Foreign Ministry Statement
Strongly Denounces Wanton U.S. Bombing of Laos
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #4, Jan. 21, 1966, p. 12.]
SINCE the Johnson Administration announced the “temporary suspension” of bombing of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, U.S. imperialist bombing raids against Laos have become more frantic than ever. Recently, the Neo Lao Haksat and the Laotian patriotic neutral forces have repeatedly issued statements exposing the round-the-clock wanton bombings by U.S. pirate planes in Khammouane and Savannakhet Provinces in Central and Lower Laos, which caused heavy losses in life and property to the Laotian people. According to an Associated Press dispatch, up to three hundred U.S. planes a day are dropping nearly one thousand tons of bombs and rockets. Moreover, U.S. planes spread toxic chemicals over Luang Prabang Province in Upper Laos to wreak havoc among the Laotian people. These barbarous acts on the part of U.S. imperialism have aroused the great indignation of the Laotian people. The Chinese Government and people strongly condemn U.S. imperialism for its grave crimes against the Laotian people.
The intensified bombings of Laos constitute an important step taken by U.S. imperialism in spreading its war of aggression against south Vietnam to the whole of Indo-China. The Johnson Administration has long been trying hard to turn Laos into a bridge between south Vietnam and Thailand to support its war of aggression in south Vietnam. To this end, the United States has made a series of preparations. Since last September, many high-ranking U.S. officials have visited Laos in close succession to hatch the conspiracy. The United States has introduced into Laos thousands of tons of weapons, ammunition and other war materiel, accelerated the construction of Highway No. 13 running north and south through Laos, and expanded the military airfields at Vientiane, Savannakhet, Pakse and Saravane. Moreover, U.S. imperialism has instructed the Laotian authorities in Vientiane to step up arms expansion and war preparation, to declare a state of emergency in Kharnmouane and Savannakhet Provinces and to muster more than twenty battalions of Rightist Laotian troops to launch continual armed attacks on the liberated areas of the two provinces. According to information disclosed by various sources, the Johnson Administration is planning to dispatch ground forces of the United States, and its vassals, Thailand and the south Vietnamese puppets, to occupy Central and Lower Laos. All this shows that the wanton bombing of Central and Lower Laos by U.S. imperialism is a prelude to military actions on a still larger scale.
A mere glance at what U.S. imperialism has been doing in Laos and the whole of Indo-China will reveal the real aims of the Johnson Administration in its current “peace offensive” on the Vietnam question. At the very time it is energetically advertising to the whole world its “sincere desire for peace,” U.S. imperialism is in fact surreptitiously dropping thousands upon thousands of tons of bombs over peaceful towns and villages in Laos to slaughter the innocent Laotian people. It is also under this smokescreen of “peace” that the U.S. aggressors are pushing forward their inhuman policies of “scorched earth” and of “kill all, burn all and destroy all” in southern Vietnam, and the United States and its vassals, Thailand and the south Vietnamese puppets, are becoming more and more unbridled in their war provocations and armed aggression against the Kingdom of Cambodia. The United States glibly says that it is willing to abide by the Geneva agreements, yet in reality, by its own deeds it not only tore up the 1954 Geneva agreements long ago, but has trampled underfoot the 1962 Geneva agreements, to which the U.S. Government is a signatory. The facts are very clear. In engineering the peace talks fraud on the Vietnam question, the Johnson Administration is shamelessly playing on the desire of the people of the world for peace and using honeyed words to camouflage the barbarous war it is carrying on.
The People’s Republic of China is a close neighbour of Laos and a signatory to the Geneva agreements. The Chinese Government and people fully endorse the just stand taken by the Neo Lao Haksat and the Laotian patriotic neutral forces in their statements and resolutely support the Laotian people in their just and patriotic struggle against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys. The Chinese Government calls upon all the peace-loving countries and people of the world to condemn the brutal crimes of U.S. imperialism, to expose the sinister design of its “peace offensive” and to support and aid the just struggle of the Indo-Chinese peoples in order to defeat the U.S. aggressors.
(January 18, 1966.)