President Ho Chi Minh Writes to Chairman Liu Shao-chi
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 9, #6, Feb. 4,
1966, pp. 6-8. Liu Shao-chi’s reply is also available in this issue.]
President Ho reaffirms the stand of the D.R.V. Government: so long as the U.S. army of aggression still remains on Vietnamese soil, the Vietnamese people will resolutely fight against it. He exposes Washington’s “search for peace” as a manoeuvre to cover up its schemes for intensified war of aggression. Washington’s 14 points mean nothing more than that the United States intends to hang on in south Vietnam. He strongly protests against the Johnson Administration’s extremely barbarous methods of warfare and calls on all peace-loving governments and peoples to stay the hand of the U.S. war criminals. He firmly believes that the fraternal Chinese people and Government will give increased support and assistance to the Vietnamese people’s just struggle and resolutely condemn the U.S. Government’s peace tricks.
Hanoi, January 24, 1966
Comrade Liu Shao-chi,
Chairman of the People’s Republic of China,
Dear Comrade Chairman,
I have the honour to call your attention to the war of aggression waged by the U.S. imperialists in our country, Vietnam.
As is known to you, over the past 11 years and more, the U.S. imperialists have been seriously sabotaging the 1954 Geneva agreements and preventing the peaceful reunification of Vietnam in an attempt to turn south Vietnam into a U.S. new-type colony and military base. They are now waging a war of aggression and barbarously repressing the patriotic struggle of our fellow-countrymen in the south. At the same time, they try to draw experiences from this war to repress the national-liberation movement in other countries.
In an endeavour to get out of the quagmire in south Vietnam, the U.S. imperialists have massively increased the strength of the U.S. expeditionary corps and sent in troops from a number of their satellites to wage direct aggression in south Vietnam. They have also launched air attacks on the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, an independent and sovereign country and a member of the socialist camp.
While intensifying and extending the war of aggression in Vietnam, the U.S. imperialists are clainouring about their “desire for peace” and their “readiness to engage in unconditional discussions,” in the hope of fooling world public opinion and the American people. Recently, the Johnson Administration has initiated a so-called “search for peace,” and put forward a 14-point proposal. As an excuse for its war of aggression in south Vietnam, it claims that it is “keeping its commitments” to the Saigon puppet administration. It slanders the patriotic struggle of the people of south Vietnam, calling it “an aggression by north Vietnam.” This deceitful contention can in no way rub out the solemn declaration made by the United States in Geneva in 1954 that “it will refrain from the threat or the use of force to disturb them (i.e., the Geneva agreements).” Still less can President Johnson’s hypocritical allegations conceal the U.S. crimes in Vietnam.
The United States talks about respecting the Geneva agreements. But one of the main provisions of the said agreements bans the introduction of foreign troops into Vietnam. If the United States really respects the agreements, it must withdraw all U.S. and satellite troops from south Vietnam.
It is crystal clear that the United States is the aggressor who is trampling underfoot Vietnamese soil. The people of south Vietnam are the victims of aggression and are fighting in self-defence. If the United States really wants peace, it must recognize the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation as the sole genuine representative of the people of south Vietnam, and engage in negotiations with it. In accordance with the aspirations of the people of south Vietnam and the spirit of the 1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam, the National Front for Liberation is fighting to achieve independence, democracy, peace, and neutrality in south Vietnam, and to advance towards the peaceful reunification of the fatherland. If the United States really respects the right to self-determination of the people of south Vietnam, it cannot but approve this correct programme of the National Front for Liberation.
The 14 points of the United States boil down in essence to this: the United States is trying hard to cling to south Vietnam, to maintain there the puppet administration rigged up by it, and to perpetuate the partition of Vietnam.
In his January 12, 1966 message read before the U.S. Congress, President Johnson affirmed that it was the policy of the United States not to pull out of south Vietnam, and he forced the Vietnamese people to choose between “peace and the ravages of a conflict.” That is an impudent threat, an attempt to impose on the Vietnamese people the conditions of the so-called U.S. “unconditional discussions.”
The Vietnamese people will never submit to the U.S. imperialists’ threats.
At the very moment when the U.S. Government puts forward the so-called new “peace efforts,” it is frantically increasing the U.S. strength in south Vietnam. It is stepping up the terrorist raids, resorting to the “scorched earth” policy, burning all, destroying all, killing all, using napalm bombs, poison gases and toxic chemicals to burn down villages and massacre the civilian population in vast areas of south Vietnam.
I strongly protest against such extremely barbarous methods of warfare. I earnestly call on all peace-loving governments and peoples the world over to resolutely stay the hands of the U.S. war criminals.
The United States keeps sending its planes on espionage flights in preparation for new air attacks on the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
On the other hand, it is launching air attacks on many areas in the Kingdom of Laos, and multiplying armed provocations against the Kingdom of Cambodia, thus posing an even more serious menace to peace in Indo-China.
Obviously, the U.S. “search for peace” is only designed to conceal its schemes for intensified war of aggression. The Johnson Administration’s stand remains: aggression and expansion of the war.
To settle the Vietnam question, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam has put forward the four-point stand which is an expression of the essential provisions of the 1954 Geneva agreements on Vietnam. This is a stand of peace.
Having gone through over 20 years of war, the Vietnamese people desire peace more eagerly than anyone else to build their life. But real peace can by no means be dissociated from genuine independence. So long as the U.S. army of aggression still remains on our soil, our people will resolutely fight against it. If the U.S. Government really wants a peaceful settlement, it must accept the four-point stand of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and prove this by actual deeds: it must end unconditionally and for good all bombing raids and other war acts against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Only in this way can a political solution to the Vietnam problem be envisaged.
Dear Comrade Chairman,
So far, in the spirit of international solidarity, the people and Government of the fraternal People’s Republic of China have been giving wholehearted support and assistance to the Vietnamese people in their struggle against the U.S. imperialist aggressors, for the defence of their independence and freedom. On behalf of the Vietnamese people and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, I wish to express our deep gratitude to the people and Government of the fraternal People’s Republic of China.
In face of the extremely serious situation brought about by the United States in Vietnam, I firmly believe that the people and Government of the fraternal People’s Republic of China will extend increased support and assistance to our people’s just struggle, resolutely condemn the U.S. Government’s sham peace tricks, and check in time all new perfidious manoeuvres of the United States in Vietnam and Indo-China.
I take this opportunity to renew to you, Comrade Chairman, the assurances of my highest consideration.
(Signed) Ho Chi Minh
President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
The Four-Point Stand of the Government
of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
IT is the unswerving policy of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to strictly respect the 1954 Geneva agreements on Vietnam, and to correctly implement their basic provisions as embodied in the following points:
1. Reaffirmation of the basic national rights of the Vietnamese people: peace, independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. In accordance with the Geneva agreements, the U.S. Government must withdraw all U.S. troops, military personnel and weapons of all kinds from south Vietnam, dismantle all U.S. military bases there, cancel its “military alliance” with south Vietnam. The U.S. Government must end its policy of intervention and aggression in south Vietnam. In accordance with the Geneva agreements, the U.S. Government must stop its acts of war against north Vietnam, cease all encroachments on the territory and sovereignty of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.
2. Pending the peaceful reunification of Vietnam, while Vietnam is still temporarily divided into two zones, the military provisions of the 1954 Geneva agreements on Vietnam must be strictly respected: the two zones must refrain from joining any military alliance with foreign countries, and there must be no foreign military bases, troops and military personnel on their respective territory.
3. The internal affairs of south Vietnam must be settled by the people of south Vietnam themselves, in accordance with the programme of the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation without any foreign interference.
4. The peaceful reunification of Vietnam is to be settled by the Vietnamese people in both zones, without any foreign interference.
This stand unquestionably enjoys the approval and support of all peace- and justice-loving governments and peoples in the world.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam is of the view that the above-expounded stand is the basis for the soundest political settlement of the Vietnam problem. If this basis is recognized, favourable conditions will be created for the peaceful settlement of the Vietnam problem and it will be possible to consider the reconvening of an international conference along the pattern of the 1954 Geneva Conference on Vietnam.
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam declares that any approach contrary to the above-mentioned stand ia inappropriate; any approach tending to secure a U.N. intervention in the Vietnam situation is also inappropriate because such approaches are basically at variance with the 1954 Geneva agreements on Vietnam.
(From the Report of Premier Pham Van Dong at the session of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam on April 8, 1965.)
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