Previously posted at: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/communists-reject-nixons-peace-proposal
The Communist delegation in Paris rejects President Richard Nixon’s October 7 proposal as “a maneuver to deceive world opinion.”
Nixon had announced five-point proposal to end the war, based on a “standstill” cease-fire in place in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He proposed eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces, unconditional release of prisoners of war, and political solutions reflecting the will of the South Vietnamese people.
The U.S. Senate had adopted a resolution expressing support for President Nixon’s initiative, calling the proposals “fair and equitable,” and there was hope that the Communists would respond accordingly. However, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong negotiators refused to even consider Nixon’s proposal, reiterating their previous and long-standing demand for an unconditional and total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Indochina and the overthrow of the “puppet” leaders in Saigon.
U.S. officials publicly urged the Soviet Union to use its “considerable influence” with the Communists to persuade them to accept President Nixon’s new proposals, but the North Vietnamese stood their ground.