Indochina -The Consequences of Direct Chinese Communist Intervention in Indochina: Address by the Secretary of State, September 2, 1953 (Excerpt) (1)


We do not make the mistake of treating Korea as an isolated affair. The Korean war forms one part of the worldwide effort of communism to conquer freedom. More immediately it is part of that effort in Asia.

A single Chinese-Communist aggressive front extends from Korea on the north to Indochina in the south. The armistice in Korea, even if it leads to a political settlement in Korea, does not end United States concern in the western Pacific area. As President Eisenhower said in his April 16 speech, a Korean armistice would be a fraud if it merely released Communist forces for attack elsewhere.

In Indochina a desperate struggle is in its eighth year. The outcome affects our own vital interests in the western Pacific, and we are already contributing largely in material and money to the combined efforts of the French and of Viet-Nam, Laos, and Cambodia.

We Americans have too little appreciated the magnitude of the effort and sacrifices which France has made in defense of an area which is no longer a French colony but where complete independence is now in the making. This independence program is along lines which the United States has encouraged and justifies increased United States aid, provided that will assure an effort there that is vigorous and decisive.

Communist China has been and now is training, equipping, and supplying the Communist forces in Indochina. There is the risk that, as in Korea, Red China might send its own army into Indochina. The Chinese Communist regime should realize that such a second aggression could not occur without grave consequences which might not be confined to Indochina. I say this soberly in the interest of peace and in the hope of preventing another aggressor miscalculation.

We want peace in Indochina, as well as in Korea. The political conference about to be held relates in the first instance to Korea. But growing out of that conference could come, if Red China wants it, an end of aggression and restoration of peace in Indochina. The United States would welcome such a development.

(1) Made before the American Legion, St. Louis; Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 14, 1953, pp. 341-342. Back

American Foreign Policy 1950-1955
Basic Documents Volumes I and II
Department of State Publication 6446
General Foreign Policy Series 117
Washington, DC : U.S. Governemnt Printing Office, 1957

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