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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 05, 1954

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

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    Zhou reports on the twelfth restricted session on Indochina. Participants consider Zhou's proposal that the NNSC should be responsible to the Geneva Conference participants. Molotov gives his counterarguments to Smith's and Bidault's statements.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Situation at the Twelfth Restricted Session," June 05, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0050. Translated by Gao Bei. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111484
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Chairman Mao, Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee:

(1) Our counterparts did not refer to the issue of United Nations supervision at yesterday's twelfth restricted session because of our resolute opposition on the 3rd. What I referred to on the 3rd concerning the issue of the functions and authorities of the joint commission, of the NNSC and of the international guarantee [commission], and the issue of the relationship among these three bodies have already caught our counterparts' attention. Eden said yesterday that my proposal that the NNSC should be responsible to the Geneva Conference participants who have the task of guaranteeing the agreements is worthy of careful consideration. Eden also suggested that the participants should set up a permanent [supervisory] organization. Bidault stated that the French proposal has something in common with mine and hinted that he agreed with Eden on the establishment of a permanent organization. Bidault said that impartial arbiters are needed. He emphasized that the neutral organization must have the authority of supervision and a great number of staff. Bidault also reiterated his two original opinions[:] the joint commission should be subordinate to the NNSC; the current proposal concerning supervision should only apply to Vietnam and the supervision of Laos and Cambodia needs to be decided separately. See attachment for Bidault's original proposal. Smith spoke next and did not oppose the conference participants joining in [the international] guarantee. However, he still emphasized that the NNSC should have superior authority over the joint commission. Regarding my proposal, Smith said: [it] simply will be a framework for agreements that this conference might reach. However, we must solve two problems first:

1. the impartial composition of the international supervisory commissions;

2. the nature of the obligations of the countries who participate in guaranteeing the agreements.

Molotov spoke and agreed that the NNSC should be responsible to the Geneva [Conference] participants who join in the international guarantee. He also pointed out that the agreement by both belligerents has decisive meaning in solving the conflict. The joint commission can also play an important role. Therefore, it should not be subordinate to outside power. In addition, no such subordination exists [in case of the joint bodies representing the belligerents] in Korea. Molotov also refuted three points of [our counterparts'] arguments:

1. If, as [our counterparts] said, communist countries cannot be neutral and can only constitute one side [of the negotiations], then capitalist countries cannot be neutral either. This argument violates the United Nations Charter since the UN Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, and the International Court of Justice are all composed of different countries of different political and economic systems.

2. The United Nations has nothing to do with this conference. China, a country of half a billion people, and the majority of the participants of this conference are not members of the United Nations. Therefore, the United Nations should not take charge of international supervision.

3. The NNSC must cover not only Vietnam but also Laos and Cambodia.

(2) Molotov put some pressure on our counterparts at yesterday's meeting since they delayed the establishment of contacts between the representatives of the two commands in the field and expressed hope that these would be established in the near future.

(3) Eden went back to Britain last night. [The conference will] discuss the Korean issue today and next Monday. We will use these two, three days to revise our detailed proposal on the issues of the joint commission, the NNSC and the international guarantee. I will send another telegram to report again after the Soviet, Vietnamese and Chinese sides have made a decision.

Zhou Enlai
5 June 1954