Richard A. Wich
Richard A. Wich, who spent much of his career with the CIA’s Foreign Broadcast Information Service and became an authority on Chinese-Soviet relations, died Sept. 17 at George Washington University Hospital. He was 79.
He had myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone marrow disorder, said his wife, Joyce Harmon.
Mr. Wich (pronounced “Wick”) held a graduate degree in philosophy and had a background in publishing when he responded in 1961 to a somewhat vague advertisement seeking people keen on overseas travel. It wound up being a job with the FBIS, which monitors news and information sources abroad.
During his 28-year career, he served as bureau chief in Tel Aviv, Vienna and Bangkok. His final assignment with FBIS was chief of the analysis group.
His first book, “Sino-Soviet Crisis Politics” (1980), was an examination of tensions arising between China and the Soviet Union after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and as China was emerging from the isolation of its Cultural Revolution.