May 14, 1978 – Clouds Over Ogaden – Sino-Soviet Postures – Taipei Is Not Amused
May 14, 1978 – War clouds hanging over the Ogaden desert between Ethiopian and Somalia. In Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian State Radio reported a warning; Somalian must cease forthwith its alleged support of insurgents in the Ogaden, or Ethiopian forces will strike across the border, into Somalia.
In Beijing, the New China News Agency reported that a recent decision by the Communist Party Central Committee to order intensified training of Chinese armed forces. The steps were being taken, as China put it, War with The Soviet Union was inevitable.
The White House announced that U.S. Military experts were to be included in the delegation traveling to China with National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski. That fact was not lost on the Soviets. The Nationalist Chinese were also making note of the trip. Brzezinksi was scheduled to arrive on May 20th, the same day as the Nationalist Chinese were inaugurating their new President in Taipei. Officials in Taiwan were not amused by the coincidence. Despite vague reassurances from the U.S. National Security Council that the timing was just “convenient”, there was bitter grumbling in government circles that the Carter Administration wasn’t sending an envoy to the Inauguration, rather the U.S. would be represented only by a Diplomatic Ambassador in Taipei. Topping everything off was news that the Embassy was getting ready to shut down that affiliated USIS libraries in two major cities in Taiwan. These various signs of neglect had led the local press to suggest, among other things, that the least the U.S. could do for its once-strong Asian ally was to provide a massive sale of weapons.
All that, and a lot more for this May 14, 1978 (a Sunday and also Mothers Day 40 years ago), as presented by CBS Radio – News On The hour.