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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 29, 1969

DISCUSSION BETWEEN LI XIANNIAN AND LE DUC THO

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    Li Xiannian advises South Vietnam toward a total victory and regards negotiation as of secondary importance.
    "Discussion between Li Xiannian and Le Duc Tho," April 29, 1969, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP Working Paper 22,"77 Conversations Between Chinese and Foreign Leaders on the Wars in Indochina, 1964-1977." https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112184
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LI XIANNIAN AND LE DUC THO

Beijing, 29 April 1969

Li Xiannian: The problem in the war in South Vietnam is not that of a big or a small victory but of the final [victory].  I still recall Vice-Chairman Lin Biao stressing the word “patience.”  The final victory depends on fighting.  According to our experience, the victory cannot be gained at the negotiating table.  We have to be determined to fight the enemy until he has nothing else to resort to.  In all, negotiation is of secondary importance with a view to exposing the enemy’s schemes and we have to rely on fighting with a view to annihilating the enemy.  This is our experience.