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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Indochinese War

The First Indochina War began as a rebellion by Vit Minh forces against the French colonial government. This collection mainly focuses on the end of the conflict in 1954. See also the Geneva Conference of 1954 and the Vietnam War. (Image, French Marine commandos off the Annam coast, 1950)

  • June 04, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Eleventh Restricted Session

    Zhou reports on the eleventh restricted session on Indochina. During the session, Zhou opposes using the UN as a supervisory body, and asserts that the joint commission should take major responsibility in implementing the armistice, and that the NNSC's function is to supervise the joint commission's work and the Indochina borders.

  • June 05, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Twelfth Restricted Session

    Zhou reports on the twelfth restricted session on Indochina. Participants consider Zhou's proposal that the NNSC should be responsible to the Geneva Conference participants. Molotov gives his counterarguments to Smith's and Bidault's statements.

  • June 05, 1954

    Minutes, Wang Bingnan’s Meeting with Jean Chauvel and Counselor to the French Delegation, Colonel Jacques Guillermaz

    Wang and Chauvel discuss the armistice in Indochina. Wang presents China's ideas on the three part supervisory committee for the armistice. Chauvel suggests India, Burma, and Pakistan as examples of possible neutral nations to participate in the NNSC, and Wang supports the Soviet delegation's suggestions.

  • June 06, 1954

    Minutes, Wang Bingnan’s Meeting with French Ambassador to Switzerland Jean Chauvel and Jacques Guillermaz

    Wang and Chauvel discuss hopes for reaching agreements regarding the Indochina armistice. Difficulties in reaching a compromise are covered.

  • June 07, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Concerning Consultations among the Chinese, Soviet and Vietnamese Delegations

    Zhou informs the CCP that he is sending the twelve terms on the Indochina armistice issue to be discussed on the 8th.

  • June 10, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding Zhou’s Conversation with Bidault (Excerpt)

    Zhou reports on his discussion with Bidault on the Indochina issue. The two discuss French relations with the Associated States and the NNSC.

  • June 15, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhang Wentian and Harold Caccia

    In this meeting, Caccia explains to Zhang that Britain firmly supports the withdrawal of all Viet Minh troops from Laos and Cambodia.

  • June 16, 1954

    Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist Conference, Speech by Vietnam Delegate

    Nguyen Van Tam speaks about Vietnam's struggle against communism at the Asian Peoples' Anti-Communist Conference in Chinhae, Korea.

  • June 18, 1954

    Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi and the Central Committee on His Conversation with Georges Bidault

    Zhou reports on his meeting with Bidault. Bidault expresses his desire to see the conference continue, and says there is still a week until Eden and Smith leave to reach some agreement. Zhou also speaks of the Cambodia and Laos issues.

  • June 18, 1954

    Minutes, Meeting between Zhou Enlai and the Australian Minister for External Affairs, Richard Casey (Summary)

    Zhou and Casey discuss issues of Korean unification, PRCs recognition in the UN, and Indochina. Zhou insists that if a nation establishes military bases in another country's territory, it is for aggressive reasons.

  • June 20, 1954

    Telegram, CCP Central Committee to Wei Guoqing, Qiao Xiaoguang and Convey to the Vietnamese Workers Party Central Committee, Regarding the Meeting between the Premier and Comrade Ding

    The CCP informs Wei Guoqing et al that while Molotov, Eden, and Smith are absent, the conference will discuss military issues regarding Indochina. Zhou has met with Molotov about this, and wants to meet with several Chinese and Vietnamese officials.

  • June 21, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Sixteenth Restricted Session

    Zhou reports on his meeting with the four partner delegations to bid farewell to Comrade Nam Il and to discuss the proposals of Laos and Cambodia. Also, Zhou discusses the three points of agreement both sides made during the sixteenth restricted session on Indochina.

  • June 22, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding Talks with Eden

    Zhou reports on a meeting with Eden. In this meeting the two discuss the proposals on Laos and Cambodia. They also agree that the foreign ministers return to the conference regularly to see that their military representatives are productive.

  • June 22, 1954

    Minutes, Zhou Enlai’s Meeting with Jean Chauvel

    Chauvel confirms a meeting for Zhou with the French Prime Minister, and suggests that both countries announce the meeting at the same time to thwart distorted media coverage of the two countries. The two agree that the conference must continue. Also, Chauvel hands Zhou a proposal for a special committee to decide the composition of the supervisory committee.

  • June 23, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Meeting with Sananikone

    Laotian Foreign Minister Sananikone explains to Zhou the wants and intentions of the Laos delegation.

  • June 23, 1954

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Pierre Mendès-France

    Mendes-France and Zhou discuss the Indochina issue during their first meeting together. Both men feel they are in agreement with each other regarding several points (establishing a cease-fire before discussing political issues, that no US military bases should be established in Indochina, elections in Cambodia and Laos, cooperation between France and Vietnam and between the two sides in Vietnam). They end on a positive note, both certain that their few differences of opinion will be worked out.

  • June 26, 1954

    Cable from Li Kenong, 'Concerning the Content of a Meeting between the Soviet, Chinese, and Vietnamese Delegations'

    The Chinese, Vietnamese, and Soviet delegations meet to discuss the division of zones in Indochina.

  • June 29, 1954

    Telegram, Li Kenong to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the Central Committee, 'Briefing on the Meeting by the Chinese, Soviet and Vietnamese Delegations'

    Li Kenong reports on his usual meeting between the Chinese, Soviet, and Vietnamese delegations. Kuznetsov says the French think the Vietnamese are too demanding. Also, the Vietnamese request more discussion on economic issues and less of zone division.

  • July 04, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and the CCP Central Committee, 'A Brief Report on the Meetings at Liuzhou'

    Zhou reports on his meeting in Liuzhou with Viet Minh General Vo Nguyen Giap and military advisor to the VWP Comrade Wei Guoqing. Both men made reports. Zhou then discussed issues at the Geneva Conference.

  • July 07, 1954

    Telegram, Li Kenong to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Twenty-First Restricted Session

    Li reports on the 21st restricted session on Indochina. Li states China's position, which has been consistent, on the NNSC and joint commission. Li notes that the French now lean toward his side regarding Indochina. Li is asked to clarify a point by the French and Cambodian delegates, and the Laotian delegate makes a statement.