from Guangzhou to India,
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made it into theone
and only passage in order to pretend that the Chinese navy of that time had carriedout patrols in the sea of the Xisha.
The Quan Zhou Fu Zhi says that General Wu Sheng himself conducted the patrol, starting fromQiongya and passing by Tonggu, Qizhouyang, Sigensha, making a tour of 3,000 li.
According tothese toponyms, it was actually a patrol around the island of Hainan (underlined by theauthor).
But the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has affirmed that General Wu Sheng had made"patrols in the sea of the Xisha".
Regarding the names quoted by the books:
Jiurulozhou, Wanli Shitang, Wanli Chengsha,Qianli Shitang, Qizhouyang, Qizhousan,
the Chinese authors conclude that
: Qizhouyang,Qizhousan indicate the Xisha
other names indicate the Dongsha, Zhungsha,Nansha archipelagoes.
The names Qizhouyang and Qizhousan are most often quoted in the itineraries from Southern Chinato Vietnam, Champa and further to the South.In the Hai Yu, Huang Zhung in the Ming dynasty (1536) writes:
"Wanli Shitang is found East of the sea of Wu Zhu and Du Zhu"
(Wu Zhu is an island situatedto the East of the islands Xiang Chuan, Xia Chuan, district of Wan Ninh, Guang Dong. Du Zhu is anisland situated to the South-east of the island of Hainan).
"Wanli Changsha lies to the South-east of Wanli Shitang, i.e. the shoals of sand of thebarbarous countries of the South-west"
. According to the author,
Wanli Shitang indicateshere "the shoals of sand of the barbarous countries of the South-west"
Han Zhenhua, after omitting the words "the barbarous countries of the South-west",affirms that it is the Xisha and the Zhungsha
, although, annotating the book Dao Ji Zhi Lue byWang Dayua, he said
that Wanli Shitang indicated all the four archipelagoes Dongsha,Xisha, Zhungsha, Nansha
and, annotating the book Song Hui Yao, Song dynasty, he said thatWanli Shitang indicated the Zhungsha archipelago.
Even Han Zhenhua does not know exactly what Wanli Shitang designates: Zhungsha,Xisha, or both, or even all four archipelagoes?
Han is self-contradictory.The Zhi Nan Zheng Fa, at the end of the reign of Kang Xi, writes: "If one goes beyond Qizhou and inthe direction of the East for seven geng, one will find Wanli Changsha...if one goes to the East, onewill one day see the island Weila before the eyes. Going to the East, after seven geng, [one willarrive in] Wanli Shitang."Presenting the books Shun Feng Siang Sung and Zhi Nan Zheng Fa in 1961, the China PublishingHouse (Peking) said:
: from the Vietnamese port of Xinzhou, one goes towards the islands Hiaobei forseven geng to the North or from the island Weila towards the East, one can also reach WanliShitang, i.e. in the North-east of present day Binh Dinh of Vietnam.
This is not likely to be theSouthern part of the Xisha archipelago.Wanli Changsha:
to the South-east of the island of Hainan, only a seven-geng [sail] South of theisland Dazhou,
is the Northern part of Xisha archipelago."
According to Pan Shiing,
the Song had given the Nansha archipelago the name Shitang,Qianlishitang and Wanlishitang.In his turn, he is in contradiction to Han Zhenhua.
the translator of Shibi Zhuan (History of Sibi), the Mongolian general whocommanded the expedition of the Yuan against Java in the XIIIth century
, estimates that
Wanlishitang designates rather the shoal Macclesfield
it is the Zhungshaarchipelago) which is even now submerged under more than 10m of water