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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 10, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG AND OTHERS, REGARDING ZHOU’S CONVERSATION WITH BIDAULT (EXCERPT)

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    Zhou reports on his discussion with Bidault on the Indochina issue. The two discuss French relations with the Associated States and the NNSC.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding Zhou’s Conversation with Bidault (Excerpt)," June 10, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0050. Translated by Li Xiaobing. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111494
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Chairman [Mao Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee:

In the evening of the 7th, Bidault visited me and discussed mainly the issue of neutral nation supervision. He stated that the nature of the Korean issue was different from that of the Indochinese issue so the precedent case of Korea did not apply to Indochina. He didn't agree that Poland and Czechoslovakia join the supervision of Indochina. Regarding the membership, he said that only India and Pakistan were neutral nations, and that a neutral nation should be identified and accepted by all sides. But he didn't mention any specific nation for a probe. During our conversations, Bidault expressed his willingness for peace, and he also hinted at us Anthony Eden and Zhou Enlai at the Geneva Conference (courtesy PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Archives) not to apply any military pressure. He said, “Don't worsen the military situation to slow progress. A military situation will cause negative political reactions. Do not continue the war while discussing peace, and do not use the war to antagonize the public feeling of the other side.” On one hand, Bidault said that he hoped to obtain a cease-fire under the condition that the historical relationship between France and the three countries, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, was kept in mind. On the other hand, however, he said that he is opposed to mixing together discussion of military and political issues. Bidault also tried to find out [whether] a better chance for an agreement [would exist] if the Korean and Indochinese issues were discussed together or separately; and a possible result on the entire Asian issue if the discussions were conducted behind closed doors. I told him that the two issues certainly had impact on each other. They all should be solved, not just one, while leaving the other unsolved, or even trying to block any solution. Bidault said that he could avoid the impact of the development of the Indochinese issues on his government and media. He also said that, if necessary, he may have to mention his conversation with me in his speech that would be sent to the Assembly on Wednesday (the 9th). But he didn't state definitely that he would publicize this matter. He may want to use his contact with China to calm down the complaints in the Assembly, but he was afraid of upsetting America. Bidault also told me that he may have to talk aggressively and offensively at the public meeting on the 8th. He wanted to make a statement ahead that it “won't be a problem for me to continue the communication with the Chinese delegation thereafter.” During the conversation, Bidault emphasized that my opinion was very close to his. His conversations with me were more constructive than those with other people. I talked about the issues of neutral nation supervision, the experience of the Korean Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, and veto rights. I also emphasized that both sides should follow the conciliatory spirits and look for their common points.

[15 characters excised by the Department of Archives of the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs.]

Zhou Enlai
10 June 1954