PEKING, Sept. 10, 1972 (UPI) - Premier Chou En-lai is taking China through a diplomatic revolution that may well shape China's future and the make-up of its leadership for years to come - even after Chou and Chairman Mao Tse-tung have passed from the scene.
This relatively quiet basic change has been going on for almost two years since the fading of the Cultural Revolution.
One sensational turn was the visit of President Nixon last February. Now, six months later, China is about to establish relations with Japan.
In a series of talks with Chinese experts in Hong Kong, dozens of Chinese officials at all levels, various revolutionary committees, military commissars, newspapermen, deposed Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk, and a brief "off the record" conversation with the Premier himself, it is apparent that China is breaking out from its insular and isolationist policy of more than 20 years.
This is occurring with a rapidity that is surprising many observers.
Success will mean an end to the old "encirclement" policy originated by former U. S. Secretary John Foster Dulles and the more recent encirclement policies of the Soviet Union, against whom Chinese feeling borders on contempt.
Many China experts and Chinese officials believe present U. S. directions in Asia are helping Chou En-lai in his goals. The Chinese obviously look upon President Nixon with a degree of favor.
Chou's goals in order of priority apparently are these:
1--Withdrawal of all U. S. military power in Indochina and an end to the Vietnam War on conditions that will guarantee at least independent alignment of the countries bordering on China. They do not necessarily have to be Communist governments, although this of course would be preferable from the Chinese viewpoint.
2--Establishment of diplomatic relations with Japan and the lessening of U. S. influence there in an effort to neutralize Japan's growing economic and political muscle vis-