THE WHITE HOUSE
May 2, 1975
MEMORANDUM FOR SECRETARY KISSINGER
FROM: The Situation Room
SUBJECT: Additional Information Items
Chinese Leaders Congratulate the Vietnamese on the “Liberation” of South Vietnam: On April 30, Chairman Mao, NPC chairman Chu Teh and Premier Chou En-lai sent a message of congratulations to leaders in North and South Vietnam on the “liberation” of South Vietnam. The message seems notable in two respects: The Chinese stress the distinction between North and South, giving the clear impression that they expect the division of the country to be maintained and Hanoi to sustain the fiction of a successful South Vietnamese revolutionary movement. This is indicated by the fact that the message distinguishes between Vietnamese leaders in Saigon and Hanoi, by the way the Chinese attribute the victory in the South to “South Vietnamese army men and civilians,” and, most interestingly, by the way the message expresses support for the South Vietnamese people in “carrying through their national and democratic revolution.” The Chinese expect the North Vietnamese to delay the incorporation of the South into the DRV, as is indicated by the last line of the message which says that “a new Vietnam that is independent, free, and unified and prosperous will certainly come into being”— that is, such a development is not imminent.
The second notable aspect of the message, which is consistent with other recent Chinese statements on Indochina developments, is the downplaying of the significance of Vietnam’s “liberation” as a defeat for the United States. There are only two references to the U.S., one a comment on the successful struggles by the Vietnamese against the “war unleashed by U.S. imperialism,” and then a notably straight-forward characterization of the U.S. in a sentence which observes that after the signing of the Paris agreement, the Vietnamese people “fought back in self-defense” against violations of the Paris agreement committed by the Saigon government “with the backing of the U.S. government.” The wording of this message suggests that Peking looks to Hanoi to go slow in expanding its influence into South Vietnam, much less into Cambodia and Laos. Second, the Chinese seem to have their fingers crossed that these recent developments will not prove too damaging to the American international position, or to U.S.-PRC bilateral relations. (Solomon)[Page 02]
Vietnamese Aircraft Arrivals at U-Tapao, Thailand: As of May 2, 16 7 SVN aircraft had arrived at U-Tapao Air Force Base, Thailand. Included in this number are 22 F5-E, 2 7 A-37, and eight C-130 aircraft. (Quinn)
South Vietnamese Communists Demand Return of Military Equipment in Thailand: An April 30 Provisional Revolutionary Government statement demanded the return of all ships, aircraft, and the “tens of tons of gold bullion” that fleeing South Vietnamese took to Thailand and other countries. The statement contends that this property belongs to the new South Vietnamese government and calls on the countries involved to return it. (Quinn)
Communists Ban Private Publication in Saigon: A May 1 announcement by communist radio in Saigon ordered a “temporary” halt to the publication of all privately owned books, newspapers, and magazines. It also stated that all publications printed without permission of the military governing committee must be “immediately confiscated.” (Quinn)
Refugee Situation at Guam: The following information was received from the refugee processing station on Guam:
- — The general health status of evacuees continues to be without serious problems or increases in communicable diseases. Immunizations with polio, measles, and rubella vaccines of children ages one through five began on April 30. Since that time, 650 children ready for departure have been inoculated.
- — Mobile information teams are being formed and public address systems are being erected as quickly as possible at Orote Point. The Vietnamese/English newspaper possibly will be published today.
- — A pilot “locator project” is to be started today that will provide a skills catalog and also pinpoint the actual location of family groups and individuals within the camp.
- — Guam authorities have indicated that medical, public health, and dental personnel who are qualified will be invited to remain on Guam as permanent residents.
- — No serious political problems on Guam have been encountered, primarily because of the governor’s strong public support for Operation New Life and the basic hospitality of Guamanians. However, several legislators , for economic and social and cultural reasons, have voiced opposition to large numbers of refugees remaining on Guam as permanent residents.
- — Processing of evacuees began at 0800 yesterday with five sites in operation. By the end of the day, three sites had been cleared with 2,940 evacuees ready for transport. (Quinn)
Moscow Commentary on U.S. Involvement in Vietnam: An April 29 Moscow press item in English, sent to North America, reporting on the fall of the Saigon government ends with the following paragraph:
“The United States press writes that the events in Vietnam are a blow to American prestige, but it should be said in all justice that the Vietnam adventure was never an expression of America’s greatness and prestige. America’s greatness lies in the great score of the people’s activities and in a sober, realistic approach to international affairs.” (Quinn)
Khmer Communist Measures Against the Population: Several KC communications observed between April 18 and 22 directed KC cadre to “eliminate” FANK military officials and “high-ranking government officials” secretly. Provincial officials of the former government who reportedly owe the KC a “blood debt” are to be included in the group to be “eliminated without exception.” Several other KC reports have dealt with the civilian population evacuated from Phnom Penh and other Cambodian cities. An April 23 communication disclosed that the purpose of the evacuation was to permit the KC to become well organized. The KC eastern region alone is to accept 500,000 to 600,000 people relocated from Phnom Penh. An April 20 [Page 04] report reveals that the people have been segregated into groups according to social, economic, and possibly political position. The various groups in turn are to be placed under KC sector, district, and subdistrict administrative echelons. KC cadre are to undertake the political indoctrination of these people. (Quinn)
[Omitted here is material unrelated to Indochina.]