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August 3, 1965

Chinese Foreign Ministry Circular, 'Talks Between the Ghanaian Mission and the DRV'

The Ghanaian mission has concluded its visit to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) on July 30. The mission has failed in its effort on behalf of the Anglo-American "peace talk" plot to lobby the DRV. [1]

1. The following is a description of the Ghanaian-Vietnamese talks as provided by the DRV:

The Ghanaian mission stated that Ghana supported the Four-Point Proposal of the DRV[2] and the Five-Point Formula of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (NLF)[3] and was interested in the NLF's proposal to establish a National Coalition Government and implement peace and neutrality. The purpose of [President of Ghana Kwame] Nkrumah's participation in the British Commonwealth "peace mission" was to serve the interests of the Vietnamese people. The condition for his participation was the recognition of the NLF as the representative of South Vietnam. Ghana was no longer associated with this mission now. At present, the American position was not much different from the positions of South and North Vietnam. The United States was willing to implement the Geneva Accords and withdraw its forces from South Vietnam. The United States believed that the unification of Vietnam should be decided by the Vietnamese people themselves. Where the United States differed from North Vietnam and the NLF was just the demand on neutralization of entire Vietnam. The current moment was the best time to begin peace talks. Ghana suggested that Afro-Asian countries serve as mediators to promote peace talks. It was the hope of Afro-Asian countries to restore peace in Vietnam. The DRV must unite with Afro-Asian countries in order to realize its goals. Disunity meant weakness.

The Vietnamese side exposed the American 'peace talk' plot. It maintained that Ghana was far away from Vietnam geographically and that the DRV had a better understanding of its rival. The Vietnamese people were determined to fight until final victory and would not be taken in by Johnson's carrot. Armed struggle would not necessarily pay a higher price than political struggle. The struggle of the Vietnamese people constituted part of the anti-imperialist struggle of the Afro-Asian peoples, who should unite against imperialism. Ghana should mobilize Afro-Asian countries to carry out struggle, forcing U.S. imperialism to accept the demands of the NLF. Ghana should not attend a conference that pitted the United States against Afro-Asian countries. The DRV could not receive the visit of Nkrumah as a member of the British Commonwealth "peace mission." Even if Nkrumah planned to visit the DRV not as a member of the British Commonwealth "peace mission," the current moment was not appropriate because the DRV could not guarantee his safety.

2. The proposal made by the Ghanaian mission to the Vietnamese represents the old plot of unconditional peace negotiations advanced several times in the past by the imperialists, revisionists, and reactionaries. The idea that "Afro-Asian countries served as mediators" is designed in reality to bypass the Geneva Accords to get the United States and the DRV into direct talks while countries like Ghana help the United States by pressuring the DRV. Before the visit of the Ghanaian mission to Hanoi, we had notified the DRV of our position on the attempts of Nkrumah and the mission to visit China. After this contact, the DRV concluded that a large gap existed between the DRV and Ghana and that the DRV would not benefit from the visit. Therefore, the DRV rejected the Ghanaian proposal and postponed the visit of Nkrumah to the DRV.

Imperialism, revisionism, and reactionaries are hatching new peace talk plots. But the contradiction between the DRV and American imperialism is irreconcilable. Both the NLF and the DRV are fighting extremely well. Imperialism, revisionism, and reactionaries will further serve as negative teachers. It can be predicted that new peace talk plots will be bound to failure.

3. There have been numerous reports and speculations in the world about the visit of the Ghanaian mission to the DRV. The Vietnamese reply to the mission mentioned above is excellent. You (embassies) should handle the case according to the following principles:

(1). In talking with socialist countries, primarily Romania and other left fraternal socialist countries, you might inform them of the Ghanaian mission's visit to the DRV in accordance with the reply of the DRV.

(2). In talking with friendly Afro-Asian countries, if you are asked (about the Ghanaian mission), you should explain properly in accordance with the DRV reply so that those countries will have a correct understanding of the current situation in Vietnam.

(3). In talking with left elements and friends who show concern about Vietnam, if you are asked (about the Ghanaian mission), you might also inform them of the DRV reply.

4. When the Ghanaian mission stopped in Beijing on July 30 on its way home, we only provided transit assistance. Neither did they propose to talk about any issues, nor did we. As to Nkrumah's request to visit China, Premier Zhou will reply shortly to decline the request. The contents of this reply will be in agreement with the DRV reply to the Ghanaian mission.

August 3, 1965.

[1] This circular was dispatched to Chinese embassies abroad on August 3, 1965. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CC CCP) on August 24, 1965 sent this document to its regional bureaus, provincial committees as well as the ministries of the State Council and the General Political Department of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

[2] On April 8, 1965, Pham Van Dong announced the DRV's Four-Point Proposal, which demanded that the United States withdraw its forces from Vietnam and cease its acts of war; called for neutralization of both Vietnams pending unification; proposed a settlement of the internal affairs of South Vietnam in accordance with the program of the NLF; and insisted that reunification must be arranged by the Vietnamese people without outside interference.

[3] The NLF's Five-Point Formula was set forth on March 22, 1965. Among other things, it called for implementation of the Geneva Accords, withdrawal of U.S. troops, and the unification of the two Vietnams. For the text of the NLF's March 22, 1965, proclamation, with annotations indicating how the DRV moderated the tone of the original statement broadcast over Liberation Radio, see Marcus G. Raskin and Bernard B. Fall, eds., The Viet-Nam Reader, rev. ed., (New York: Random House, 1967), pp. 232-252. See also Herring, ed., The Secret Diplomacy of the Vietnam War, p. 832.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry reports on a visit by the President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah, to North Vietnam as part of a British commonwealth initiative to mediate peace talks between the US and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The DRV rejected the Ghana overture on the grounds that it was "designed in reality to bypass the Geneva Accords to get the United States and the DRV into direct talks while countries like Ghana help the United States by pressuring the DRV." The circular then gives instructions to the Chinese embassies on how to deal with questions about the mission.


Document Information


Quanzonghao (Record Group) 3124, Duanqi (Short-term), Juanhao (File) 123, Jiangsu Provincial Archives, Nanjing. Translated for CWIHP by Qiang Zhai.


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