1. The French Government recognises the Republic of Vietnam as a free state, having its Government. its Parliament, its army, and its finances, and forming part of the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.
With regard to the unification of the three Ky (Nam Ky, or Cochin China, Trung Ky, or Annam, Bac Ky, or Tonkin), the French Government undertakes to follow the decisions of the people consulted by referendum.
2. The Government of Vietnam declares itself ready to receive the French army in friendly fashion when, in accord with international agreements, it relieves the Chinese troops. An annex attached to the present Preliminary Convention will fix the terms under which the operation of relief will take place.
3. The stipulations formulated above shall enter into ef- fect immediately upon exchange of signatures. Each of the contracting parties shall take necessary steps to end hos- tilities, to maintain troops in their respective positions, and to create an atmosphere favourable for the immediate opening of friendly and frank negotiations. These negotiations shall deal particularly with the diplomatic relations between Vietnam and foreign states, the future status of Indochina, and economic and cultural interests. Hanoi, Saigon, and Paris may be indicated as the locales of the negotiations.
Signed: Sainteny, Ho Chi Minh, Vu Hong Khanh
Source: Bulletin Hebdomada;re Ministere de la France d'Outremer, no. 67 (March 18, 1946) translated in Harold R. Isaacs (ed.), New Cycle in Asia (1947), pp. 161-162.