What Was the Geneva Agreement of 1954

The Geneva Conventions of 1954 were an attempt to end eight years of fighting between France and Vietnam. They did, but they also set the stage for the American phase of fighting in Southeast Asia. The United States engaged in its foreign policy of containing communism and was determined not to allow any part of Indochina to become communist and thus to bring into play the domino theory, entered the negotiations with doubt. Nor did it want to be a signatory to an agreement with the communist nations. In April 1954, diplomats from several countries – including the United States, the Soviet Union, China, France and Great Britain – attended a conference in the Swiss city of Geneva. This led to the creation of the Geneva Convention, which set out a roadmap for peace and reunification in Vietnam. The Geneva Conventions are remembered as a failure, mainly because the great nations did not respect their conditions. The People`s Army of Vietnam withdrew within 300 days (May 19, 1955) from the provisional assembly areas to the regroupment area north of the demarcation line, according to the following schedule: From Xuyen-Moc, Ham Tan-80 days (October 11, 1954) From Central Vietnam I-80 days (October 11, 1954) From Jones Plain-100 days (November 1, 1954) From Central Vietnam 11-100 days (November 1, 1954) From Cape Camau-200 days (February 8, 1955) From Central Vietnam 111-300 days (May 19, 1955) [Art. 15] Dulles fell out with British delegate Anthony Eden over the United Kingdom`s perceived failure to support united action and American positions on Indochina; He left Geneva on 3 May and was replaced by his deputy, Walter Bedell Smith. [5]:555-8 The State of Vietnam refused to participate in the negotiations until Bidault wrote to Bảo Đại, assuring him that an agreement would not divide Vietnam. [5]:550-1 All parties present at the conference called for reunification elections, but could not agree on the details.

Pham Van Dong proposed elections under the supervision of “local commissions”. The United States, with the support of the United Kingdom and the associated states of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, has proposed UN monitoring. This was rejected by Molotov, who advocated a commission with an equal number of communist and non-communist members, which could only determine “important” issues unanimously. [15] Negotiators could not agree on a date for the reunification elections. The DRV argued that elections should be held within six months of the ceasefire, and the Western allies tried not to have a deadline. Molotov proposed in June 1955, later in 1955 and finally softened in July 1956. [5]:610 The Diem government supported the reunification elections, but only under effective international supervision; she argued that truly free elections in the totalitarian north were impossible. [16] On May 8, 1954, representatives of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (Communist Vietminh), France, China, the Soviet Union, Laos, Cambodia, the State of Vietnam (democratic, as recognized by the United States) and the United States met in Geneva to draft an agreement. Not only did they try to liberate France, but they also sought an agreement that would unite Vietnam and stabilize Laos and Cambodia (which had also been part of French`Indochina) in the absence of France. To dismiss any notion that the division was permanent, Article 6 of an unsigned final declaration states: “The Conference recognizes that the essential objective of the Vietnam Agreement is to settle military matters with a view to ending hostilities, and that the military demarcation line is provisional and should in no way be interpreted as a political or territorial border.” [21] The agreement meant that the Vietminh, occupying a significant area south of the 17th parallel, had to retreat north.

Nevertheless, they believed that the 1956 elections would give them control of all of Vietnam. There were also divisions and disagreements within the communist bloc. China and the Soviet Union, for their own strategic reasons, refused to support the Viet Minh`s claim to rule all of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh`s chief negotiator, Pham Van Dong, has chosen not to ally too closely with Moscow or Beijing, preferring that northern Vietnam keep its own destiny in its hands. After intense negotiations that began on May 8, 1954, the day after the fall of the French garrison at Dien Bien Phu, agreements were finally signed on July 21 between the French and Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian representatives. .

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