Jack Lynch believed China needed and wanted friends in the West but was not willing to make allies.
As TD in 1980 Mr Lynch travelled to the Far East and in a follow-up report to government he claimed the Communist state feared Russia was plotting world domination.
Although China wanted the West's support to stand firm against the USSR it was not willing to make formal Nato-type allegiances. The then former Taoiseach said senior Chinese politicians were warning of a world war by 1984 or 1985 and that their Soviet neighbours had "designs on the Gulf states".
Mr Lynch had been invited on the visit by the Institute of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.
Mr Lynch met China's reformer, senior vice premier Deng Xiaoping, who he described as the country's strong man.
Deng Xiaoping was renowned as a liberal who opened China to western markets.
The report contained in the State papers released under the 30-year rule stated that China's biggest fear was "Russian Hegemonism".
Officials warned Mr Lynch that they believed Russia was aiming to "outflank and encircle Western Europe in the Middle East and North Africa". The four-page document said the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and its support for the Khmer Rouge in Kampuchea (Cambodia) was not isolated action.
"It would be misleading for the rest of the world to think that the Russians will stop there," Mr Lynch reported the Chinese saying. "When these two parts of the Russian plan had been completed, Russia would then be in a strong position to move further in their ultimate plan of world domination."
Mr Lynch said Chinese chiefs feared Russia was aiming to "interfere" in Iran, Pakistan and eventually Turkey. He said they could see the Soviets taking control of the Gulf States and Straits of Malacca.