To estimate the position of Communist China as a world power 10 years
from now, in the light of its probable political, economic, scientific,
and military strengths and weaknesses.
This estimate is based on what now appears to be the most probable course
of the important factors likely to affect Communist China's industrial,
scientific, and military growth over this period. Primary factors are
the race between food production and population growth, and the
Sino-Soviet dispute. Since these and many other factors could develop in
a number of different ways, our judgments are necessarily tentative,
particularly in view of the dearth of information on current conditions
and the degree of the recent disruption of Peiping's long-range plans.
However, a “contingency” section considers the effect of unanticipated
developments in the primary factors of agriculture and Sino-Soviet
relations. For both the main estimate and the contingencies it has been
assumed that neither general war nor major international war in the Far
East has occurred.
1. In 1971 mainland China will probably continue to be under the control
of a ruthless, determined, and unified Communist leadership which
remains basically hostile to the US. Communist China's position as one
of the major power centers of the world will have been greatly
strengthened. Communist China will probably have more than 850 million
people and will continue to have the world's largest standing army and
military reserve. It is likely to be among the top three nations in the
production of coal, steel, and electric power. (Paras. 5, 9, 14, 18)
3. At the same time its people will continue to subsist on a barely
adequate diet in good years, suffering shortages in bad years. Although
impressive advances will have been made in science and technology, the
quality, diversity, and technological level of production still will be
considerably below that of Japan, the USSR, and the industrial nations of the West. (Paras. 6-11,
4. As Communist China's strength grows, relations with the USSR will become an increasingly difficult
problem. Communist China will become even less restrained in taking
political or military action independent of the USSR. It is likely, however, that their common commitment
to the Communist cause, and, especially, their common enmity toward the
anti-Communist world will preserve sufficient unity to enable Moscow and
Peiping to act in concert against the West, especially in times of major
challenge. (Para. 17)
[Here follow paragraphs 5-18, comprising the Discussion portion of the
estimate; paragraphs 19-25, entitled “Contingencies”; and Appendix A.
The contingencies considered were agricultural failure and a major
change either for the better or for the worse in Sino-Soviet relations.
Appendix A discussed the estimate's prediction of GNP growth averaging 6-8 percent per
*Source: Department of State, INR/EAP Files: Lot 90 D
110. Secret. According to a note on the covering sheet, the Central
Intelligence Agency and the intelligence agencies of the Departments
of State, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Joint Staff,
and the AEC participated in the
preparation of this estimate. All members of the USIB concurred in this estimate on
September 28 except the representative of the FBI, who abstained on the grounds that
the subject was outside his jurisdiction.
1These estimates of Communist China's missile and
nuclear capabilities in 1971 are preliminary and tentative, subject
to revision after intensive analysis in the forthcoming SNIE 13-4-61, “Chinese Communist
Advanced Weapons Capabilities.” [Footnote in the source text. SNIE 13-4-61 was apparently never
2The projections in this paragraph assume
continued Soviet cooperation at somewhere near the present level.
The contingencies of a marked increase or decrease in Soviet
cooperation are discussed in paragraphs 24 and 25. [Footnote in the