396.1 GE/4–2854: Telegram

Third Plenary Session on Korea, Geneva, April 28, 3:05 p.m.: The United States Delegation to the Department of State 1

limited official use

Secto 28. Repeated information priority Seoul 15, Tokyo 11, Paris 135, London 85, Bonn 36, Moscow 22, Vienna 11. Department pass Defense, CINCPAC, COMSAC. Tokyo pass CINCFE. Bonn and Vienna for PAO. Third session Korean political conference opened 3 p.m. today with Eden in chair assisted by Kural and Dennis Allen. Eden called on Secretary Dulles who delivered speech text of which telegraphed USIA Washington to pass State and being transmitted in wireless bulletin.2

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During course Dulles speech Chinese delegation requested be inscribed and Chou En-lai delivered hour-long speech3 (with interpretation) following which session broke briefly for intermission and then adjourned following intermission.

Chou opened statement by defining aim of Geneva conference as relaxation tensions and achievement peaceful solution world problems. He specifically commented on fact this first time US, UK, USSR, France and PRC as well as other interested nations have met together to solve important problems Asia. Citing long struggle Asian peoples for liberation from foreign imperialist control he charged influential circles in America with obstructing liberation movement in order enslave Asia. Thus American plans create aggressive bloc and spread war in Asia source of tension there. He followed these statements with lengthy panegyric on achievements PRC in China and declared no force can stop their march to create strong and prosperous China. Chou professed China had no aggressive intent against others and will not tolerate others aggressions.

Observing more than 20 countries recognize PRC, including great friend USSR, he stated others, US first and foremost, still refuse recognition and discriminate against PRC illegally. He stated this attitude hindered peaceful settlement questions and aggravated tension; Geneva conference should therefore lay basis for change.

He then turned to Korean question and summarized familiar Communist version origins Korean war. In this connection and again later in speech he charged US had occupied Taiwan illegally as base for attack on China. Stating US crossing 38th parallel endangered Chinese security by seeking use Japanese plan for Korean base to attack China, Chinese had no choice but come to assistance Korean people. Referring to armistice negotiations Chou charged US and ROK had continually created obstacles to agreement both sides including forcible retention over 48,000 PWs. He stated this question in no way closed and cannot escape attention Geneva conference. Attacking ROK he alleged it and US have openly violated armistice since paragraph 60 explicitly provides for consideration withdrawal forces whereas US and ROK recently concluded mutual defense pact and ROK threatened “march to North”. Cited ROK threats as proof who wants peace and who wants war in Korea.

Chou stated PRC fully supports North Korean proposal Korean unification with provision for all-Korean elections without foreign intervention. Contrasted ROK statement calling for retention US forces Korea as indicating ROK required foreign support maintain [Page 155] itself. In expressing hope Nam Il’s proposal will form basis for settlement Chou said unification matter for Korean people themselves and foreign forces must withdraw.

In his peroration Chou again charged US occupation Taiwan will not be tolerated, cited growing Jap militarism and actions US in Indochina and in attempt create SEA bloc menace peace of Asia. He then demanded that interference in internal affairs Asian countries be stopped, all foreign forces in Asia be withdrawn, all military bases be removed, all economic restrictions dropped. He concluded Dulles’ speech contrary these requirements and therefore government PRC cannot agree with it and considers Asian countries should consult among themselves to solve these problems. Speech concluded with reference to US actions in Europe and in atomic energy field which threaten world peace. He expressed regret certain Asian countries (India, Burma, Indonesia) unable participate and stated conference should consider this problem.

Comment: Chou’s speech ranged over full spectrum Asian and world problems, and, as anticipated, sought create impression five great powers meeting (with other interested states) to solve general problems Asia and world problems. Speech emphasized importance PRC attaches to diplomatic recognition but made no specific mention admission UN. Most of speech was standard CC boiler plate propaganda line in phraseology as well as content contrary to speculation Chou would adopt more sophisticated approach. Speech as whole appeared designed for propaganda appeal in Asia. Specific comments re withdrawal forces from Korea and allegations US occupation Taiwan suggest particular Chinese Communist sensitivity these points. Speech gave no indication any flexibility PRC position.

  1. A set of minutes of this meeting (US Verb Min/3) is in Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 267. The minutes indicate that the meeting convened at 3:05 p.m. and adjourned at 5:28 p.m.
  2. The text of Secretary Dulles’ statement is printed in The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, pp. 45–53. In it, he emphasized the authority and responsibility of the United Nations in promoting Korean unification and urged that the solution be found in the U.N. General Assembly resolution of Oct. 7, 1950, which had called for supervised elections in that part of Korea, i.e. the North, where supervised elections had not yet been held.
  3. The text of Chou’s statement is printed in Documents Relating to the Discussion of Korea and Indo-China at the Geneva Conference, April 27–June 15, 1954 (Cmd. 9186), pp. 14–20. This publication is henceforth cited as Cmd. 9186.