MEDP 299.XX Hunter College at the City University of New YorkPosts RSS Comments RSS

What Is The Meaning Of The Paris Peace Agreement

North Vietnam insisted for three years that the agreement could not be reached unless the United States agreed to remove South Vietnamese President Nguyen Vén Thiu from power and replace him with someone more acceptable to Hanoi. Nixon and Kissinger were not prepared to sign an agreement to overthrow a government that had not overthrew the NLF by force of arms, although the scale of North Vietnam`s claims is controversial. Historian Marilyn B. Young argues that the content of Hanois` proposal was systematically distorted by his initial plea for Thiu`s assimilation to what Kissinger advocated as a demand for his downfall. [16] In February 1970, Henry Kissinger, a national security adviser, began secret talks with the North Vietnamese negotiator, Duke Tho, outside Paris, while the formal peace process continued in the city. However, until the summer of 1972, little progress was made. At that time, Nixon continued a détente with both China and the Soviet Union and wanted to leave Vietnam behind before the next elections. Both sides wanted peace. Hanoi feared political isolation if the United States moved closer to China and the Soviet Union. They also knew that peace could put an end to the terrible American bombing and finally mean the total withdrawal of the military giant. Nixon wanted to move on to other foreign policy initiatives.

According to Finnish historian Jussi Hanhimki, South Vietnam was put under pressure because of the triangular diplomacy that isolated it to accept an agreement that virtually ensured its collapse. [21] During the negotiations, Kissinger stated that 18 months after an agreement, the United States would not intervene militarily, but that it could intervene before. In the history of the Vietnam War, this has been described as a “decent interval.” [22] Both sides agreed to the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Laos and Cambodia and the banning of bases and troop movements by these countries. It was agreed that the DMZ would remain a provisional demarcation line on the 17th parallel, with possible reunification of the country “by peaceful means”. An international monitoring commission of Canadians, Hungarians, Poles and Indonesians would be set up, with 1,160 inspectors overseeing the agreement.

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