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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 14, 1954

TELEGRAM, ZHOU ENLAI TO MAO ZEDONG, LIU SHAOQI AND THE CCP CENTRAL COMMITTEE (EXCERPT)

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    Zhou Enlai writes that the French concern for their troops has made them more willing to negotiate. Additionally Zhou assures Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and the CCP Central Committee that their side has maintained a positive attitude and the world will be left with the impression that their side has consistently pursued negotiations for reaching an agreement, whereas the US is merely attempting to sabotage the conference.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi and the CCP Central Committee (excerpt)," June 14, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhou Enlai nianpu, 1949-1976, vol. 1, pp. 381-382. Translated for CWIHP by Chen Jian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121152
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121152

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On the 13th, the three sides of China, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam reached the consensus on that:  (1) After the collapse of the Laniel Cabinet in France on the 12th the French side is worrying that the situation of the French troops during the rainy season will become even more dangerous and that the French cabinet is unable to dispatch more reinforcement [to Indochina]. It is unlikely that the United States will begin a major intervention at the moment, and Britain has been opposed to sending troops to participate in the war. Therefore France is willing to continue the negotiation, and the French side generally is in favor of dividing zones in Vietnam. Under these circumstances, America's attempt to sabotage the conference will encounter difficulty. (2) In spite of the existence of all kinds of passive factors, our side will continuously adopt a positive attitude. Our [side] will point out that the conference has reached an agreement on May 29, and that the military commands of the two sides have entered discussions on specific issues. This is only the preliminary achievements, and they should be expanded through the continuation of the negotiation, and it is mistaken to talk about the failure [of the conference]. It should be emphasized that the spirit of the positive attitude of our side has left the world with the impression that our side has consistently pursued and is still actively pursuing an agreement at an early time, and that our side is in favor of continuing the negotiation for reaching an agreement on the basis of the existing principles that have been mutually agreed to. We should try our best to make America's plot of sabotaging [the conference] encounter even greater difficulty. Even the conference indeed is sabotaged; it will become apparent that it is America, rather than our side, that should bear the responsibility.