Western observers are watching for signs of concern or anger from the Soviet Union about the visit to Rumania by Chinese leader Hua Kuo-feng.
Western observers are watching for signs of concern or anger from the Soviet Union about the visit to Rumania by Chinese leader Hua Kuo-feng. Chairman Hua arrived in Bucharest on Wednesday (16 August) to an enthusiastic welcome by tens of thousands of people. Rumanian officials were reported to be handling the visit arrangements with care to avoid giving offence to the Kremlin. But in his first main speech of his five-day stay, Chairman Hua made a thinly-veiled attack on the Soviet Union and observers say this could cause embarrassment for his Rumanian hosts.
SYNOPSIS: On Wednesday evening, a few hours after his arrival, Chairman Hua was welcomed to a state banquet at the Presidential Palace in Bucharest by President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. The historic importance of the visit was shown by the willingness of both leaders to be widely photographed by the world's press. It is the first trip by a Chinese Party Chairman outside Asia in 20 years. And it comes at a time of continuing bitter Sino-Soviet relations, with Rumania being the only Soviet-Bloc country to enjoy friendly contact with Peking.
The two leaders have been holding talks on economic ties and world political issues and the official Rumanian news agency has said the discussions are progressing in an atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding.
President Ceausescu told banquet guests that several accords would be signed. He hailed China's growing important role in the world arena and spoke on re-divisions of world zones of influence. But Chairman Hua was more prepared to attack -- although indirectly -- what he saw as growing moves by the super powers to dominate the world. He accused imperialism, meaning the United States, and hegemonism, meaning the Soviet Union, of "spreading out their hands all over to infiltrate, undermine and to commit aggression and expansion against some countries."