vietnam, china, moscow
  • On my website life story I relate a 1964 incident when I accompanied to the Kremlin an Australian foreign minister demanding a meeting with top Soviet leaders to warn them about Chinese ambitions in Vietnam and the need for the Soviets to join us in opposing that Chinese threat.

    I have often wondered why no one has picked up on this amazing affair from diplomatic records opened after 30 years (now 20 years). A recent visit to Australia has told me the reason: when the foreign minister (Hasluck) got back to Australia he told the media he had simply gone to Moscow to be the first person offering good wishes to the new Soviet leadership (Khruschev had just been deposed). Earlier he had told me not to report the Kremlin conversation; that he would do it himself.

    Thus is history made, and un-made.
  • Very interesting and suggestive story.
    History un-made is more important and enormous.
    In Japanese we say "yorashimu-beshi shirashimu-bekarazu" (let them be given, not let them take the information)
  • Yes, because as I relate elsewhere, it is very likely that Hasluck was acting in response to a US request.

    In other words it is very likely that the incorrect interpretation of the Sino Soviet dispute (see website for details) was actually influencing not just Australian but US policy makers as well. This incorrect interpretation (the one that the Chinese were inherently aggressive) was very influential in justifying, if not causing, the US and Australian decision to intervene in Vietnam.

    The Hasluck initiative supports this view.

    In other words could we have avoided the horrors of the Vietnam War if my early analysis of the true causes of the Sino-Soviet dispute had been accepted?

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