COMMUNISTS: Top-Secret Skirmishes

The bitter conflict between China and the Soviet Union for ideological leadership of the Communist world is usually confined to a war of angry words. But not always. TIME has learned that in recent months there have been severe outbreaks of fighting near the Ussuri and Amur rivers, which constitute the ultra-sensitive border between China and Siberia, where several bloody skirmishes took place in 1969. This time the clashes, detected by Western aerial reconnaissance, have been carefully hushed up. Why? The Soviets do not want to advertise the border conflict when they...

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