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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Geneva Conference of 1954

The Geneva Conference of 1954 was an international meeting in Switzerland involving the Soviet Union, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, China and the Viet Minh. The powers involved attempted to negotiate a settlement to end the conflict in Indochina and re-unify Vietnam. The conference also dealt unsuccessful with the problem of divided Korea. See also the First Indochinese War and the Vietnam War. (Image, Geneva Conference negotiations, US Army Photograph)

  • May 17, 1954

    Telegram, Reply from the CCP Central Committee to Zhou Enlai’s Telegrams of 15 May and 17 May 1954

    The CCP informs Zhou that they agree that Korean elections should be supervised by neutral nations. They also emphasize two important points regarding the conditions for the elections.

  • May 17, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee (excerpt)

    Zhou Enlai informs Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee that despite an increased possibility for ceasefire, there are plots for sabotaging the ceasefire in Indochina by the US and factions for war in France.

  • May 18, 1954

    Cable from Zhou Enlai, 'Regarding Pham Van Don's reply to Eden'

    Zhou Enlai write Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and report to the CCP Central Committee, regarding Pham Van Dong's reply to Eden and the issue of transporting wounded soldiers from Dien Bien Phu.

  • May 19, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Second Restricted Session

    Zhou Enlai reports to the CCP on the second restricted session on Indochina and propaganda efforts of the Chinese and Russians. During the Indochina session, the US, France, and Britain disagreed with China, Russia, and the DRV on whether or not the Laos and Cambodia issues should be discussed separately from the Vietnam issues.

  • May 20, 1954

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

    Zhou Enlai reports on the continued session on Indochina. Again, the participants are divided in their opinions and nothing is achieved. All agree to continue the discussion another day. Also, Zhou prepares to take the lead in the session on Korea.

  • May 22, 1954

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

    Zhou Enlai reports on the Indochina session and the upcoming Korea session. All sides agree on the order of discussion of a ceasefire in Indochina and that they are open to including more in the discussion.

  • May 30, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee, (excerpt)

    Zhou Enlai highlights the main problems with the Communist negotiation strategy, which lies in lack of proper understanding of the complexity of the Indochina question. He also stresses that both sides need to discuss "three key issues, namely, dividing zones, ceasefire supervision and international guarantee."

  • May 30, 1954

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

    Zhou reports on the restrictive session on Indochina. Participating countries agreed to a three-point proposal regarding peace in Indochina.

  • May 30, 1954

    Minutes, Director of the Staff Office of the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wang Bingnan’s Meeting with President of the International Federation on Human Rights Joseph Paul-Boncour

    Wang reports on his discussion with Paul-Boncour and Chauvel. Paul-Boncour makes suggestions on the upcoming secret meeting between Bidault and Zhou. Also, Wang and Chauvel discuss issues at the conference such as the cease-fire and supervisory committee in Indochina.

  • June 01, 1954

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

    Zhou reports on his conversation with Molotov and on the ninth restricted session on Indochina. Molotov describes his earlier meeting with Eden. Later, at the ninth session, Zhou insists to his opponents that the NNSC on Korea should serve as a model for NNSC on Indochina.

  • June 01, 1954

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Georges Bidault

    Bidault and Zhou discuss the need to come to an agreement on troop regrouping and the composition and role of the supervisory committee for Indochina.

  • June 02, 1954

    Zhou Enlai’s Report to the Central Committee about His Contacts with Robert Eden and Georges Bidault

    Zhou reports on issues raised at Eden's banquet. Zhou tells Eden that the commission of neutral nations overseeing the Korean elections should be made up of both European and Asian countries.

  • June 03, 1954

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

    Zhou reports on the tenth restricted session on Indochina. Bidault spoke of the five functions of the NNSC for Indochina. Bidault opposes Poland's and Czechoslovakia's participation in the NNSC because he believes communist nations cannot be neutral.

  • 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

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Thirteenth Plenary Session

    Zhou reports on the plenary session on the Korea issue. Mainly, Zhou writes of how the US is impeding negotiations because of their adamant stance in favor of UN supervisory body for Korean unification.

  • 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 07, 1954

    Telegram, CCP Central Committee to Zhou Enlai, Replying to Zhou Enlai’s 7 June 1954 Telegram

    CCP accepts the decisions Zhou wrote of in his 7 June 1954 telegram.