so where oil overlaps with other factors, as in the take-over of the Para­cels last year, but would be at variance with the general tenor of current Chinese policy in Asia. Diplomatically, China seems re­luctant to dignify its offshore disputes by agreeing to formal negotiations, especially since it regards two of the regimes concerned. Seoul and Taipei, as illegitimate and imper­manent. Peking seems to be playing for time until its own offshore capabilities are more fully developed. In a few short years, China will be able to signal its intentions in spe­cific areas with survey ships and rigs rather than gunboats. Just as its rivals are now seeking to stake their claim by doing seismic studies and drilling wildcat wells, so China will be newly equipped to do the same; and in such a war of nerves, others might well decide to back off in some of the key areas concerned. Already, in the Superior incident, the United States showed a degree of defer­ence to incipient Chinese claims that have not even been formally spelled out yet.

Some observers have suggested that the development of the contested offshore areas will be delayed until sea boundary settle­ments can be reached. Perhaps it would be more meaningful to say that development will come when China is ready to par­ticipate in planning and executing the process on a basis of greater technological parity. This view is supported by the element of vagueness in the Chinese stand on Law of the Sea issues as they apply to Asia. By avoiding a precise definition of its attitude toward possible boundary settlements. Pe­king helps to paralyze offshore oil and gas production until it is prepared to play its hand.

Significantly. China makes a distinction between exploration and production. Chou En-Iai has done so on the record, and the informal Chinese attitude is that Peking has nothing to lose by letting foreign explora­tion activities proceed up to the very brink of actual development. When Chinese off­shore claims are asserted, it is said, Peking can then seek to obtain the data resulting from these exploration efforts by offering generous compensation to the foreign interests involved. This attitude could pro­duce a deceptively mild Chinese approach to offshore controversies during the next several years. Given the apparent limitations of the seismic survey program it is devel­oping. Peking appears unlikely to complete a preliminary assessment of its vast conti­nental shelf before 1978. By that time, how­ever, Peking may have acquired the first of its new foreign rigs and additional, domes­tically made rigs may also have been com­pleted. The possibility of a more assertive Chinese stance would then be a real one, es­pecially if there should be dramatic oil dis­coveries or embarrassing "blowouts" result­ing in pollution. The offshore issue could readily become entangled with unresolved power struggles in China and interlocked controversies over "self-reliance" and rela­tions with the United States.

Taiwan and Oil Power

The linkage between offshore oil devel­opment and the future viability of a non­-Communist Taiwan and South Korea makes these cases inherently more volatile than the narrower disputes over boundaries between China and its Communist neigh­bors. North Korea and North Vietnam, or between China and Japan. The future of Taiwan, in particular, would appear to be closely linked with the offshore issue. Peking would not necessarily oppose offshore devel­opment by Taiwan and its foreign collab­orators in the context of a gradual move­ment of the island over time into the eco­nomic, diplomatic, and defense orbit of the mainland. By the same token, the use of offshore riches to move toward a sovereign Taiwan could trigger a hardening of the Chinese posture.

One significant factor affecting the Chi­nese attitude might be whether any oil and gas produced in offshore areas is tied directly into the welfare and development of Tai­wan or is exported. Since China expects Taiwan to be mainland-controlled sooner or later, any contribution to its develop­ment is regarded, in principle, as desirable. By contrast, export earnings from oil could be viewed as a new source of foreign ex­change for armaments and for other trap­pings of state power serving to strengthen the position of the Kuomintang regime.

Another key factor in Chinese eyes is likely to be where drilling occurs and what status for Taipei each location implies: an all-Chinese regime with jurisdiction over the mainland; a sovereign Taiwan coequal with Peking in international law; or provincial status within a Chinese framework. In the Superior incident, drilling was scheduled in an area that could only be claimed, jurid­ically, by a government purporting to rule the mainland. The United States reacted unambiguously to this but has avoided fur­ther definition of the proper limits of Tai­wan's offshore jurisdiction. Implicit approv­al of drilling within 200 miles would have major policy import, reflecting interna­tional law concepts applied to sovereign en­tities: as a province of China. Taiwan would have less extensive authority. To drill a well in the East China Sea 200 miles from the island would be a calculated political gambit in the Taipei-Peking chess game, just as a continued decision to stay within, say, 100 miles would imply acceptance of some form of provincial jurisdiction.

In the case of North Korea and North Vietnam, as I have indicated. China is utilizing its oil exports as a means of soft­ening offshore boundary disputes. So far as is known, Pyongyang has been the more mal­leable of the two and has not yet made ef­forts to explore its own offshore areas com­parable to the closely guarded arrangements commissioned by Hanoi. Peking and Hanoi have both conducted seismic surveys in the Tonkin Gulf and are not known to have a median line agreement there. More impor­tant, the China-Vietnam collision involves not only the median line issue in the Ton­kin Gulf-Hainan area but also a basic terri­torial conflict in waters beyond the conti­nental shelf over ownership of coral archipelagos and island groups. Hanoi, unlike Saigon, has not made an overt issue of the Paracels, where Peking began onshore drill­ing soon after its take-over last year; but one of the Spratlys was reported occupied by the new Communist regime in Saigon soon after it won power. Nominal Chinese claims in the South China Sea reach almost as far south as the Philippines. Sabah. Brunei. and Sarawak, though it is not clear how serious­ly these are meant. In any case, with the shelf dropping off relatively close to shore, the South China Sea is generally much deep­er than the East China Sea and much of it is likely to be beyond the reach of offshore drilling technology for some years. On the surface, Japanese demands for rec­ognition as a continental shelf power might appear to offer the most serious danger of offshore oil conflict in Asia. As part of its larger effort to offset Japanese-Soviet ties, however, China is soft-pedaling its claims to the disputed Senkaku islands and hopes to induce Japan to pigeonhole its own claims by stepping up oil exports. China does not occupy the Senkakus (as the Soviets do in the case of four disputed islands in the Kurile chain), and Japan can keep tabs on the situation, in any case, from the nearby Ryukyus. Tokyo appears ready to let the Senkakus hang in limbo, at least while the oil tap continues to flow from Peking.

Chinese oil exports to Japan are expected to reach eight million tons this year and 25 million tons by 1980 on the basis of al­ready ongoing plans for port and pipeline improvements with Japanese assistance. This could quickly go much higher if China agrees to give Japan Takang oil rather than the presently supplied Taching variety, which competes directly with Indonesian imports already ordered on a long-term basis. On the whole, Chinese oil is prized in pollution-­conscious Japan for its low sulphur content, though some grades are too waxy.

Peking has been teasing Japan with hints that it may get 10 percent of future produc­tion on a regular basis, and there are com­petent Japanese analysts who see a chance for considerably more, as China's need for foreign exchange multiplies. The Japanese projection of 440 million tons by 1985, cited earlier, assumes an export volume in the neighborhood of 200 million tons. Japanese crude imports are now running about 300 million tons annually, and the maximum increases now anticipated would bring this near 600 million tons.

Conceivably, given a Taiwan settlement satisfactory to Peking, the U.S. West Coast might get token amounts of Chinese oil. An examination of this issue is beyond the scope of this article, but large-scale Chinese ex­ports to the United States appear unlikely. In economic terms, this is easy to envisage; politically it would run counter to the un­derlying Chinese nationalist objective of building competitive power vis-a-vis the Western world.

At the very least, Japan sees an oppor­tunity to obtain the lion's share of offshore oil and gas production in east Asia without incurring the attendant exploration risks. More optimistic Japanese leaders hope for a lucrative technical partnership role in the development of offshore resources not only in the Po Hai-Yellow Sea area but in the East China Sea as well. China has carefully left the door open for some form of Sino-­Japanese understanding with respect to the continental shelf that would permit oil de­velopment to go forward even if title ques­tions cannot be finally resolved.

Under one provision of the deliberately open-ended draft treaty issued by the Ge­neva Law of the Sea conference. China could agree to a median-line agreement with Ja­pan, treating the East China Sea as a "semi­-enclosed sea." Under another provision, China could claim control of the entire shelf up to the undersea "continental mar­gin" just west of the Ryukyus (the provi­sion in question permits title up to the mar­gin in cases where the shelf is longer than the 200-mile economic zone envisaged in the draft treaty). Even under this latter provision, however, as Chirra has intimated in informal Law of the Sea exchanges with Japan, there may be scope for negotiations on the division of the spoils beyond the 200-mile zone. What China seems to be suggesting is benign neglect of Japanese legal claims to the shelf and a face-saving neigh­borly agreement instead, couched in terms of mutual economic interest. The Senkakus would fall on the "Japanese" side of the 200-mile zone, but the title problem would be put aside indefinitely. A Sino-Japanese agreement for some form of condominium in the East China Sea would unavoidably bring the Taiwan issue to a head. China's claims to the Senkakus are in part an extension of its claims to Tai­wan, and it is difficult to conceive of an oil-­related Senkaku compromise that would not carry with it a Peking-Taipei agreement re­defining the status of Taiwan as a province of China. So far, however, most Taiwan leaders discount the possibility of Sino-Japa­nese collaboration and predict, on the con­trary, continuing tension between Peking and Tokyo. In this view, Peking is not bothered by Taiwan's claims in the East China Sea and would rather see drilling there under the auspices of anti-Communist Chinese than inroads by Japanese of any persuasion. Tokyo has allocated "shadow" concessions that overlap the Taiwan claims (one of those in the Senkaku area is backed by Nippon Steel) but hitherto has withheld authorization for drilling.

What is the prospect for Sino-Japanese relations? How far is Tokyo prepared to go in offsetting its Middle East dependence with a new dependence on Peking? A long and complex bargaining process lies ahead, and the outcome is far from clear. The in­tensity of recent Chinese efforts to push Ja­pan into an overtly anti-Soviet stance has induced a new note of caution in the Japa­nese attitude. At the same time, Japanese dis­trust of the Soviet Union has deep historical roots and stands in striking contrast to the positive cultural chemistry pervading the Sino-Japanese relationship. Many of the same conservative leaders who were most opposed to the 1972 normalization are now the most fervent advocates of cooperation with Peking, their anti-Communism dis­solved not only by the findings of petro­leum geology but by a resurgence of pan-­Asian pride. Even before Takang and Po Hai, it should be remembered, there were powerful psychological factors drawing Tokyo toward Peking. It is in this context that China's oil potential should be most carefully measured in the decades ahead.

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