High-ranking Chinese and Soviet officials will meet next month to discuss Cambodian peace efforts in the aftermath of informal peace talks between the parties in the conflict, The New York Times reported Friday.
Unidentified American officials told the Times that Secretary of State George Shultz was told by Chinese officials during his recent visit to Beijing that Cambodia will be discussed at an August meeting between representatives of the communist superpowers.Officials from the Soviet Union and China meet twice a year to discuss key issues. Little progress was made at the discussions until October 1986, when the Soviet side agreed to discuss China's demand for the removal of what Beijing calls the "three major obstacles" to better ties - Soviet troops in Afghanistan, the Soviet-backed Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia and the Soviet military concentration on China's border.
After talks in April 1987, the chief Chinese negotiator, Vice Foreign Minister Qian Qi-chen, said that Cambodia had become the major focus of the Sino-Soviet discussions.
The Vietnamese-backed Cambodian government is scheduled to meet with leaders of guerrilla factions in informal peace talks beginning Monday in Indonesia. The talks will also include Vietnam and are expected to bring together all parties involved in the conflict for the first time.
The American officials told the Times neither the Vietnamese nor the Cambodian guerrilla factions have been invited to attend next month's Soviet-Chinese meetings.
Vietnamese Communist Party Leader Nguyen Van Linh was in Moscow this week to confer with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev about Cambodia before the peace talks.
Linh was quoted by the Vietnamese press agency as having assured Gorbachev that all Vietnamese troops will be pulled out of Cambodia by late 1989 or early 1990. Earlier, Vietnam had promised to withdraw from Cambodia by late 1990.
About 100,000 Vietnamese troops remain in Cambodia, bolstering the regime against a three-party coalition of resistance groups, including the pro-China Khmer Rouge. Vietnam has promised to withdraw 50,000 troops by the end of this year.