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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)

  • June 08, 1954

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

    Zhou Enlai writes to to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee to inform them that the "big adjustment" plan of dividing Vietnam and drawing borders is most favorable to them. He cautions that the other plans are not favorable and that some small concessions might have to be made in order to avoid other less favorable plans.

  • June 09, 1954

    Telegram, Li Kenong to the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regarding the Chinese Delegation’s Meeting with the Delegations of Various Popular French Organizations

    Li Kenong reports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Chinese delegation liaison team with the French delegations. Li describes the attitudes of most of the delegates as pro-Chinese and anti-American. The North African delegation, whom Li also meets, is described as anti-French government. Additionally, Li reports on propaganda materials (e.g. literature, buttons, etc) distributed during these meetings.

  • 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 11, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Seventh Plenary Session

    Zhou reports to the CCP on the opening session of the Geneva Conference on Indochina. During this session, Pham Van Dong presents his five-point proposal, and Molotov rebuts arguments made by the US.

  • June 13, 1954

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

    Tensions rise as the six western countries decide the Korean issue should be returned to the UN if decisions cannot be reached in this episode of the Geneva conference.

  • June 14, 1954

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

    Zhou Enlai writes that the French concern for their troops has made them more willing to negotiate. Additionally Zhou assures Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and the CCP Central Committee that their side has maintained a positive attitude and the world will be left with the impression that their side has consistently pursued negotiations for reaching an agreement, whereas the US is merely attempting to sabotage the conference.

  • June 14, 1954

    Minutes, Meeting between Wang Bingnan and French Delegation Member Jean Paul-Boncour (Summary)

    Paul-Boncour and Bingnan discuss the Korean issue. Paul-Boncour states that the US is joining 15 other countries to "sabotage" the conference on the issue of international supervision of Korean unification.

  • June 15, 1954

    Summary, Zhou Enlai's presentation at a meeting of the Chinese, Soviet, and Vietnamese delegations

    Zhou Enlai states that under the current situation the communist side should make concessions on the Laos and Cambodia questions so that the conference will continue. Additionally he sees the key issue in the negotiation now is whether to acknowledge that there are Vietnamese troops in the two countries.

  • June 15, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Regarding the Thirteenth Restricted Session

    Zhou Enlai writes to Chairman Mao, Comrade Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee about the thirteenth restricted session of the Geneva Conference. During this session Molotov put forward a twelve-point proposal concerning the joint committee, the supervision committee by countries of neutrality, and the question of international guaranty.

  • 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 Chief Thailand Delegate Mr. Phra Rajadharm Nides

    Thai National Assemblyman Phra R. Nides discusses communism in Southeast Asia and the outcomes of the Geneva Conference.

  • June 17, 1954

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

    Zhou reports on the fifteenth plenary session on Korea. After several of their proposals of the Soviet, Korean, and Chinese delegations are turned down, the other 16 nations issue a joint declaration to end the conference. After this, Zhou proposes that the 19 nations issue a joint statement reflecting their common desire to achieve the peaceful settlement of the Korean issue. This proposal is also rejected, and the meeting ends with no agreements made.

  • 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 19, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zeong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee

    Zhou Enlai informs Mao Zeong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee that the proposal concerning a comprehensive settlement raised by the VWP Central Committee has failed to hit the important points and they are not willing to make concessions on the Laos and Cambodia questions.

  • June 20, 1954

    Telegram, CCP Central Committee to Zhou Enlai, Concerning the Meeting at Nanning, 11:00 p.m.

    The CCP confirms Zhou's upcoming trip to China where he will meet with the General Secretary of the VWP and other Chinese officials.

  • 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 20, 1954

    Telegram, CCP Central Committee to Zhou Enlai

    Telegram from the CCP Central Committee to Zhou Enlai saying that given the progress made at the Geneva Conference has made armistice and progress possible. Therefore no big operations should be carried out by the Vietnamese People's Army.

  • 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.