Textbook recognizes China’s southern border as Hainan Island

VietNamNet Bridge – A Chinese textbook published in 1912 shows that China’s southern border is Hainan Island, according to the Han Nom Research Institute.

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Ass.Prof Trinh Khac Manh presents the newly published documents.

"The textbook was published by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of China so it can be seen as the state recognition that the two archipelagos of Hoang Sa (Paracels) and Truong Sa (Spratlys) don’t belong to China," said Ass. Prof. Trinh Khac Manh, from the Han Nom Research Institute (Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam) at a ceremony held in Hanoi on June 3.

The ceremony was held to make public 46 documents proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelago.

Ass. Prof. Manh said the textbook is part of a 3,000-page manuscript of studies entitled "Han Nom Bibliography on Vietnam’s Islands and Waters", which has been checked and approved by the Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam.

Some of the 46 documents were previously published in a 480-page book titled "The Documents on Vietnam's Sovereignty over the Two Archipelagos of Hoang Sa, Truong Sa and the Waters of Vietnam in the East Sea".

Ass. Prof. Manh said this is the first time that the 46 documents are published together in one book including 17 historical documents and 18 maps.

"These documents show the consistent management of the State of Vietnam over Hoang Sa, Truong Sa and our waters in the East Sea," Ass. Prof. Manh said.

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The 46 documents focus on the following main points: 1) proving that annually, the State of Vietnam, far from the Nguyen Lords, sent officers and soldiers to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa to map and collect aquatic resources; 2) the feudal states established teams to manage, build temples and steles and to take people to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa to live from the 17th century. These have been incorporated into textbooks in Vietnam.

"From Emperor Minh Mang Dynasty, the management of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa had new developments. Some merchants of Macau and China presented the maps noting Hoang Sa as Vietnam’s territory to Emperor Gia Long, not to the emperor of the Qing Dynasty in China. This shows that the Chinese were well aware of Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa," he stressed.

The Chair of the Academy of Social Sciences of Vietnam – Mr. Nguyen Xuan Thang – emphasized that the materials on the implementation of sovereignty of the feudal state of Vietnam are solid legal evidence for Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

Thang added that one of the 46 documents published this time is a book by Chinese authors – Jiaozhou Geographic Book - which was re-written based on a book of the Ming Dynasty. It recognizes Hoang Sa as Vietnam’s territory.

Thang said the academy would present the book to all libraries in Vietnam and translate the book into English to introduce it to the international community.

Historic evidence

The Viet Nam National University-HCM City on the occasion of Viet Nam's Sea and Island Week from June 1-8, introduced a book on June 3 that confirms Viet Nam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

The book, Chu Quyen Viet Nam Tren Bien Dong va Hoang Sa-Truong Sa (Viet Nam's Sovereignty in the East Sea and Hoang Sa-Truong Sa) was written by well-known HCM City historian and geographer Nguyen Dinh Dau.

The eight-chapter book includes historical descriptions of the islands in the East Sea and their status during the Late Le dynasty, the Tay Son dynasty, the period from 1945 to 1975, and from 1975 to the present time.

The book contains maps from the 15th century onwards that were created by Vietnamese, Chinese, Europeans and Americans to help in exploration and commercial navigation.

The book, edited and published by Viet Nam National University-HCM City, also includes records of historians who have confirmed Viet Nam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

Phan Thanh Binh, director of Viet Nam National University-HCM City, said the book showed solid historical evidence for the country's sovereignty over the two archipelagos.

Historian Dau, 94, of Ha Noi, has spent his entire life studying Viet Nam's history and geography, collecting more than 3,000 old maps of Viet Nam and hundreds of international maps related to the country and its islands.

With his research and collections, Dau won the 2008 Research Prize presented annually by the Phan Chu Trinh Culture Fund for the purpose of encouraging and honouring researchers in social sciences and humanities.

The maps are being displayed at an exhibition at the HCM City General Science Library in District 1 until June 8 - VNS

Map exhibition asserts Vietnam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa

Fifty maps, dating back to the 15th century, that affirm Vietnam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes are on display at the Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum in Dien Bien Phu city.

Entitled 'Sea and Islands in the Heart of the Country', the exhibition showcases 50 old maps. Of the maps, six were drawn by Vietnam in the 15th century, 25 were drawn by Southeast Asian and Western countries in the 15th century, and 19 others were drawn and published by China since the outset of the 20th century.

All 50 maps describe Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes as within Vietnam's sovereignty.

The exhibition also includes nearly 100 photos depicting the activities of local people in support of the nation’s sea and islands.

During the exhibition, which runs until the end of June, the museum has raised a subscription to assist soldiers on duty to defend the national sea and islands.

Director of the Dien Bien Phu Victory Museum Vu Nam Hai said that through Vietnamese and international maps, the exhibition was expected to help visitors understand historical documents on the nation's sovereignty over its sea and islands.

The event is also an opportunity to educate the younger generation about patriotism, national pride and determination to protect national sovereignty, he noted - Nhandan

Tran Cham

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