BONN — In his first cautious criticism of the bloody events in China, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev today expressed concern and said failure of reform there would undermine efforts to ease world tensions.
It was his first extensive statement on China since the Soviet Parliament early this month condemned all outside attempts to put pressure on Beijing and labeled the violent crushing of pro-democracy protests an internal affair.
Saying he hopes that Chinese reform will not fail, Gorbachev told a news conference here that if it does, "this could cause major damage to the process of improving relations in the world.
"We regret some aspects of what has happened," Gorbachev said at the end of a four-day visit to West Germany.
"We hope that China--its people and its government--will find a way out that lives up to the interests of the Chinese people and our general expectations."