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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 13, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO WEI GUOQING, AND REPORT TO THE CCP CENTRAL COMMITTEE (EXCERPT)

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    In this telegram Zhou Enlai informs Wei Guoqing and the CCP Central Committee that the Western countries have raised the question of sick and wounded soldiers at Dien Bien Phu and are criticizing the Soviet Union. Enlai wants to counter the enemy plots with propaganda, but in the meantime thinks it would be better if some captured senior officers issued statements concerning the "humanist measures" being taken by their captors - but not by force.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Wei Guoqing, and report to the CCP Central Committee (excerpt)," May 13, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhou Enlai nianpu, 1949-1976, vol 1, p. 367. Translated for CWIHP by Chen Jian. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121147
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    http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121147

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The Western countries are using the question of the sick and wound soldiers in Dien Bien Phu to criticize the Soviet Union. Both the progressive personnel and the friends hope to know promptly how the question of the sick and wound soldiers in Dien Bian Phu has been handled. Therefore concerning how the two sides have discussed the releasing of seriously wounded enemy soldiers in Dien Bien Phu, and the specific progress that has been achieved in transporting them, please telegraph us and keep us informed at any time, so that we may convey [the information] to Comrade Pham Van Dong and the Soviet delegation, and we may carry out propaganda in according to the information so as to smash the enemy's plots. In the meantime, it would be better if some of the captured senior officers of the enemy could be encouraged to issue statements concerning our humanist measures for giving preferential treatment of the prisoners and sick and wound soldiers, and [our practice of] releasing seriously wound enemy soldiers. However, please do not try to force them to do so.