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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 14, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG AND OTHERS, REGARDING THE SITUATION AT THE TENTH PLENARY SESSION

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    Zhou Enlai reports on Eden's proposals at the tenth session on Korea. Eden focuses on elections based on the population distributions in North and South Korea, international supervision, and foreign troop withdrawal.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Tenth Plenary Session," May 14, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0049. Translated by Gao Bei. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110615
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Chairman Mao, Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi and the Central Committee:

(I) The British and French delegations spoke for the first time yesterday at the tenth session regarding the Korean issue. Bidault and Eden not only reacted to our criticism, but also defended the United Nations and affirmed their positions to the United States. In addition, Bidault made detailed proposals. He emphasized two things:

(1) The unified government must be proportionally elected based on the number of citizens in both North and South Korea;

(2) The elections must be monitored and certified by observers from neutral nations who have supervisory authority. The selection of members for the international supervisory body should be based on the most balanced conditions in order to guarantee the objectivity of their opinions. Only United Nations organizations are eligible to choose such observers. Elections as well as the withdrawal or movement of [foreign] troops should also be placed under international supervision. In his speech, Bidault attacked the [North] Korean and Soviet delegations by name. However, he did not refer to China. Eden said that the POW issue had already been resolved (we plan to let our spokesman denounce this declaration in a written statement). Afterwards he referred to the British attitude toward the Asian issue. Eden disagreed with the argument concerning ?the tendency of Western countries to ignore or oppose Asian nationalist sentiment.? He boasted that India and Pakistan both decided to stay in the British Commonwealth of their own free will. Eden made five proposals on the Korean issue:

1. Elections must be held. It is necessary to establish an all-Korean government.

2. Elections should consider the population distribution in both North and South [Korea].

3. Elections should be based on universal adult suffrage and confidential ballots. [Elections] should be held as soon as possible under conditions of true freedom.

4. The international supervision under the United Nations should be conducted by countries that are acceptable to this conference.

5. Conditions that will enable foreign troops to withdraw should be created. The United Nations forces will withdraw after they achieve the establishment of peace and security in Korea.

The main issues of Eden's statement were international supervision, elections based on the distribution of population, and the subject of how to withdraw foreign troops. However, his speech was ambiguous. It is obvious that he is attempting to bargain with us.

(II) After yesterday's meeting, Eden took the initiative in sounding us out through his secretary. He proposed coming to see me this morning at the villa. I agreed to see him. I have already consulted with the Soviet delegation about how to deal with him. I will report the result of the meeting later.

Zhou Enlai
14 May 1954, 10:00 a.m.