Zbigniev Brzezinski told 250 people last night in Burr A that one of the largest political costs of President Nixon's China trip was increased tension between the United States and Japan.
Brzezinski, professor of Political Science at Columbia, said that "an extremely large cost which the U.S. paid by going to China was the intensified political anxiety which was felt by the Japanese.
"And the only way that the American government can hope to improve the present situation will be through stronger political consultations with Japan, not through an increase of economic consultations."
Brzezinski was one of four China specialists who took part in a forum entitled, "China: After the Nixon Visit," sponsored by the Harvard Center for International Affairs and East Asian Research Center.
Edwin O. Reischauer, University Professor and moderator of the panel discussion, agreed with Brzezinski. He said that "part of the reason for this strong anxiety is related to the way the the U.S. government set up the meeting with China."
"The Japanese are undoubtedly beginning to wonder about American intentions, and this probably had adverse effects for future relations between the U.S. and Japan," he said.
Ross Terrill, lecturer in Government, spoke optimistically about the future of resolving the Taiwan issue.
"The communique issued from China is a significant step because the Chinese have agreed to start formulating relations before the Taiwan problem is totally resolved," he said. "The timing of the Taiwan question is now in the hands of Peking and the U.S. And it appears that the pressure in Peking is for settlement of the loose end of the civil war."