PEKING — Seven U.S. senators met Tuesday with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and denounced China's voting record at the United Nations. They also complained that China has consistently supported the Soviet Union and opposed the United States.
The delegation, headed by Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), told Deng and other Chinese officials that an examination of the record of last year's U.N. General Assembly showed that China voted with the Soviet Union 86% of the time and with the United States 14% of the time on issues that found the superpowers on opposite sides.
The senators said that Deng made no attempt to answer their criticism in the 75-minute meeting.
"He heard all our questions and looked at his watch," Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) told reporters.
U.S. officials said that Washington has been particularly annoyed with China's repeated support for "name-calling" resolutions attacking the United States. They cited one that said the United States is in "collusion" with South Africa's nuclear program.
Moynihan, a former ambassador to the United Nations, told Deng that China is carrying out "a two-United-States policy," working closely with Washington on bilateral issues but opposing it in public, as at the United Nations.
This was a reference to Peking's complaint about Washington's pursuit of a "two-Chinas policy" in dealing with the People's Republic of China and the Nationalist government on Taiwan.
Another member of the delegation, Sen. Pete Wilson (R-Calif.), told Peng Zhen, a member of the Politburo and one of China's senior leaders, that China's public positions in opposition to the United States were "difficult to understand and unwelcome" to his California constituents.
An account of the session by the government-controlled New China News Agency made no mention of the senators' complaints.
Support for Taiwan
The senators also voiced some unusually strong support for Taiwan. Sen. William S. Cohen (R-Me.) said he told Deng that the people of Taiwan are "longstanding friends of the United States, and we have made an obligation to help defend their security, their way of life, their system and their freedom of choice."
Cohen said China's occasional talk of the possibility of employing a naval blockade or other military force against Taiwan was "counterproductive . . . and would only add more fuel to the fire for support for the Taiwanese people in the form of more advanced weaponry."
Over the past year, Deng and his top aide, Communist Party General Secretary Hu Yaobang, have pointedly refused to rule out the possibility of using force against Taiwan. Deng once told a group of Japanese visitors that China has the power to blockade the island.
Despite the senators' criticism of Chinese policies, the meetings with Deng and other officials were not characterized as acrimonious. Sen. James A. McClure (R-Ida.) told reporters that, in his opinion, relations between China and the United States are progressing and getting stronger.
China Courting Third World
Chinese officials and newspapers often describe China's support for the Third World as a key element in Peking's foreign policy. Its actions in the United Nations are generally portrayed as a reflection of this support.
Moynihan complained, however, that China's U.N. voting record "has not changed from the virulent days of the Cultural Revolution." In fact, he said, while the record of last year's General Assembly shows that nonaligned countries in general backed the Soviet Union 84% of the time, China's record of support was even higher.
He said U.S. officials have studied 20 different U.N. resolutions last year that contained hostile references to the United States and found that China voted for 17 of them and was absent on three occasions.
U.S. officials said that Vernon A. Walters, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, raised the issue with Chinese officials in a series of private meetings here earlier this month. They said the United States was especially upset last year with China's support of U.N. resolutions linking the United States to South Africa.
Nuclear Concern Voiced
Moynihan, while serving as President Gerald R. Ford's ambassador to the United Nations in 1975-76, repeatedly attacked Third World nations for their failure to support the United States.
The senators said they also told the Chinese leaders of their concern about the spread of nuclear weapons. In particular, Cohen said, the United States does not want "to see nations like Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Libya or others have access to technology which would in fact be turned to military purposes."
The senators said that China denied, as it has before, that it is helping Pakistan develop nuclear weapons.
Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole announced that she has signed an agreement opening the way for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide greater assistance to China in developing its ports, harbors and inland waterways.