Critical Review

There’s no denying the fact that in the Geneva Conference of 1954, the Democratic Republic of
Vietnam (DRV) accepted negotiations and a diplomatic solution to end war against France
because it served some of its most vital interests and satisfied its sense of the possibilities of the
moment.
Several researchers have studied the Geneva Conference and the accords it authorized. A
recurrent theme in these studies implies that the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the
Soviet Union played important roles in shaping the accords to satisfy their own interests while
consented to ‘bargain away’ DRV national interests and those of the Vietnamese revolution.
Astonishingly, crucial questions have never been addressed adequately. Why, after the evidently
spectacular victory at Dien Bien Phu, did DRV not continue the fight to crush French forces in
Indochina instead of ending hostilities diplomatically? Did pressures from socialist allies drag a
reluctant DRV into negotiations and then force it to accept terms that undercut its own interests
and opt? What were the circumstances constraining or encouraging the DRV and otherwise
conditioning its behavior before and during the Geneva Conference? Did DRV delegations
degrade what their military had won on the battlefield?
It was argued that at Geneva the PRC determined to preclude American military intervention in
Indochina and to enhance its own international prestige and in doing so sacrificed the interests
of its Vietnamese allies by coercing them to accept terms detrimental to their interests. In other
words, the entire attitude of the Chinese diplomats, from the start to the end of the conference,
was to avoid an internationalization of the Indochina war as what happened in Korea four years
earlier, therefore, the PRC sought to negotiate as quickly as possible a settlement that would
remove all Washington’s excuse or pretext for intervention in the peninsula.
Moreover, it was Beijing, with Moscow’s support, pressured the DRV into agreement to
partition Vietnam at the 17th parallel.
In the Soviet side, as a part of its effort to encourage French rejection of the European Defense
Community (EDC), which presaged the militarization of West Germany, Moscow exerted a big
influence on the DRV to make substantive concessions to secure a peace settlement.

in negotiating on certain issues.+1949+ %E2%80%9364. Because of essential supports of the PRC and the Soviet Union to its war effort. Frankly speaking.+New+York:+Routledge. under the pressure of Beijing and Moscow. Z. international relations become a zero-sum game that the gains Beijing and Moscow achieved at the Geneva in defusing the military situation in Vietnam came at the expense of the DRV. O. the DRV had to acknowledge their priorities. https://books. 1950 – 1975. the PRC. 2011). States were selfinterested largely or exclusively in maximizing their own power and national interests. the DRV leaders did in part respond positively to concerns of socialist allies. wrote: “At Geneva.google. the author of recent research entitled: The Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the 1954 Geneva Conference: A Revisionist Critique.vn/books?id=C4kanNJCmc0C&pg=PR4&lpg=PR4&dq=Olsen. 1949-64: changing Alliances. on the one hand. A. . 2006). the pressure of PRC and Soviet Union. Similarly.Consequently. and the Soviet Union named Soviet-Vietnam Relations and the Role of China. Chinese and Soviet national self-interests overweighed any ideological obligations to assist the struggle of a fellow Communist Party” (Qiang. According to Pierre Asselin. the DRV had to abandon its effort to unify the whole of Vietnam and liberate all of Indochina. 2001). +Mari. In reality. was only one of several factors informing DRV decision-making during the Geneva negotiations (Pierre. Mari Olsen insists that at Geneva. in a research focused on the strategic partnership between the DRV. Not surprisingly.+Soviet-Vietnam+Relations+and+the+Role+of+China. there was a noticeable degree of conformity between Vietnamese and Chinese and Soviet interests in Geneva concerning the cessation of hostilities. Moscow and Beijing would naturally add the interests of the DRV into interests of their own is a given of realist interpretations during the Cold War that considerations of realpolitik informed the strategic thinking of policymakers. On the other hand. concerns about the balance of forces in Indochina after nine years of war and the looming possibility of American military intervention did weigh more heavily on the minds of Vietnamese policymakers than the dispositions of Beijing and Moscow toward an immediate ceasefire.com. in his study entitled: China and the Vietnam Wars. Moscow and Beijing both sacrificed a swift Vietnamese reunification in order to safeguard their own priorities (Mari. Hence. Qiang Zhai.

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