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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 11, 1974

COSVN PARTY CURRENT AFFAIRS COMMITTEE POLICY OF MAINTAINING GOOD RELATIONS WITH CAMBODIA IN THE NEW SITUATION

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    The COSVN offers 3 proposals for improving relations with Cambodian revolutionaries.
    "COSVN Party Current Affairs Committee Policy of Maintaining Good Relations with Cambodia In the New Situation," January 11, 1974, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Lich Su Bien Nien Xu Uy Nam Bo va Trung Uong Cuc Mien Nam (1954-1975) [Historical Chronicle of the Cochin China Party Committee and the Central Office for South Vietnam, 1954-1975], 2nd ed. (Hanoi: Nha xuat ban Chinh tri quoc gia, 2008), 1237-1238. Translated by Merle Pribbenow. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/176173
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In 1973 the Central Committee of the People’s Revolutionary Policy decided to implement a number of new policies, but these policies were opposed by a number of localities. The Cambodian revolutionary government took action to suppress the opposition, and as a result a number of civilians fled into the jungle, and a number expressed a desire to flee into Vietnamese territory to escape and to oppose the government of our [Cambodian] friends.

In order to avoid complications in relations between us and Cambodia, COSVN issued the following guidance:

“1.-Staff agencies and units that are still based on the soil of our [Cambodian] friends and overseas Vietnamese organizations [in Cambodia] should not criticize the policies of our [Cambodian] friends in front of Cambodian cadres, Cambodian civilians, and overseas Vietnamese. If any of the policies of our [Cambodian] friends cause problems for us and for overseas Vietnamese residents [of Cambodia], the issue should be handled through our Liaison Committees at various levels. The committees should discuss the problem with our [Cambodian] friends in order to study the problem and to make corrections that will benefit both the Cambodian revolution and our side. However, the power to make the final decision belongs to our [Cambodian] friends. We must respect Cambodia’s law and Cambodia’s sovereignty.

“2.-With regard to people who flee to take refuge in Vietnam, we will not accept or harbor them. Instead we will give them rational, logical explanations in order to persuade them to return to Cambodia.

“3.-With respect to Cambodian armed forces units and individual Cambodian soldiers who have fled to take refuge in our soil, we will work to educate and persuade them to induce them to return to Cambodia. If they refuse to leave, the Liaison Committee will contact our Cambodian friends to resolve the issue.”

Source: Document held in the Archives of the Party Central Committee