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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 11, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG AND OTHERS, REGARDING THE SEVENTH PLENARY SESSION

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    Zhou reports to the CCP on the opening session of the Geneva Conference on Indochina. During this session, Pham Van Dong presents his five-point proposal, and Molotov rebuts arguments made by the US.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding the Seventh Plenary Session," June 11, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0050. Translated by Zhao Han. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111495
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To the Chairman [Mao Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee [of the Chinese Communist Party]:

(1) At the opening session on the Indochina issue on the 10th [of June 1954], Pham Van Dong put forward the five-point proposal (the whole text has been dispatched back). Molotov rebutted in his presentation the attacks by Smith on the Soviet Union, pointing out that the United States on the one hand had produced all kinds of excuses to block and delay the reaching of an agreement, and on the other had held discussions in Washington for intervening in the war in Indochina. Finally he requested that all participants of the conference acknowledge the interest of firmly establishing sound and reliable peace in Indochina while resolving military issues, and he also requested that resolving the political issue should first of all be the question of guaranteeing the independence and freedom of the three countries in Indochina [Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia] and restoring each country's unification under the condition of holding general elections. In his presentation, [Anthony] Eden, apart from repeating the proposal by the five countries in Colombo [Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia, and Pakistan] opposing the veto power, emphasized especially that the Viet Minh's “aggression” in Laos and Cambodia was just like the means that Hitler had used to invade Czechoslovakia. He further threatened that “unless we are able to reduce our differences without delay, our task will fail.” The representative of Cambodia emphasized in his presentation that Cambodia was different in national culture, religion, and many other aspects from Vietnam and had already achieved independence, and that the main problem [for Cambodia] was Viet Minh aggression.”

(2) The opening session on the Indochina issue has achieved no results after debates lasting for three days. How the conference will continue will depend on the discussions held by the two chairs [of the conference], the Soviet Union and Britain,outside of the conference.

Zhou Enlai
11 June 1954