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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 18, 1954

TELEGRAM FROM ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG AND LIU SHAOQI AND THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE ON HIS CONVERSATION WITH GEORGES BIDAULT

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    Zhou reports on his meeting with Bidault. Bidault expresses his desire to see the conference continue, and says there is still a week until Eden and Smith leave to reach some agreement. Zhou also speaks of the Cambodia and Laos issues.
    "Telegram from Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi and the Central Committee on His Conversation with Georges Bidault," June 18, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0050, reprinted in Waijiaobu dang’anguan ed., Yijiuwusi nian Rineiwa huiyi (The Geneva Conference of 1954) (Beijing: Shijie zhishi chubanshe, 2006), 281. Translated by Li Xiaobing. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111501
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Chairman [Mao Zedong], Comrade [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee:

At noon on the 17th, I visited Bidault. He emphasized the purpose of his return to Geneva was to ask everyone not to adjourn the conference too early. He said that since the conference has made some progress because of the constructive suggestions by Molotov and me, it should discuss the possibility of how to achieve some specific results. The conference should not be ended at this moment. I said that I agree with the French opinion to continue the conference because our stance is always to work with the conference to achieve a settlement. Since the British and American foreign ministers are now planning to leave the conference, we hope that the conference may reach certain, if not final, agreements before the foreign ministers' departures. Bidault said that Eden and Smith are willing not to leave Geneva until next week. He also believed that during their absence their representatives should be at least at the ambassadorial level, not only the experts, in order to continue their work. He hoped that the military representatives from each side should not ask unreasonable or unanswerable questions during their work of exchanging maps. Then I repeated to Bidault what I had told Eden about the Laos and Cambodia issue. I also added a few points especially for France:

The suggestions made by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam are reasonable and proposed for reaching a glorious peace for both sides. To fulfill the reasonable requests by Laos and Cambodia the reasonable suggestions by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam need to be met. The problem could be solved much easier as long as France and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the two major belligerent countries, agree on the issue. We are willing to see Laos and Cambodia become two of the Southeast Asian type countries while they become member countries of the French Union. The cease-fire should take place on site in Cambodia, and both sides should reach a political solution through their negotiations there. In Laos, however, since the forces were relatively large, it may be acceptable to use regrouping areas to solve the problems. These areas are along the borders of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and China. At the end, Bidault said that he won't allow anyone to disrupt the meetings in order to have the military negotiations to obtain a fruitful result.

Zhou Enlai
18 June 1954

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