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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 26, 1954

CABLE FROM ZHOU ENLAI, 'REGARDING SPEECHES AT THE CONFERENCE AND THE SITUATION AT THE FIRST PLENARY SESSION'

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    Zhou Enlai reports on some last minute agreements regarding the conference procedures. It is decided that the Korean delegation will speak first, and that Thailand, Britain, and the Soviet Union will take turns chairing the conference.
    "Cable from Zhou Enlai, 'Regarding Speeches at the Conference and the Situation at the First Plenary Session'," April 26, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y049. Translated by Gao Bei. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110601
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(Top Secret)

Chairman Mao [Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee:

(1) We have agreed with the Soviet comrades in the last two days that we should let the Korean delegation speak first. Moreover, in their first speech the Korean delegation should present the plans to reunify Korea by peaceful means, withdraw all foreign troops, and oblige major countries (who are directly involved in the war) to ensure and help to bring about Korea's peaceful reunification. China and the Soviet Union should, in turn, express their support for the Korean delegation's positions one day after they speak. Therefore, I should also make a comprehensive statement myself. Right now I am reorganizing the drafts of the opening speech and two statements supporting the Korean delegation, and making changes based on several suggestions from the Soviet comrades. We will also present the principles for an Asian peace charter. However, we will not emphasize the Indochina issue for the moment since we hope to concentrate on the Korean issue in the first discussion. It will also demonstrate that we are not the people who are eager to negotiate.

(2) Regarding the issue of the chairman of the conference, we have already consulted with the Soviet Union and Britain in advance and decided that Thailand, the Soviet Union, and Britain should take the chair in turn. Thailand already acted as the interim chair when this afternoon's meeting started at 3:00 p.m. Afterwards, the United States proposed that the above three countries take turns as chair. It was instantly put to vote and adopted. The meeting was adjourned thereafter. This meeting took only 15 minutes. Speeches and discussion will start tomorrow.

(3) Today Molotov introduced [British Foreign Secretary Anthony] Eden to me at the meeting. He shook my hand and greeted me.

Zhou Enlai
26 April [1954]

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