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April 20, 1954

Transcript, Zhou Enlai's presentation at the meeting of members of the Chinese delegation attending the Geneva Conference (excerpt), 5:00 a.m.

Although we had experience in domestic negotiation in the past, and we had experience in quarreling with the Americans, that was a performance without restrictions, and at that time we denied laws human and divine. We were afraid of nothing. If the negotiation completely failed, it was not really such a big matter [then]. Of course, we conducted negotiation not for failing it. But at that time, the scope of the negotiation we conducted was quite small. We had only one tone, and we can make it either high or low, and we would say whatever we had in mind. This was the case during the armistice negotiation in Korea.  China is a big country, and we go to Geneva to attend a formal international conference. We will step on to the international stage. Therefore we should present a civilized performance, and "civil" should also be mixed with "military.” Overall, however, this is a formal performance, and a performance on the stage. Several fraternal countries will participate in the conference too, so we need coordination, we need rhythm, we need orderliness, and we should keep harmony [with the other comrades]. This is the first time for the performance, so we should go there with the spirit of learning [from others]. 

In his presentation Zhou Enlai is encourages fellow communist countries who are to participate in the Geneva Conference to work together and perform well on the international stage.


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Zhou Enlai nianpu, 1949-1976, vol. l, p. 361; Xiong, pp. 19-20.  Translated for CWIHP by Chen Jian.


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