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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 14, 1954

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

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    In this telegram Zhou Enlai informs Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee that Mendès-France hopes to reach an agreement by July 20 and insists that concessions be made in regards to the demarcation line.
    "Telegram, Zhou Enlai to Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and the CCP Central Committee (excerpt)," July 14, 1954, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Zhou Enlai nianpu, 1949-1976, vol. 1, p. 398. Translated for CWIHP by Chen Jian. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121164
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In the three days since Mendès-France has arrived in Geneva, he has been busy with various meetings. It seems that he hopes to reach an agreement by July 20. He intentionally insists on having the 18th parallel as the dividing line for zones of concentration before going back to Paris, hoping that our side will make concessions; he also uses this to bargain with Vietnam and the United States. In fact, France is willing to reach an agreement [on setting up the line] between the 18th and the 16th parallels. France has already submitted to our side a draft agreement on ceasefire in Vietnam that it had prepared (the draft agreements on ceasefire in Cambodia and Laos have not been completed yet), a political statement by the nine countries, and documents on the supervision issue in the three countries of Indochina. Our side is appointing a special group to study [these documents]. Molotov and Eden have agreed that the conference will not be resumed until the negotiation outside the conference has achieved results, and that the foreign ministers of various countries will continue the contact and discussion outside the conference, so as to pursue an agreement.