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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 06, 1974

COSVN PARTY CURRENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE GUIDANCE ON STRENGTHENING VIETNAMESE-CAMBODIAN RELATIONS AND COMBAT SOLIDARITY

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    The COSVN seeks to improve Cambodian-Vietnamese relations in the wake of several "minor clashes over various problems."
    "COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Guidance on Strengthening Vietnamese-Cambodian Relations and Combat Solidarity," March 06, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Lich Su Bien Nien Xu Uy Nam Bo va Trung Uong Cuc Mien Nam (1954-1975) [Historical Chronicle of the Cochin China Party Committee and the Central Office for South Vietnam, 1954-1975], 2nd ed. (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2008), 1242-1244. Translated by Merle Pribbenow. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176174
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After a number of minor clashes over various different problems arose between the Cambodians and our side, especially in the border areas between the two countries, we held discussions with our Cambodian friends, and we agreed to strengthen the combat solidarity between our two Parties and between the peoples of Vietnam and Cambodia. Based on the results of those meetings, on 6 March 1974 the COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee issued Information Bulletin 04 which asked our staff agencies and units that were in direct contact with our Cambodian friends to correctly implement the following measures:

“1. You must correctly understand that the traditions of solidarity and mutual assistance between us and our friends have always been good and that those traditions are steadily being strengthened and expanded. The small clashes that have occurred in certain locations and at certain times have been simply local, isolated incidents. The spirit of Vietnamese-Cambodian solidarity and mutual assistance is sacred, and it is a vital, life and death for our two Parties and our two peoples, both now and in the future.

“2. All staff agencies and units still stationed on Cambodian soil, all overseas Vietnamese residents of Cambodia, and all local authorities that share a common border with Cambodia must strictly implement the following policy guidelines set by our Party and by the Party of our Cambodian friends:

“-On corridors: Our Cambodian friends have agreed to allow us to use water and ground corridors to transport supplies to meet both our requirements and the requirements of our Cambodian friends. On our side, units stationed in Cambodia and units moving through the corridors in Cambodia to conduct transportation and supply operations must respect all of the Cambodian government’s laws and policies, and they are absolutely forbidden to do anything that our Cambodian friends do not approve.

“-On purchases: Our Cambodian friends have in the past and are continuing to supply us with an important quantity of food and with water buffalo and oxen to use for transportation during the 1974 harvest season. Our friends have requested that when we make purchases or sales we must deal directly with Cambodian local government authorities and with Cambodian cooperatives, and that all purchases and sales must be made at the set price. We must not have any dealings with private businessmen. In addition, we must do everything we can to develop sources of goods along the Vietnamese border so that our Cambodian friends can purchase machinery, equipment, fuel, cloth, salt, etc. At the same time, our Cambodian friends have also informed us of their important policies on things such as refugee movements and resettlement; gaining control of the population in front-line areas; systematically and completely sweeping away the old regime and all exploitative, reactionary relationships; and building a revolutionary structure and revolutionary production relationships in the liberated zones. Our Cambodian friends have asked us to understand and support these policies.

“-On the border: Because of its special geographic characteristics and because it has provided base areas and strategic transportation and supply corridors for both ourselves and our Cambodian friends during two resistance wars, the border area between our two countries is an area of especially close, tight relationships between us and our Cambodian friends, and our Cambodian friends’ vast liberated zone has become a direct rear area for our forces. For that reason, in order to strengthen the solidarity between our two nations we must respect their sovereignty, we must respect all of their policies, guidelines, and laws, and we must respect both their material and their spiritual [moral] rights. We must try to move our forces into our own territory. In those cases where it is essential that we move back and forth or that we live and work on Cambodian soil, we must negotiate those matters with our Cambodian friends.

“-Overseas Vietnamese residents and Overseas Vietnamese organizations in Cambodia: Our Party has always maintained that overseas Vietnamese living in Cambodia must respect and obey all of the policies, guidelines, and laws of our Cambodian friends. From now on, all overseas Vietnamese residents of Cambodia and all overseas Vietnamese organizations in Cambodia will be placed under the direct control of the Cambodian Party and the Cambodian revolutionary government. On the other hand, our Party will always look after and protect the just rights of the overseas Vietnamese. At present, we and our Cambodian friends are striving to stabilize the living conditions and livelihoods of overseas Vietnamese and to end the spread of threatening rumors, such as that the Khmer Rouge will kill the overseas Vietnamese. We must put an immediate halt to all efforts to incite overseas Vietnamese to flee back to Vietnam, because this causes problems for both us and our Cambodian friends.

“3. In order to properly implement the above measures, we must consolidate and reinforce our Liaison Committees at all levels, especially along the border, in the corridors, and in areas where overseas Vietnamese reside. We must assign additional military and rear services [logistics] cadres to the Liaison Committees in order to be able to quickly complete all tasks and resolve any issues that may arise.”

Source: Document held in the Archives of the Party Central Committee

P 42 (66-57).