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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 07, 1954


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    Li reports on the 21st restricted session on Indochina. Li states China's position, which has been consistent, on the NNSC and joint commission. Li notes that the French now lean toward his side regarding Indochina. Li is asked to clarify a point by the French and Cambodian delegates, and the Laotian delegate makes a statement.
    "Telegram, Li Kenong to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Twenty-First Restricted Session," July 07, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0051. Translated by Gao Bei.
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Chairman Mao [Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, Comrade [Zhou] Enlai and the Central Committee:

I spoke first at the 21st restricted session on the Indochina issue on the 6th. I explained our position on the issue of the relationship between the joint commission and the NNSC, the issue of the compulsory nature of [the recommendations of] the NNSC, the issue of voting procedures and the composition [of the NNSC], and the issue of [armistice] supervision in Laos and Cambodia. I did not present anything new. I intentionally drew France over to our side and referred to [Jean] Chauvel many times. For example, I noted that his statement deserves attention from the conference. [I also said that] the Soviet proposal of 14 June and the French proposal of 25 June could provide the basis for deciding the functions and authorities of the two commissions. Lastly, I once again expressed my support for Kuznetsov's proposal of 25 June. I also said that we can push the discussion on the issue of supervision one step forward if we could use the Soviet proposal of 14 June as a basis for discussing proposals from all delegations in the spirit of conciliation. Chauvel spoke next. He said that he had listened to my speech carefully and believed that my speech made a contribution to the conference. Chauvel raised the question of supervising the introduction of defensive weapons into Laos and Cambodia. He asked the Chinese delegation to explain point three in the Chinese proposal concerning the issues of Laos and Cambodia[:] “the question regarding the amount and the type of arms that may be introduced into Laos and Cambodia for reasons of self-defense should be the subject of separate negotiations.” The Cambodian delegate stated his reason for opposing the prohibition of the introduction of military equipment and personnel [into Cambodia] and said that point three of the Chinese proposal failed to consider the issue of military personnel. He said that Cambodia needed military experts, and the limitation on the amount of imported arms and military personnel should not damage the effectiveness of ordinary defense. The Cambodian delegate also asked us questions such as how these negotiations will be organized and who will participate. The Laotian delegate also stated that Laos wants to organize its own defense after the withdrawal of foreign troops. However, French [Union] troops that are stationed in Laos cannot be reduced. Also, Laos needs French technicians. I did not respond to the French and Cambodian delegations' request to clarify [point three of our proposal]. The meeting had a relaxed mood. The next meeting will be held on the 9th.

Li Kenong
7 July 1954