VietNamNet Bridge – Tran Duc Anh Son, deputy director of the Institute for Socio-Economic Development (ISED) in Da Nang, yesterday donated to Hoang Sa District several documents and old maps that clearly establish Viet Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
A design of the Hoang Sa (Paracels) Museum under construction in Da Nang. Photos: Cong Thanh/VNS
Son said he collected these documents at the libraries of Yale and Harvard universities as well as the Library of Congress during a 10-month stay in the United States last year.
He said the collection, which comprises maps, books and bibliography covering Viet Nam, China and Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries, clearly show Viet Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
“I also found documents related to conflicts and disputes on sovereignty of islands in South China Sea (known as East Sea in Viet Nam). Some documents and files clearly explain the disputes of Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos among various parties, and the illegal occupation of Hoang Sa (Paracels) Island by force by China on January 19, 1974,” Son said at the donation ceremony.
“I also collected old maps published during the times of the Ming and Qing dynasties between the 16th and early 20th century which clearly show that China’s borders did not include the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands,” he said.
Son said a 200-page geographical map detailing China’s territory under the Quianlong Emperor in 1760 does not include the two archipelagoes.
Researcher Tran Duc Anh Son (right) hands his new book and collection of documents on the seas and islands of Viet Nam that prove the nation’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.
Even the 1885-printed Atlas von China that the Qing dynasty commissioned the German Verlag von Dietrich Reimer publishing house to produce, including 55 coloured administrative and terrain maps of Beijing and 26 prefectures under the Guangxu Emperor (1875-1908), do not show any sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.
He said the atlas, which has a 16-page explanation in German, does not refer to China’s sovereignty over the archipelagoes.
Also yesterday, the Hoang Sa District People’s Committee organised a meeting of 12 people who had lived, worked and protected the Hoang Sa (Paracels) archipelagoes in the 1959-1974 period.
Last week, an American-Vietnamese collector, Tran Thang, had donated to the district the Pattie De La Conchinchine, an 1827 map printed in the six-volume World Atlas (Atlas universel) by Belgium cartographer Phillippe Vandermaelen (1795-1869).
The map is one of the most detailed maps indicating clearly Viet Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracels) Islands.
Over three years (2012-2014), Thang had collected 150 old maps published between 1826 and 1980 in England, America, France, Germany and Scotland from antique shops in the US, England and Poland.
None of these maps list the Paracels and Spratlys in the maps and index pages.
Ly Son Island, 30km offshore from Quang Ngai Province, still preserves the Am Linh Pagoda, a place of worship for seamen dispatched to the Paracel Islands since the 17th century during the reign of the Nguyen Dynasty.
Residents, officers and other individuals who had lived on and protected the Hoang Sa (Paracels) Island from 1959-1974 meet in Da Nang to mark the January 19th 1974 illegal takeover by force of the island by China.
A museum of the two archipelagoes displays over 200 ancient documents and 100 objects proving that the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes belong to Viet Nam.
In its adjusted urban master plan until 2030 with a vision until 2050, the city will develop the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago on 30,500ha.
The history of Da Nang and its relationship with the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago was introduced into secondary and high school textbooks last year.