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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 10, 1966

TELEGRAM FROM THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS REGARDING THE CONVERSATION OF PETRE BALACEANU WITH DEAN RUSK REFERRING TO THE WAR IN VIETNAM

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    This telegram, sent from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Romanian Embassy in Beijing, informs the ambassador of US Secretary of State Dean Rusk's assertion that the US does not wish to extend the Vietnam War, but will not tolerate the occupation of South Vietnam by the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
    "Telegram from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Regarding the Conversation of Petre Balaceanu with Dean Rusk Referring to the War in Vietnam," May 10, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Document 292 in Budura, Relaţiile Româno-Chineze, 1880-1974: Documente (2005) pp. 786-7; AMAE, fond Telegrame, Pekin, vol. I, 1966, f. 141-3. Translated by Larry L. Watts https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122570
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10 May 1966, Bucharest

Comrade Ambassador,

Strictly for your information, I bring to your attention the fact that today, 10 May 1966, Eduard Mezincescu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, received Zeng Yongquan, the Ambassador of the Chinese P. R. in Bucharest, and made the following communication:

Recently, on the occasion of the reception that took place in Washington (at which the heads of the diplomatic missions participated), Dean Rusk, [U.S.] Secretary of State, had a conversation with the Ambassador of Romania, Petre Balaceanu, on the Vietnam issue. Rusk affirmed that the U.S.A. has no pretentions on Indochina or South Vietnam; they wish neither to remain there nor to extend the war.  What the U.S.A. desires is the creation of conditions for the Vietnamese people to decide their fate for themselves.

Rusk added that he declared with all decisiveness that the American government will never accept, regardless of the risks, that South Vietnam would be occupied through force of arms by R.S. [sic. D.R.] Vietnam. Dean Rusk said: “We are as obstinate as our adversaries, and we will never cede to armed force.” Then he added that the U.S.A. sought the resolution of the conflict through negotiations. “If Hanoi,” said Rusk, “agrees to diminish the accent which it presently places on the military side [of the conflict] and to move towards the political, slowing the influx of its troops in the South, we are ready to take corresponding measures, that should favor the beginning of negotiations.”

The Ambassador of Romania took note of what Dean Rusk said and reminded him on the spot of the appreciation and position of the Romanian government regarding the American aggression against Vietnam. He also explained that if the U.S. government desires negotiations, it should address itself directly to the interested parties, that is, to the government of D. R. Vietnam and the leadership of the National Front of Liberation of South Vietnam. At the same time he explained that the Romanians do not consider it indicated for it to act as mediator in this conflict.

In this sense, the Romanian Ambassador referred to the discussion that Dean Rusk had with Romanian Foreign Minister Corneliu Manescu last year (the content of this discussion was, likewise, communicated to the Chinese Ambassador in Bucharest.)

To that, Dean Rusk declared that he indeed knows the position of the Romania government on the conflict in Vietnam. Nevertheless, he requested that the Romanian Ambassador retain what he communicated and transmit his message to the Romanian foreign minister. The Chinese Ambassador thanked him for the information, declaring that it falls within the exchange of information on problems of common interest that the two sides practice. […]