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259. Message From the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Government of the United States 1

It is learned that complete agreement has been reached at the Vietnam-U.S. Paris talks on the settlement of the Vietnam question, and that it will soon be signed by the two sides. The Vietnamese side has made maximum efforts and exercised the utmost patience for this.

Now is an extremely opportune time to end the Vietnam war. Obstructions from Saigon were expected, but in the evening of October 24 (Saigon time) just after Dr. Kissinger had left, Nguyen Van Thieu went to the extent of making a public speech through the networks, in which he poured out torrents of vicious abuse against northern Vietnam, and even cast reflections on Dr. Kissinger. His aim is obviously to sabotage the ceasefire, troop withdrawal, P.O.W. repatriation and the return of Indochina to the status of non-alignment, that is to say, to oppose the Vietnam-U.S. negotiations. Thus it may be asked why then did the Saigon authorities participate in the Paris talks and permit the Vietnamese and U.S. sides to hold the secret talks on behalf of the two sides of southern Vietnam respectively?

The Chinese side believes that so long as the U.S. side is determined to effect a ceasefire and troop withdrawal, it is fully capable of halting Saigon’s sabotage schemes. Otherwise, failure to resolve at the right moment, to maintain consistency in its stand and to abide by the agreements already reached with the Vietnamese side would not only result in losing credence before the world, but may also lead to unforseeable consequences.

Although the Chinese side could trust that the difficulties and sabotage come from Saigon, how can the world be forbidden to have its doubts?! Since the U.S. side has been representative of one side in the bilateral negotiations, why can’t the United States manage the actions of that side on its own?

We deeply believe that this is the crucial moment and hope that the U.S. side will consider the problem in a broader framework, take the long view and act resolutely.

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As for the questions of the three countries of Indochina, only by solving them separately can progress be made according to order. We will not elaborate on this point as there is an identity of views here.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 850, President’s File—China Trip, China Exchanges. No classification marking. A typewritten notation on the first page reads: “Handed to J. Fazio by Mrs. Shih, October 25, 1972, New York.” At this meeting, Fazio handed over a copy of a 3-page note entitled “Message to the Government of the DRV on Behalf of the President of the United States,” which was a response to a DRV message of October 24. Fazio also extended an invitation from Kissinger to Ch’iao Kuan-hua and Huang Hua for dinner in New York on November 1. Fazio’s memorandum for the record of the October 25 meeting and the U.S. message are ibid. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, vol. E–13, Document 165.