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China's Erroneous Juridical Title Claims in Paracel and Spratly Islands

China's Erroneous Juridical Title Claims in Paracel and Spratly Islands

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Published by: drtd2002 on Jun 16, 2011
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China's Erroneous Juridical Title Claims in Paracel andSpratly Islands
By Luu Van LoiA
fter going back 2000 years in history, the Chinese authors could notdemonstrate that their country had discovered - in the juridicalmeaning of the term - and occupied the Xisha and Nanshaarchipelagoes. They also made efforts to demonstrate that the Chinesegovernment had long exercised its territorial authority over the saidarchipelagoes.In 1932, China advanced the date 1909 as the beginning of theexercise of its territorial authority over the Xisha; this date being thatof Admiral Li Zhun's landing on some islands of this archipelago. In1956-59, when Chinese troops occupied the Eastern part of the Xishaarchipelago, China pushed this date back to the XVth century. Itpushed the date further back, to the Xth century, in 1975, then to theIVth century in 1988. What must surprise the public is that for theexercise of this double millenary sovereignty, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been able to produce only three facts, three troopsof the Chinese administration on the islands of the Southern sea – inreality only three facts relating to the Xisha islands – while regardingthe Nansha islands, it could not give a single fact. To fill in the gap,Han Zhenhua and Pan Zhiing added some activities of production andeven some cultural vestiges on the island Song Tử Đông (North EastCay); for instance, the tombs of two Chinese fishermen of the Qingdynasty. Following are some proofs furnished by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese authors:1. The Nansha archipelago has been linked with Hainan island since789.
Annotating the section concerning Hainan island in the book Zhu FanZhi by Zhao Juguo, Han Zhenhua wrote: "Qianlichangsha andWanlishitang already belonged to the Qiong district of Hainan as earlyas the Song dynasty, Guangnan Donglu, the islands of the Southernsea belonged to the administration of China as early as the 5th yearZheng Yoan of the Tang dynasty (789)". As for Pan Zhiing, he wrote:"The historical writings have shown that the most ancient date of theexercise of sovereignty on the Nansha may go back to the 5th yearZheng Yoan of the Tang. At that time, the Court placed the archipelagoof Nansha under the administration of the district of Qiongzhou". Inreality, Zhu Fan Zhi simply said that the Tang troops reorganized theadministration of the districts of Hainan after the annexation andpacification of the island, separating Qiongsan from the district of Yazhou and creating the jun (military command). Such is history andthere is no "linking up" the islands of the Southern sea with Hainan.2. The Song dispatched its navy to patrol the Xisha archipelagoThe documents of 1980 of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs(MFA) and Han Zhenhua also take recourse in this fact. As evidence,the MFA document quoted an excerpt of Wu Jing Zong Yao, a book onthe military policy of the Song and prefaced by King Song Renzong(1023 - 1063):"The Court of the Northern Song ordered the royal troops to holdgarrison, to create posts of maritime patrol" in the Guangnan(presently Guangdong), "to construct keeled warships", "fromTunmensan to go with the East wind in the direction of South-west inseven days, one will reach Jiurulozhou". After this quotation, heaffirms that Jiurulozhou is the Xisha archipelago today. "This factshows that the Court of the Northern Song placed the Xishaarchipelago under its administration", that "the Chinese navy carried
out patrols in the sea of the Xisha". In fact here is the in extensoexcerpt from Wu Jing Zong Yao:"The district of Nanhai of Guangzhou was previously the land of Hundred Yue inhabited by the Man, the Dan. From the Han on, it wasplaced under the military's command (jun). The Tang dynasty made itthe Qing Hai Jun Jie Du. Our dynasty liquidated Liu Chang, thencreated an urban centre, took the armies in hands, pacified the sixteenzhou and kept under control the foreign countries, which arefavourable for an influx of commercial boats, and the Man and the Hanlive without any discrimination.""To order the royal troops to organize their garrisons, to create theposts of maritime patrol in the Guangnan (presently, Guangdong) thetwo ports in the East and the West, 280 trượng wide and 200 li awayfrom Tunmensan" to "construct keeled warships". From this point inthe South-east to the high sea, it is 40 li long, 420 li in the East is HuiZhou, 240 li in the West is Toan Zhou, 750 li in the South is An Zhou,250 li in the North is Tiao Zhou. The route to the South-east is 400 li;20 li more and one arrives in Tunmensan, the water there is shallow,one can cover 50 li in one day, it is 200 li wide.""From Tunmensan, by the East wind, one goes in the South-westdirection, one will arrive in Jiurulozhou in seven days, in Pulaosan (thelimits of Huanzhou) in three days more, then going 300 li moretowards the South, one will arrive in Lingshandong (potable water isfound there). Going in the South-west direction, one will reach thelands of Dashifu, Sizi, Qiangzhu. It is impossible to calculate thedistances."Comparing the excerpts of the MFA with the same in extensor passageof the Wu Jing Zong Yao, it is reasonable to say:The creation of posts of maritime patrol at the two ports in the Eastand the West, a mere cutting and rearrangement, is related to the

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