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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)

  • July 17, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Anthony Eden

    Eden assures Zhou that the US has no intention of establishing military bases in Indochina, and that although it has not been suggested that Cambodia and Laos join the Southeast Asian Pact, such an agreement would not threaten China. Zhou expresses concern over the pact, and suggests another model for peace in Indochina. The two debate over these issues.

  • July 18, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee, Regarding meeting with Tep Phan

    In this telegram Zhou Enlai writes to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee, regarding his meeting with Cambodian Foreign Minister Tep Phan. They discussed the issues of foreign military bases in Cambodia and the incorporation of the resistance force of Cambodia into the forces of the kingdom.

  • July 18, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhang Wentian and Harold Caccia

    Caccia informs Zhang that Eden will not bring up the issue of the Indochina countries joining Southeast Asian if an agreement is reached at the conference. Zhang notes that both the French and Vietnamese feel they've made enough concessions regarding regrouping areas in Laos. Caccia mentions Vietnam's rejection of the proposed make-up of the NNSC, and Zhang and Caccia discuss the need for a definite election date in Vietnam.

  • July 18, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Laotian Foreign Minister Phoui Sananikone (Summary)

    Sananikone asks for Zhou's opinion on several problems/issues Laos faces regarding the armistice and unification in Laos. Sananikone also makes clear that Laos does not plan on joining the Southeast Asian Pact, saying there is no need to if the conference can reach an agreement.

  • July 19, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhang Wentian and Harold Caccia, First Meeting

    Zhang and Caccia discuss three points. First Caccia mentions the French are primarily concerned with Route 9, and makes suggestions for this. Secondly, Caccia notes the French do not see elections occurring for another couple of years. Finally, Caccia makes clear that if an agreement is reached at the conference, there is no need for the Indochina countries to join military alliances.

  • July 19, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhang Wentian and Harold Caccia, Second Meeting of 19 July

    Zhou meets with Eden to discuss five points: the demarcation line in Vietnam, elections, the international supervisory committee, withdrawal of foreign troops, and a guarantee that collective measures will be taken if a breech of an agreement is made.

  • July 19, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Twenty-third Restricted Session

    Zhou reports on the 23rd restricted session on Indochina. The delegates of the conference hope to make an agreement on the 20th. Zhou notes that both the Chinese/Russian side and the other side have begun to make compromises, however Bao Dai's Vietnamese delegation refused to the division of Vietnam.

  • July 19, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai, Pierre Mendes-France, and Eden

    Zhou, Mendes-France, and Eden discuss regrouping areas and French troops in Laos. The three are close in their opinions, but there are still points of division. Mendes-France agrees to limit the number of French troops, but insists a specified time limit is unreasonable. Mendes-France also insists that some regrouping areas are needed in the south. This last point, the three agree to leave to military experts.

  • July 19, 1954

    From the Journal of Molotov: Secret Memorandum of Conversation with Eden at his Villa in Geneva, 10:00 p.m.

    Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav M. Molotov and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden discuss the progress of the Geneva Conference thus far. They discuss the withdrawal of troops from Laos and Cambodia, the situations in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and how best to solve these situations. They also discuss the relations between France and Vietnam.

  • July 20, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding Zhou’s Meetings with Pierre Mendes-France and Eden, as well as Discussions Outside the Conference

    Zhou reports on his meeting with Medes-France and Eden. Though Zhou notes they have found a solution for the election date in Vietnam, the parties still must work out issues of regrouping areas and troop withdrawal.

  • July 20, 1954

    Minutes of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Cambodian Foreign Minister Tep Phan (Summary)

    Zhou Enlai and Tep Phan discuss the Vietnamese proposal for conflict resolution. The Cambodian side discusses issues on which they agree with the Vietnamese (that the Vietnamese will not be discriminated against in Cambodia, that there will be no combatant personnel in Cambodia, etc.) and issues on which they disagree (military issues, Viet Minh withdrawal timetable, etc.). Zhou expresses hope that these issues will be resolved in an upcoming meeting with the Vietnamese, and that he will do what he can to assist in the resolution.

  • July 22, 1954

    Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee, Regarding the final plenary session of the conference (excerpt)

    In this telegram Zhou Enlai writes to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee, regarding the final plenary session of the conference. "The Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities in Cambodia" was signed on July 21 and Zhou met with the participating delegations, and celebrated with the delegations from Soviet Union, Vietnam, and China.

  • July 27, 1954

    Telegram, CCP Central Committee to Zhou Enlai, Concerning Policies and Measures in the Struggle against the United States and Jiang Jieshi after the Geneva Conference

    In this telegram, the CCP discusses policies and measures taken to break up the US-Chiang treaty, and to liberate Taiwan. The CCP describes its propaganda efforts and efforts to enhance naval and air forces.

  • July 29, 1954

    Memorandum of Conversation, between Soviet Premier Georgy M. Malenkov and Zhou Enlai

    Soviet Premier Georgy M. Malenkov and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai discuss the incidents between China and Taiwan, the US’s support of Taiwan, and the US bloc in the South Pacific. They contemplate various means through which China could prevent further provocations by Taiwan and how to break apart the American bloc. Zhou Enlai also offers suggestions concerning the elections in Korea that would help accomplish Soviet goals for the area.

  • March 19, 1955

    Telegram to V. M. Molotov on Report of the Agency France Press

    Telegram from V. Kuznetsov about the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Piné's statement that a conference of the three powers has been called to discuss problems of Indo-China and implementation of Geneva accords. The telegram concludes that a meeting is needed with Piné to demonstrate that the Soviet Union is firmly monitoring any Geneva accord violations.