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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 22, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG AND OTHERS, REGARDING TALKS WITH EDEN

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    Zhou reports on a meeting with Eden. In this meeting the two discuss the proposals on Laos and Cambodia. They also agree that the foreign ministers return to the conference regularly to see that their military representatives are productive.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong and Others, Regarding Talks with Eden," June 22, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 206-Y0050. Translated by Zhao Han. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111863
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Comrades Chairman [Mao Zedong], [Liu] Shaoqi, and the Central Committee,

Eden came to visit me on the morning of the 19th, mainly to discuss the proposal on the issues of Laos and Cambodia, with a view to reaching an agreement on the same afternoon. In addition, he mentioned that the Viet Minh forces should not engage in large-scale hostilities while the negotiations were under way, and that if an agreement could be reached here, the hostilities should be ceased on the spot. [Passage excised by the Department of Archives of the PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs.] He said that he had recently heard the news that the Viet Minh forces had attacked a place on the Cambodian border. I said that we were in favor of an agreement as soon as possible so as to achieve the cessation of all hostilities, that the new French cabinet also wished for a ceasefire, and that we had not learned of any attack on Laos or Cambodia. I said to him, “You understand the nationalist movement sentiment in Southeast Asia,” the hostilities are mutual, and so the French must restrain their forces from large-scale campaigns. There was no major campaign to speak of in Dien Bien Phu, but French airborne troops turned it into a major one. I also told him that so long as reasonable demands were met in Vietnam, no unreasonable demands would be made on the issues of Laos and Cambodia. Eden then raised the issue of adjourning the conference. He said that the foreign ministers would return when the military representatives had prepared a report, and that they did not wish to resolve the issues of the jurisdiction and members of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission before the conference was adjourned. I suggested that the foreign ministers return on a regular basis, so that a deadline could be imposed on the work of the military representatives of both sides. Eden agreed. In the end, Eden mentioned that what pleased him most was the improvement of Sino-British relations.

Zhou Enlai
22 June 1954