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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 01, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG AND OTHERS, REGARDING THE SITUATION AT THE NINTH RESTRICTED SESSION

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    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.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Ninth Restricted Session," June 01, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0050. Translated by Gao Bei. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111479
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(Top Secret)

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

(1) Comrade Molotov flew back to Moscow on the morning of the 30th [of May 1954]. He has already arrived today. On the afternoon of the 30th, the Chinese and the Soviet sides discussed their estimation of general situation of the conference. Molotov had met with Eden before he left. Regarding the Korean issue, Eden is inclined towards holding small meetings, to present proposals on general principles. Molotov did not accept that, nor did he refuse immediately at the time. He said that there should be a conclusion of the Korean issue so that it could consolidate the situation of the armistice in Korea to benefit peace. Eden agreed with that. We believe that we can hold restricted sessions. [We should] put aside [Republic of Korea Foreign Minister] Pyun Yung Tai's proposals and solely discuss basic principles for the peaceful resolution of the Korean issue and seek common ground for both sides so that we can reach some agreements. [We should present our proposal] as we presented the six-point proposal on the Indochina issue in order to make it more difficult for our counterparts to reject it completely. If our counterparts reject it completely, they are obviously unreasonable. After that it will be natural to let Nam Il present the second plan from our side. The Soviet friends basically agree with our opinions, and we also discussed them with and obtained approval from Comrade Nam Il. We have already formulated our own draft agreement for our side's principled agreement (see attachment). Concerning the Indochina issue, Molotov told Eden that after the six points of our proposal reached principled agreement or after discussing some political issues, the foreign ministers can return first and let the delegates stay to supervise and urge on the negotiations of the representatives of both sides' commanders. Eden agreed with that as well. He has already let the media know. We believe that it will take at least two weeks for the conference to accomplish the above tasks. Eden believes that the first two points of our six-point proposal regarding the principles of complete ceasefire and delimitation have already been solved through the resolutions passed on the 29th. Our counterparts want to discuss in particular the following four points, especially the issues concerning international supervision and international guarantee.

(2) At the ninth restricted session on the Indochina issue on the 31st, our counterparts presented the issue of international supervision, as we expected. [Although] Smith did not present the issue of United Nations supervision at the meeting, he emphasized that the experience of the NNSC on Korea was not good and argued that our side did not act in good faith. He said that Poland and Czechoslovakia obstructed the NNSC's work and made it impossible for the NNSC to carry out its work in communist[-controlled] areas. Smith especially emphasized that communist countries could not be neutral and cited several paragraphs from the letters that Switzerland and Sweden sent to the Military Armistice Commission on 4 May and 7 May to prove his argument. I immediately spoke to refute Smith's statement. I first explained that the [North] Korean and Chinese sides do follow the armistice agreement, and Poland and Czechoslovakia are impartial. Several reports of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission are agreed to by Poland, Czechoslovakia and India. The biased ones are the other two members: Switzerland and Sweden. I affirmed that the work of the Korean NNSC had been basically successful, although they had met difficulties, and their difficulties came from the side of the United Nations forces. I used facts listed in Poland's and Czechoslovakia's two reports on 15 April and 30 April to prove that the United Nations forces created [those] difficulties for the NNSC. My conclusion is that we can use the experience of the Korean NNSC for reference. I also made it clear that when we discuss the issue of supervision it should be done in relation to other points. Also, we should have a joint commission consisting of members of both belligerents to supervise [the ceasefire] and to take charge of the implementation of the provisions of the [armistice] agreement. Gromyko spoke to support China's six-point proposal and explained and affirmed it point by point. In speaking of the membership of the organization of neutral nations' supervision, Gromyko suggested that India, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Pakistan [should
be the members]. Our counterparts did not respond to this on the spot. Bidault's statement had two main points:

1) The main task of the international supervision in Laos and Cambodia is to ensure the withdrawal of the invading Viet Minh troops, not to supervise the armistice.

2) The representatives of both sides join the work of the international supervision committee. However, the Neutral Nations Commission should have supreme authority over and lead the joint commission.

Bidault also presented the issues of the composition of the NNSC and the authority to which the NNSC should be responsible. He hinted that the NNSC should be responsible to the United Nations. In addition to giving his support to Smith's proposal, the Cambodian delegate also repeated his shibboleth that regrouping zones do not exist in Cambodia and that the Chinese delegation's proposal applies only to Vietnam. Pham Van Dong spoke to refute Smith's argument that only non-Communist countries could be neutral countries and gave his support to the Chinese delegation's conclusion on the supervision issue. Pham Van Dong claimed at the meeting that he had already appointed [DRV Vice Defense Minister General] Ta Quang Buu as representative of the command. He also proposed that Ta Quang Buu's assistant meet with the French military representative on 1 June to discuss and decide technical questions, such as the date by which representatives of the commanders of both sides start working.

(3) After the meeting, the Soviet, Vietnamese, and Chinese sides agreed to draft some principles concerning the joint commission, the NNSC, and the international guarantee in order to unify the understanding of the three delegations of our side.

(4) There is no meeting today and we had outside conference activities. Eden invited me for dinner tonight. Bidault said that he wanted to meet with me outside the conference. However, he was afraid that the Americans would find out about this and asked [us] not to let the journalists know in advance. I already agreed with that and agreed to visit him tonight at 10:00 p.m. after Eden's banquet.

Zhou Enlai
1 June 1954