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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Vietnam War

 Documents on the Vietnam War. These telegrams, minutes, and discussion notes range from the mid-1950s to the end of the 1970s, and most come from Chinese and Albanian archives. There are many documents from Albania archives on Vietnam-Albanian relations. The collection also includes several Chinese telegrams and memorandums on foreign and economic relations with Indochina, as well as discussions with Zhou Enlai and Mao Zedong. See also the Indochinese War and the 1954 Geneva Conference. (Image, American POW, 1973, US Department of Defense, DDST9904270)

  • March 27, 1965

    Resolution of the Party Central Committee on the Immediate Situation and Urgent Responsibilities

    Resolution by the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee on the Vietnam War and the related "diplomatic struggle."

  • March 30, 1965

    Excerpt from a Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Algerian President Ben Bella

    In Algeria, Enlai describes the unfavorable tactics (military and negotiating) employed by the US in South Vietnam.

  • April 02, 1965

    Excerpt from a Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Pakistani President Ayub Khan

    Zhou Enlai addresses African and European concerns relating to the war in South Vietnam. He attempts to answer the questions of: the possibility of the war’s worldwide expansion, China’s role and the possibility of negotiation.

  • April 02, 1965

    Record of Conversation between Premier Zhou Enlai and the President of Pakistan Ayub Khan

    Zhou, Ayub Khan, and Zulfikar Bhutto discuss the Vietnam War, China's relations with the US and the Soviet Union, the Second Asian-African Conference, and the Non-Aligned Movement.

  • April 05, 1965

    Cable from Zhu Qiwen, 'The Vietnamese Side passing on the Soviet Communist Party’s Proposal regarding the Holding of a Three-Party Summit among the Soviet Party, and the Vietnamese Party, and the Chinese Party'

    Zhu Qiwen reports on possible Soviet motives in proposing a three-party meeting between North Vietnam, China, and the Soviet Union.

  • April 08, 1965

    Discussion between Liu Shaoqi and Le Duan

    China offers military services to Vietnam, on the condition that Vietnam invites them first; Vietnam accepts.

  • April 08, 1965

    The Four-Point Position of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Regarding a Political Solution of the Vietnam Question

    Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong's report at the Congress of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam clarifies the DRV's 4-point position toward a political solution of the Vietnam question in the spirit of the Geneva Accords: The US had to withdraw all military personnel and destroy their bases in Vietnam. Before a peaceful reunification, the North and the South refrained from having military alliance with other countries and foreign armies and bases in their territories. South Vietnam's internal matters would be dealt with without foreign intervention and the reunification issue would be discussed between the Vietnamese.

  • April 10, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Recent Responses from the Soviet Revisionists to the Situation in Vietnam'

    The Chinese Embassy in Moscow offers a critical assessment of Soviet policy toward Vietnam.

  • April 17, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Signs of the Soviet Union’s False Anti-Imperialism and False Support for Vietnam'

    The Chinese Embassy in Moscow reviews the local press for signs of Soviet policy toward Vietnam and Cambodia.

  • April 20, 1965

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Ambassador to China S. V. Chervonenko and Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on 13 April 1965 (excerpt)

    Zhou Enlai, in a conversation with Soviet Ambassador to the PRC, S. V. Chervonenko, draws parallels between the Algerian War for independence and the struggle of the Vietnamese people. Zhou Enlai recounts his conversation with Algerian leader Ben Bella about the Vietnam War.

  • April 25, 1965

    Note by the East German Embassy in Hanoi on a Conversation with Ambassadors of the Other Socialist States in the Soviet Embassy on 2 April 1965

    During the conversation, it is said that the United States is increasing its attacks and overall involvement in the Vietnam conflict. Additionally, Soviet Ambassador Shcherbakov tells Pham Van Dong how the Chinese continue to evade giving aid to Vietnam because they fear attack from the Americans.

  • May 12, 1965

    Record of Conversation between Premier Zhou and Nguyễn Minh Phương

    Zhou Enlai and Nguyen Minh Phuong discuss the possibility of convening an international conference on Cambodia.

  • May 12, 1965

    Note by the East German Embassy in Hanoi on a Joint Conversation with the Ambassadors from other Socialist Countries in the Hungarian Embassy on 4 May 1965

    Soviet Ambassador Ilya Shcherbakov informs a meeting of Socialist Ambassadors of Soviet-Vietnamese talks in Moscow. He notes that the United States realizes it does not have the international support for Vietnam that it had expected, and that the Soviet Union will continue to support Vietnam in the struggle. He argues that there is still much anti-Soviet propaganda in Vietnam, which comes from the Chinese, and points out three positions of the Chinese that he does not understand.

  • May 16, 1965

    Discussion between Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh

    Ho Chi Min asks Mao Zedong for help to build roads along the border to South Vietnam; Mao agrees.

  • May 16, 1965

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Nguyen Van Hieu and Nguyen Thi Binh

    Zhou Enlai addresses Nguyen Van Hieu and Nguyen Thi Binh concerning the steps to take should the US escalate in Vietnam and expand into China, comparing Vietnam to Korea.

  • May 17, 1965

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and Ho Chi Minh

    Zhou Enlai and Deng Xioaping offer to chastise Soviet revisionists on behalf of North Vietnam

  • May 19, 1965

    Liu Shaoqi, 'Speech at the Reception of the Comrades of the Central Military Commission War Planning Meeting'

    Speech on China's state of preparations for war with the United States.

  • May 21, 1965

    Report from the Department of Soviet and Eastern European Affairs, 'Situation of the Soviet Revisionists’ False Support for and Betrayal on the Vietnam Issue'

    An article in 'Foreign Affairs Survey and Research,' a periodical produced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, offers an in-depth critique of Soviet policy and assistance toward North Vietnam.

  • May 28, 1965

    Discussion between Zhou Enlai and Indonesian Prime Minister Subandrio

    Zhou Enlai outlines the Chinese reaction should the US expand the Vietnam War into China, reassuring Subandrio that should the war enter China, his country is prepared to retaliate.

  • May 30, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'Some Practices of the Soviet Revisionists on the Vietnam Issue'

    The Chinese Embassy in Moscow claims Soviet support for Vietnam is merely "empty words."