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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 26, 1960

CABLE FROM THE CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, 'REPORT ON THE MATTER OF THE PROPOSAL BY THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE VIETNAMESE WORKERS’ PARTY TO NEUTRALIZE CAMBODIA AND LAOS BY THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA'

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    The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs summarizes Vietnam's response to a proposal to "neutralize Cambodia and Laos."
    "Cable from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, 'Report on the Matter of the Proposal by the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party to Neutralize Cambodia and Laos by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China'," November 26, 1960, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, PRC FMA 106-00553-04, 12-14. Obtained by Yiming Feng and translated by Marian Rosenberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/120869
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Extremely urgent

For Prime Minister Chen’s review and Premier’s approval.

(Already reviewed by LUO GUI Bo) JI Pengfei 26 November

Report on the Matter of the Proposal by the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party to Neutralize Cambodia and Laos [by the] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

On November 23rd, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered a copy of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party position on the proposal by [Norodom] SIHANOUK to neutralize Cambodia and Laos. They seek advice from the Communist Parties of both the Soviet Union and China. Furthermore, Prime Minister Phạm Văn Đồng has been commissioned by the politburo of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party to establish an envoy to the Soviet Union and China to explain the contents. In summary, Vietnam’s position is as follows:

(1) in support of [Norodom] SIHANOUK’s proposal to neutralize Cambodia and Laos.

(2) Extreme caution should be exercised on the issue of [potentially] unifying the nations of Cambodia and Laos. (The Vietnamese have stated [that] even though [Norodom] SIHANOUK did not mention this issue, he has this intention).

(3) There should be strong opposition to the American Imperialists interfering with [the affairs of] Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. (The Vietnamese feel that SIHANOUK has yet to [sufficiently] oppose interference by the American Imperialists in the affairs of Vietnam. We should raise the issue).

On the issue of the West’s false accusation that we are inciting a revolution, we must clarify our position. The Vietnamese also request that our] joint statement on the matter of neutralizing Cambodia and Laos be given to [Norodom] SIHANOUK’s prior to his visit to the Soviet Union. Before the statement is issued, the Soviet Union and China should both be in complete agreement with Vietnam [as to the content of the statement]. [Norodom] SIHANOUK should also be asked to clarify his statement that he hopes we and western nations can guarantee the neutrality of Cambodia and Laos. The views listed above have been transmitted to the Lao Patriotic Front. It’s hoped that the parties of the Soviet Union and China can provide them with a response as soon as possible.

We feel that we are able to concur with Vietnam’s position [on the matter]. Concerning the questioning of [Norodom] SIHANOUK on his comment that he hopes some western countries can guarantee the neutrality of Cambodia and Laos, we should wait for an opportune moment. The position of Vietnam and our central authorities will be sent by telegram to Chairman Liu and our representatives (General Office of the Central Committee, please handle). Telegram attached in duplicate. Please approve.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

26 November 1960