Beijing has fully exploited these diplomatic gains by countering them with the US policy of ruthless expansionism pursued, according to Beijing, by Washington under the label of resistance to communism. Beijing announced that the era of colonialism that the United States wanted to immortalize in Indochina had come to an end. “A new era is dawning, in which Asian countries can live in peace and build friendly relations on the basis of respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of others and mutual non-aggressiveness,” said Jen-min jih-pao. Another newspaper, Kuang-ming jih-pao, offered a similar testimony of the inspiring effect of the Sino-Sino-Burmese agreements, as they corresponded to the interests of all the peoples of Asia. The daily flagelled the American “politics of force” as totally incompatible with the five principles. It is clear that China has taken advantage of its achievements through diplomacy not only to gain support from Asia (and thus divert attention from pro-westernism in the region), but more broadly to recognize China as the leading Asian power in the fight against “imperialism” and “colonialism”. About 660,000 Vietnamese have decided to move from North Vietnam to the south; Nearly half of them did so on U.S. ships. Many refugees to the south were frightened by rumours that the North intended to kill Catholics. About 140,000 Vietnamese also moved in the opposite direction, from south to north, with little or no assistance.
The conclusion that emerges from the obvious opposition between the public and private comments of administrators and bodies is that where American diplomacy fell, it was not at the conference, but during the Indochina crisis as a whole. Almost alJ, the revised negotiating principles in the United States had appeared unscathed; But The American objectives in Indochina – the elimination of the Vietnamese threat, the preservation of the strategically vital Tonkin Delta and the obstruction of communist political and military expansion policies in the region (all enumerated in the NSC 5405 – were still defeated. The United States had handled Geneva admirably in its self-limited role of self-interested; but the government, convinced that any usury of the territory and resources of the “free world” went against American world interests, could only regard the colony as the adoption of terms by the communist victors. The task in Vietpam over the next two years was therefore to work with what had been “preserved”, in the hope that the Diem government could return the country in time through its boot lifts to present a valid alternative to the Ho Chi Minh DRV.
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