White Papers of Vietnam (1981)



Part I — The Vietnamese state's long standing and uninterrupted sovereigntyover the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes
1. Vietnam's historical sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Saand Truong Sa
2. France carried on the exercise of sovereignty over the archipelagoes ofHoang Sa and Truong Sa on behalf of the Vietnamese state
3. The defence and exercise of Vietnam's sovereignty over the archipelagoesof Hoang Sa and Truong Sa since the end of the Second World War
Part II — The Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes have never beenChinese territories
1. On the so-called "discovery" and "exploitation" by the Chinese people 292. On the so-called "jurisdiction" excercised by Chinese dynasties 303. A new allegation from Peking: Vietnam's Hoang Sa and Truong Sa andChina's "Xisha" and "Nansha" are not the same 33



For decades now, the Chinese authorities have nurtured ambitions overthe two Vietnamese archipelagoes of Hoang Sa (i.e Paracels) and Truong Sa(i.e. Spratley or Spratly). which are called "Xisha" and "Nansha" by the Chinese.The Chinese authorities have been searching for testimonies in ancient booksto prove that their ancestors had discovered and exploited these two archipelagoeslong ago. But most embarrassingly they have failed to bring out when the Chinesestate began to take possession of "Xisha" and "Nansha" and how this stateexercised its sovereignty over them.In the booklet Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Saarchipelagoes published in September 1979, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of theSocialist Republic of Vietnam has made public a number of historical documents and juridical evidence which unmistakably prove that:— Vietnam has been in possession of the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa andTruong Sa since the time when no other countries claimed sovereignty over them;— Vietnam has been continuously exercising its sovereignty over these twoarchipelagoes ever since.In the present booklet, the views of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam willbe briefly presented to prove once again that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoeshave for a long and uninterrupted period of time been part and parcelof Vietnamese territories, that the Chinese claim over these two archipelagoes- iswithout juridical grounds and that the Chinese occupation of the Hoang Sa archipelagoby force is an act of aggression.



It is necessary, first of all, to make clear that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa are twoarchipelagoes lying off the Vietnamese coast in the East Sea (1); the nearest point of Hoang Sa is about 120 nautical miles from a coastal island called Re, and about 170 nautical miles east of Da Nang Harbour ; while Truong Sa's nearest point is about 250 nautical miles east of Cam Ranh Bay.

In ancient times, the knowledge primarily acquired by navigators about Hoang Sa andTruong Sa was still vague; they only knew that in this vast sea area navigation wasdangerous because there were submerged rocks. In those days, the Vietnamese called the area Bai Cat Vang (Golden Sandbank) or Hoang Sa, or Van Ly Hoang Sa, or Dai Truong Sa or Van Ly Truong Sa as shown in ancient Vietnamese books and maps. Almost all Western navigators' maps between the 16th and 18th centuries marked these two groups of islands under one single name : Pracel or Parcel or Paracels (2). The above-mentioned maps generally defined the Pracel area as situated in the middle of the East Sea, east of Vietnam, off the Vietnamese coastal islands.(3)
Following the progress made in science and navigation, later on it became possible todistinguish the two archipelagoes : the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa. The archipelagoes specified as Paracels and Spratley or Spratly in present-dayinternational maritime maps are precisely the two Vietnamese archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. The appellations of "Xisha" and "Nansha" were put forth by the Chinese expansionists some decades ago to promote their scheme of land-grabbing.(4)


Long ago the Vietnamese people discovered the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa andTruong Sa; the Vietnamese state has occupied them and exercised its sovereigntyoverthem ever since. Ancient Vietnamese geographical books and maps record clearly that Bai Cat Vang (Golden Sandbank), otherwise called Hoang Sa, or Van Ly Hoang Sa, or Dai Truong Sa, or Van Ly Truong Sa, had long since been a Vietnamese territory.Toan Tap Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do Thu (Route Map from the Capital to theFour Directions), a Vietnamese atlas compiled and drawn by Do Ba, alias CongDao, in the 17th century, in its notes attached to the map of Quang Ngai district,Quang Nam province, discribed "an elongated sandbank lying in mid-sea knownas the Golden Sandbank". "Every year, in the last month of winter, the Nguyens (5) would send eighteen boats to Bai Cat Vang to retrieve ship-wrecked cargoes, which included jewels, coins, arms and ammunition" (6).
In Giap Ngo Binh Nam Do, a map of Southern Vietnam, drawn in 1774 bythe Duke of Doan, Bui The Dat, Bai Cat Vang was also specified as part of Vietnamese territory (7).In Phu Bien Tap Luc, a book written by the Scholar Le Qui Don (1726-1784)on the history, geography, and administration of Dang Trong (present-day SouthernVietnam) under the Nguyen Lords (1558-1775), Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islandswere defined as belonging to Quang Ngai district: "In Quang Ngai district, off the coast of An Vinh village (8), Binh Son subdistrict, there is an island called Cu Lao Re stretching over 30 dams (9). The Tu Chinh settlement, as it is called, has been established here and the people there grow beans. It takes half a day by boat to get there. Further off, there are Dai Truong Sa islands where sea products and ship-wrecked cargoes are available to be collected by the Hoang Sa detachment. It takes three days and nights to reach there by boat. They are near an area called Bac Hai .Dai Nam Nhat Thong Toan Do, the atlas of Vietnam, completed circa 1838clearly set Hoang Sa—Van Li Truong Sa—as part of Vietnamese territory (10).In Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi, a geographical book on Vietnam whose compilationwas completed in 1882 (11) by the National Institute of History under theNguyen dynasty (1802-1945), Hoang Sa was defined as part of the Vietnamese territory belonging to Quang Ngai province. In its topographical description of QuangNgai the book describes :

"To the east (of Quang Ngai), there exist sand islands — the Hoang Sa... To thewest, a mountainous region stands like a bulwark. The province borders on BinhDinh in the South at Ben Da Pass, and on Quang Nam in the North where Sa ThoGorge marks the provincial boundary".
Many Western navigators and missionaries in past centuries confirmed HoangSa as part of Vietnamese territory. A Western priest during his trip from France to China on board the Amphitrite wrote in one of his letters: "Paracel is an archipelago belonging to the Kingdom of Annam" (12).
In a supplementary note to his Memoire sur la Cochinchine (13) J.B. Chaigneau,Emperor Gia Long's adviser, in about 1820 wrote : "Cochinchina whose king has proclaimed himself Emperor consists of Cochinchina proper (14) and Tonkin (15) and a number of inhabited off-shore islands and the archipelago of Paracel formed by several uninhabited islets, reefs and rocks...(16) Bishop J.L. Taberd, in his Note on Geography of Cochinchina published in 1837, described Pracel or Paracels as part of Cochinchina's territory and related that the Cochinchinese called Pracel or Paracels by the name of "Cat vang" (17). In An Nam Dai Quoc Hoa Do (Map of Annam) published in 1838, he delineated part of Paracels with a note that "Paracels or Cat Vang" lie in the middle of the sea beyond the coastal islands of Central Vietnam, in the area presently known as the Hoang Sa archipelago (18). In an article entitled Geography of the Cochinchinese Empire (19) published in 1849, Gutzlaff defined Paracels as belonging to Vietnam and also used the Vietnamese designation 'Kat Vang' in accompanying notes.
As the sovereign, the Vietnamese feudal state in past centuries had conductedmany geographical and resources surveys of the two archipelagoes of Hoang Saand Truong Sa. The Results of those surveys have been recorded in Vietnameseliterature on geography and history published since the 17th century.This can be read in Toan Tap Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do Thu (17th century) :"In the middle of the sea emerges an elongated sandbank called Bai Cat Vang,about 400 dams in length and 20 dams in width, facing the coastline between the(12) J.Y.C.'s quotation in his article "Mystére des atolls—journal de voyage aux Paracels" printed in the weekly "Indochine", issues of July 3, 10 and 17, 1941. The Kingdom of Annam was the name of Vietnam in those days.(13), (14) Cochinchine (French) or Cochinchina (English) used in some Western documents, depending on the context indicated : a) Vietnam as a nation at the time ; or b) the Southern Vietnam provinces.
Harbour of Dai Chiem (20) and that of Sa Vinh (2l), During the South-West monsoon,foreign comercial ships sailing along the coast side of the sandbank wouldoften be flown off course and run aground there. The same thing would happento those sailing on the other side of the sandbank during the North-East monsoon.Men on board the wrecked ships often starved and wrecked cargoes amassedthere" (22). In Phu Bien Tap Luc (1776), Le Qui Don wrote : "The village of An Vinh, Binh Son sub-district, Quang Ngai district, lies close by the sea. To the northeast of this village, there is a cluster of islands composed of over 130 islets and rocks. It may take a day or just a few watches to sail from one islet to another. On some islands there is fresh water. A flat and large strip of yellow sand stretching over30 dams distinguishes itself among these islands. Here the water is crystal clear.The islands abound with swallows' nests and swarms with thousands upon thousandsof birds of various species which remain indifferent to the sight of men(23). Strange things lie on the beach. Of the mollusks there are conches whose sizeis of a bed-mattress, whose pearls are opaque and whose shells can be cut intosmall plaques or baked into lime for house building. There are also whelks whoseshells can be used as mother-of-pearl for inlaid work. Conches and whelks andother mollusks can also be salted or cooked for food... Foreign vessels hit by stormsare often wrecked on these islets".
Dai Nam Thuc Luc Tien Bien, a book on the history of the Nguyen Lords completedby the National Institute of History under the Nguyen dynasty in 1884, similarly wrote : "Far out in the middle of the sea beyond the coast of An Vinh village, Binh Son subdistrict, Quang Ngai district there are over 130 sandbanks separated by sea distances of a full day's voyage or just a few watches' and scattered on a length of several thousand dams, hence the popular designation of Van Ly Hoang Sa. Fresh water springs are found on many sandbanks. Sea products there include seacucumbers, conches, tortoises, turtles, etc."
For its part, Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi (1882) also wrote :"The Hoang Sa islands stretch east of Re island, Binh Son sub-district. It takesthree to four days to reach there from Sa Ky Beach if the wind is favourable.The islands consist of over 130 islets. From one islet to another is a day's or afew watches' sailing. Among these islands, which are scattered over a length ofseveral thousand dams and popularly called Van Ly Truong Sa, there are strips ofyellow sand where fresh water can be found and sea birds flock in very great numbers.
Marine products include sea-cucumbers, conches, tortoises, turtles, etc. Cargoesof wrecked vessels amass there."
According to Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien, a book on the history of theNguyen dynasty compiled in 1848, Garrison Commander Truong Phuc Si, upon(20) Dai Chiem is presently known as the Harbour of Dai, Quang Nam-Da Nang province. completion of his map-drawing assignment to Hoang Sa, reported to Emperor MinhMenh that "Hoang Sa is a boundless area of sandbanks in the middle of thesea"(24).
Other books published in the Nguyen dynasty like Lien Trieu Hien Chuong LoaiChi (1821), Hoang Viet Dia Du Chi (1833), Viet Su Cuong Giam Khao Luoc (1876)provided similar descriptions of Hoang Sa.
Aware of the availability of valuable sea-products and cargoes of wreckedships in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, the Vietnamese feudal state set out long agoto exercise sovereignty over and organize the exploitation of these two archipelagoes.In many Vietnamese old books on history and geography, the organisationsand operations of various Hoang Sa deta :hments entrusted with this task werewell recorded.
In Toan Tap Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do Thu (17th century), it was said:
"The Nguyens every year in the last month of winter would dispatch 18boats to Bai Cat Vang to retrieve ship-wrecked cargoes which include jewels,coins, arms and ammunition".In Phu Bien Tap Luc (1776) it was related:
"The Nguyens used to form a 70-strong Hoang Sa detachment made up ofAn Vinh villagers. It was sent on duty in the third month of every year, takingalong enough food for six months. It sailed in five fishing boats and reached theislands after a three days-and nights voyage. There, the men were left free in theirgleanings. They were able to catch birds and fish for additional food. At times theywere able to gather from wrecked ships such things as swords, silver or goldornaments and coins, rings, brassware, tin and lead ingots, guns, ivory, beeswax,chinaware, woolens, etc. They also gathered turtle shells, oysters, sea-cucumbersand conch shells in large quantities. This Hoang Sa detachment would not returnhome until the eighth month of the year. It used to come ashore by way of EoHarbour from where it went to Phu Xuan Citadel to hand over the things it hadgathered, have them weighed and classified and get a certificate with which itsmen could go home. They were then free to sell their share of conches, turtles and seacucumbers...
The Nguyens also formed Bac Hai teams recruited from among TuChinh villagers in Binh Thuan province or the villagers of Canh Duong. The teammates were volunteers and were exempted from personal tax and travelling expenses.
They were sent in boats to Bac Hai, Con Lon island and the isles of Ha Tiento gather shipwrecked valuables as well as turtles, oysters, abalones, sea-cucumbers.These teams were placed under the control of the Hoang Sa detachment commander".Dai Nam Thuc Luc Tien Bien (1844) wrote:
"During the early days of the dynasty, the Hoang Sa detachment was createdand it was made up of 70 men recruited from among An Vinh villagers. It set outevery year in the third month and used to reach the islands after a three-days-andnights voyage. There the men collected articles from wrecked ships. Its home tripwould normally begin in the eighth month of the year.
In addition, there was a Bac Hai team whose mates were recruited from TuChinh commune in Binh Thuan province or from Canh Duong village. The teamwas sent to Bac Hai areas and the island of Con Lon to gather articles from wreckedships. The Bac Hai team was placed under the Hoang Sa detachment commander."The Tay Son who succeeded the Nguyen lords also paid close attention to thesustenance and use of the Hoang Sa detachments in spite of the fact that they hadto cope with continuous aggressions waged by the Qing dynasty of China and bySiam, From among the documents availab'e now the following order issued in 1786by Mandarin Thuong Tuong Cong is noteworthy :
"It is ordered that Commander Hoi Duc Hau of Hoang Sa detachment leadfour boats to Hoang Sa and other islands to gather gold, silver and copper articles,artillery pieces, big and small, turtles, oysters and special fish, and that all thesecatches be submitted to the Court as required by existing rules”.
Thus, the Vietnamese state under the Tay Son continued the exploitation ofHoang Sa, being well aware that it was exercising sovereignty over the archipelago.The Nguyen Emperors did their best to consolidate Vietnam's sovereignty overthe two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa from their coming to power in1802 until the signing of the 1884 Treaty with France.
Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien (1848) describes some of the measures takenby the Nguyen Emperors to consolidate Vietnam's sovereignty over the two archipelagoes:— In 1815, Emperor Gia Long ordered Pham Quang Anh to lead the HoangSa detachment to Hoang Sa to survey the sea routes (25).— In 1816, Emperor Gia Long ordered a naval unit and the Hoang Sa detachment to sail to Hoang Sa to make a survey of sea routes (26).— In 1833, Emperor Minh Menh instructed the Ministry of Public Works toprepare for a boat trip in the following year to Hoang Sa to build a temple, installstone markers and plant trees (27).— In 1834, Emperor Minh Menh ordered Garrison Commander Truong Phuc Siwith more than 20 sailors to Hoang Sa to draw maps (28).— In 1835, Emperor Minh Menh ordered Navy Commander Pham Van Nguyento recruit soldiers, workmen and boatsmen from the provinces of Quang Ngai andBinh Dinh and to transport materials to Hoang Sa to build a temple. A stele wasto be installed on its left and a brick screen in front (29).— In 1836, approving a report from the Ministry of Public Works EmperorMinh Menh ordered a navy commander named Pham Huu Nhat to head a contingentto Hoang Sa to conduct a survey for map-drawing. The requirements of the surveywere recorded in detail in Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien;"At whatever place they reach, be it an islet or a sandbank, they will haveto examine its length, width, height and perimetre and the depths of the surroundingwaters, and to ascertain whether underwater rocks and reefs exist and whetherthe terrain is difficult or not. All these data must be included in their maps. Moreover, they will have to record the date and the point of their departure, the directiontaken and the distance covered. On each arrival, they will also have to locateexactly the names and directions of the coastal provinces facing them and thosewhich are on their right and left, and to note down the estimated distance to themainland in terms of dam. Upon completion of their tasks, they will have to submit adetailed report. »
According to Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien, each of the wooden boards broughtalong by Pham Huu Nhat to be planted as sovereignty markers, carries the followinginscription:
"In the year Binh Than, the 17th year of the reign of Minh Menh, Navy CommanderPham Huu Nhat, on orders from His Majesty the King, has arrived inHoang Sa to conduct a survey for map-drawing and has planted this marker toperpetuate the memory of the event" (30).
The Nguyen Emperors were not only concerned about the consolidation of nationalsovereignty and interests vis a vis the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes,but also with the safety of foreign vessels navigating in their vicinity. In 1833,Emperor Minh Menh, in a letter to the Ministry of Public Works, wrote : "In ourterritorial waters off Quang Ngai province, there lie the Hoang Sa islands. From afarthey become merged into the sky and the sea. It is difficult to estimate the depthsof the surrounding waters. Recently, foreign merchant ships have often been caughtin danger there. Preparations should be made for a team to go there next yearsto plant trees. The trees will grow up into a luxuriant vegetation that wouldallow navigators to recognize the areas and avoid shipwrecks. This will be for thebenefit of many generations to come" (31). Clearly this represents a profound senseof responsibility displayed by a sovereign state with regard to internationalnavigation in its domain.
Thus it has been shown in ancient Vietnamese works of history and geographyand through testimonies of western navigators and missionaries that the Vietnamesestate from one dynasty to another over hundreds of years had continuouslyexercised its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.The regular presence of the state-directed Hoang Sa detachments from five to sixmonths annually to perform state-entrusted tasks in these two archipelagoes initself constitutes irrefutable evidence of the jurisdiction exercised by the Vietnamesestate over these two archipelagoes. The occupation and exploitation of these twoarchipelagoes by the Vietnamese state had never encountered protests from anynations including China — this further proves that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa havefor long been parts of Vietnamese territory.


After the June 6th 1884 Treaty signed with the Nguyen dynasty, France representedVietnam's interests in foreign affairs and was bound to protect Vietnam'ssovereignty and territorial integrity. In the framework of such overall commitment.France carried on the exercise of Vietnamese sovereignty over the twoarchipelagoes.
Hereunder are some examples :French gunships often went on patrol trips in the East Sea and in particularamid the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands.
In 1899, the French Governor General in Indochina, Paul Doumer, proposed toParis that a lighthouse be erected on Hoang Sa Proper (Pattle) to direct the navigationof foreign ships but the project was called off due to insufficient budgetallocation.
After 1920, Indochinese customs ships stepped up their patrols in the vicinityof Hoang Sa to prevent trafficking.
In 1925, the Oceanographic Institute of Nha Trang sent S/S De Lanessan tothe Hoang Sa archipelago to undertake oceanographic research. Along with A.Krempf, director of the Institute, there were also Delacour, Jabouille and other wellknown scientists specializing in geological and biological studies.In the same year, on March 3rd, the Minister for Military Affairs at the Courtof Hue, Than Trong Hue, reasserted that Hoang Sa was part of Vietnameseterritory.
In 1927, S S De Lanessan carried out a scientific survey in the archipelago ofTruong Sa.
In 1929, the Perrier — De Rouville delegation proposed the building of fourlighthouses at four corners of the Hoang Sa archipelago (on the islands of Tri Ton,Da Bac, Linh Con and the beach of Bombay).
In 1930, Le Malicieuse, a signal ship, arrived in Hoang Sa.
In March 1931, S/S Inconstant dropped anchor in Hoang Sa.
In June 1931, S/S De Lanessan arrived in Hoang Sa. ,
In May 1932, Alerte, a gunship, arrived in Hoang Sa.
Between April 13, 1930 and April 12, 1933 on orders from the French Government,various naval units were successively stationed on the major islands of the Truong Sa archipelago : Truong Sa Proper (Spratly), An Bang (Amboyna Cay), Itu Aba, the Song Tu cluster (32), Loai Ta and Thi Tu.
On December 21, 1933, Cochinchina's Governor, M.J. Krautheimer, signed adecree by virtue of which the islands of Truong Sa, An Bang, Itu Aba, the SongTu cluster, Loai Ta and Thi Tu were annexed to Ba Ria province (33).

In 1937, the French authorities assigned Gauthier, a civil engineer, to HoangSa to find places where a lighthouse and a port for amphibian planes could bebuilt.
In February 1937, the cruiser Lamotte Piquet commanded by Vice-AdmiralEstava, called at Hoang Sa.
On March 30, 1938, Emperor Bao Dai signed a decree by virtue of which thearchipelago of Hoang Sa was severed from Nam Ngai province to be annexed toThua Thien province (34).
On June 15, 1938, Indochinese Governor General, Jules Brevie, signed an ordinancecreating an administrative unit on the Hoang Sa archipelago, Thua Thienprovince (35).
In 1938, the French installed sovereignty markers on Hoang Sa islands (Pattle)in the Hoang Sa archipelago and completed the building of a lighthouse, a meteorological station and a radio-transmitting station there. They also built a meteorological station and a radio-transmitting station on Itu Aba island in the TruongSa archipelago.
On May 5, 1939, Indochinese Governnor General, Jules Brevie, signed an ordinance amending the one signed on June 15, 1938 and creating in Hoang Sa island two administrative agencies named "Croissant and dependencies" and "Amphitrite and dependencies" (36).
Throught the years of representing Vietnam externally, the French continuedto assert Vietnam's sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa and protest againstevery encroachment upon Vietnam's sovereignty with regard to these archipelagoes.Following are some examples :
On December 4, 1931, and April 24, 1932, France lodged a protest with theChinese government over a plan of the authorities of Guangdong province to invitetenders for the exploitation of guyano in the Hoang Sa archipelago.
On July 24, 1933, France informed Japan of the stationing of her troops on themajor islands in the Truong Sa archipelago. Hence a Japanese protest but theFrench authorities rejected it.
On April 4, 1939, France protested to Japan over the latter's decision toplace a number of islands in the Truong Sa archipelago under Japanese juridiction.


After the Second World War, the French, following their return to Viet Nam,sent warships to the Hoang Sa archipelago, which fell within their occupationzone, to rebuild the meteorological station on Hoang Sa island and to resist Chineseland-grabing attempts.
On July 7, 1951, Tran Van Huu, head of the Bao Dai Government's delegation to the San Francisco Conference on the peace treaty with Japan declared that thearchipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa had long been part of Vietnameseterritory : "...As we must frankly profit from all the opportunities offered to us tostifle the germs of discord, we affirm our rights to the Spratly and Paracel islands,which have always belonged to Vietnam".
The declaration met with no challenge or reservation from any representativeof the 51 nations at the Conference.
In 1953, S/S Chief Engineer Girod was commissioned by the French to conductoceanographic, geological, geographical and ecological surveys in the Hoang Saarchipelago.
The Saigon administration, and later on the Provisional Revolutionary Governmentof the Republic of South Viet Nam also continued the exercise of Vietnam'ssovereignty over the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. Here under issome evidence of this :
In 1956, naval units of the Saigon administration took over the archipelagoes ofHoang Sa and Truong Sa from French troops who were moving out.
In 1956, the South Vietnam Service of Mining, Industrial and Cottage-Industriesconducted a survey on four islands : Hoang Sa (Pattle), Quang Anh (Money),Huu Nhat (Robert) and Duy Mong (Drummond) with the help of naval units ofthe Saigon administration.
On October 22, 1956, the Saigon administration annexed the Truong Sa archipelagoto Phuoc Tuy province.
On July 13, 1961, the Saigon administration severed the Hoang Sa archipelagofrom Thua Thien province and annexed it to Quang Nam province and created anadministrative village comprising all the archipelago, called it Dinh Hai, joinedit to Hoa Vang district and placed it under the control of an administrative delegate.
Between 1961 and 1963, the Saigon administration installed sovereigntymarkers on the major islands of the Truong Sa archipelago, viz Truong Sa, AnBang, Song Tu Tay, Song Tu Dong, Thi Tu, and Loai Ta (37).
On October 21, 1969, the Saigon administration annexed Dinh Hai village toHoa Long village of Hoa Vang district, Quang Nam province.
In July 1973, the Institute of Agricultural Surveys under the Ministry ofAgricultural and Land Development of the Saigon administration conducted a surveyon Nam Ai island (Nam Yit) in the Truong Sa archipelago.
In August 1973, with the cooperation of a Japanese company, the MarubenCorporation, the Ministry of National Planning and Development of the Saigonadministration conducted a prospecting survey of phosphates in the Hoang Saarchipelago.
On September 6, 1973, the Saigon administration annexed the islands of TruongSa, An Bang, Itu Aba, Song Tu Dong, Song Tu Tay, Loai Ta and Thi Tu, Nam Aiand Sinh Ton and other adjacent islands to Phuoc Hai village, Dat Do district,Phuoc Tuy province.
Feeling keenly about Vietnam's age-old sovereignty over the two archipelagoesof Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, the successive administrations of South Vietnam neverfailed to defend it whenever a foreign country attempted to dispute it or occupiedany island in the two archipelagoes.
On June 1, 1956, the Foreign Ministry of the Saigon administration issued astatement reaffirming Vietnam's sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelago as thePeople's Republic of China, Taiwan and the Republic of the Philippines eachclaimed that the archipelago belonged to them.
On February 22, 1959, the Saigon administration arrested 82 citizens of thePeople's Republic of China and detained them for some time after they had infiltratedthe islands of Huu Nhat, Duy Mong and Quang Hoa in the Hoang Saarchipelago.
On April 20, 1971, the Saigon administration again reaffirmed that the TruongSa archipelago was part of Vietnamese territory in response to Malaysia's claimof sovereignty over some islands in that archipelago.
In connection with the statement of the Philippine President on the TruongSa archipelago at a press conference on July 10, 1971, the Foreign Minister ofthe Saigon administration on July 13, 1971 reaffirmed Vietnam's sovereignty overthat archipelago.
In 1974, as the military forces of the People's Republic of China occupied thesouthwestern islands of the Hoang Sa archipelago, the Saigon administration in itsstatement of January 19, 1974, condemned the People's Republic of China forhaving encroached upon the territorial integrity of Vietnam. On January 20, 1974,in a statement at the first session of the 3rd U.N. Conference on the Law of theSea, held in Caracas, the Saigon administration restated that the Hoang Sa andTruong Sa islands were part of Vietnamese territory. In a statement issued onFebruary 14, 1974, the Saigon administration once again reaffirmed that the twoarchipelagoes had always been part of Vietnam.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam,for its part, announced a 3-point position concerning the settlement of the territorialdisputes in a statement on January 20. 1974.
On May 5 and 6, 1975, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republicof South Viet Nam announced the liberation of the islands in the TruongSa archipelago which had been held by the Saigon troops.
In September 1975, the delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Governmentof the Republic of South Vietnam to the Colombo Meteorological Conferencesaid in a statement that the Hoang Sa archipelago belonged to Vietnam andrequested the World Meteorological Organization to continue to register in theWMO list of meteorological stations the Hoang Sa meteorological station of Vietnam(which had been listed in the WMO network under registration number48,860).
After the reunification of Viet Nam in 1976, the Government of the SocialistRepublic of Vietnam reaffirmed on various occasions Vietnam's sovereigntyover the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, e.g. in its notes to the partiesconcerned, in the Sino-Vietnamese talks started in Peking in October 1977 betweenthe two Deputy Foreign Ministers, in various statements issued by theMinistry of Foreign Affairs, at the conference of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva in June 1980, at the World Geological Congress in Parisin July 1980, etc.
On the basis of historical documents and the principles of international lawand international practices, it is possible to draw the following conclusions:
1. The state of Vietnam took effective possession of the Hoang Sa and TruongSa archipelagoes long ago when they were not under the sovereignty of anynation ;
2. Throughout several centuries since then, the state of Vietnam has beeneffectively and continuously exercising sovereignty over these two archipelagoes ;
3. The state of Vietnam has always actively defended its rights and titlesagainst all schemes and acts of encroachment upon the sovereignty, territorialintegrity and interests of Vietnam in connection with the Hoang Sa and TruongSa archipelagoes.

Supplement 1 : Toan Tap Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do ThuAn atlas of Vietnam drawn by Do Ba in the 17th century. In the map of Quang Ngaidistrict, there are the following notes : "An elongated sandbank lies in mid sea knownas the Golden Sandbank", "every year by the last month of winter, the Nguyens would send there a fleet of 18 boats to retrieve ship-wrecked cargoes...".

Supplement 2: Dai Nam Nhat Thong Toan Do :A map of Vietnam drawn around the year of 1838 in the Nguyen dynasty in whichHoang Sa (No. 1) and Truong Sa (No. 2) were defined as Vietnamese territories lying away from the islands along the coast of Central Vietnam.

Supplement 3 : An Nam Dai Quoc Hoa Do:A map of Vietnam printed in Bishop Jean Louis Taberd's "Dictionarium Latino-Annamiticum" published in 1838 in which part of Paracel i.e. Golden Sandbank was marked off in the vicinity of present-day Hoang Sa archipelago (Note : mark "X" on the map).

Supplement 4: Scenes of the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagoes.Upper picture : The Amphitrite cluster of the Hoang Sa (Aerial photo, 1937).Lower picture: On the Truong Sa island (1967).

Supplement 5: Ordinance N° 4702-CP dated December 21, 1933, of Cochinchinese Governor Krautheimer by virtue of which the islands of Truong Sa, An Bang, Itu Aba, Loai Ta, Thi Tu, the cluster of Song Tu Dong and Song Tu Tay islands and their dependencies were annexed to Ba Ria province.

Supplement 6: Ordinance No 156-3-6 dated June 15, 1938, of Indochinese Governor General J. Brévié by virtue of which an administrative unit was instituted on the Hoang Sa archipelago (Bulletin admmistratif de l'Annam, No 12, 1938).

Supplement 7: By Ordinance No 3282 dated May 5, 1939, Indochinese Governor General J. Brévié amended Ordinance No 156-3-6 dated June 15, 1938 (misprinted 1932) and instituted on the Hoang Sa archipelago two agencies called "Croissant and dependencies" and "Amphitrite and dependencies".
Supplement 8Vietnam's sovereignty marker on the Song Tu Dong island (in the Truong Sa archipelago) installed in 1963.

Supplement 9: Vietnamese naval forces on the Song Tu Tay island (in the Truong Sa archipelago).

Supplement 10: One of the maritime maps printed by the Portuguese in the 16th century. On this map,the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes were drawn as one with the name of Pracel lying in the East Sea, far away from the off-shore islands along the coast of Central Vietnam.



Despite the fact that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes have longiince been part of Vietnamese territory, the Peking ruling circles are now tryingto justify their expansionist ambitions over these two archipelagoes, quoting ancientbooks to back up their claims that China was "the first to discover, to exploit andto govern" the "Xisha" and the "Nansha'' archipelagoes. "For thousands of years,the governments of various Chinese dynasties had been continuously exercisingtheir jurisdiction over these two archipelagoes... and the Chinese people areundeniable masters of these two archipelagoes", (38) they say.
On the other hand, they have brazenly made up the story that the VietnameseHoang Sa and Truong Sa are coastal islands and sandbanks along centralVietnam in an attempt to prove that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoesand the "Xisha" and "Nansha" islands claimed by China are not the same.But no one can deny the truth that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoeshave been and shall always be parts of Vietnamese territory.


The document made public by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs onJanuary 30, 1980, presents excerpts from two books (39) published in the ThreeKigdoms period (220-265 AD) to prove that long ago the Chinese "discovered""Xisha" and "Nansha".
It also refers to six other books (40) published during the time between theSung dynasty and the Qing dynasty (from the 11th to 19th century) and declaresthat these books write about the Chinese people's voyages to the Xisha and Nanshaarchipelagoes and their engagement in production activities there over thousands of years, and "in this process, they gave the Xisha and Nansha archipelagoes different names like Liuru Lozhou, Shitang, Qianli Shitang, Wanli Changsha etc." This was an attempt to prove that "the Chinese people had discovered and carried on exploitation work in Xisha and Nansha".
As a matter of fact, the contents of what is quoted from the two books of the ThreeKingdoms period are quite vague. As for the six books dated from the Sung to the Qing dynasty, they are essentially writings recording contemporary Chinese cognizance of geographical positions, history and customs of foreign countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia, and the sea routes from China to such foreign countries and contain nothing about "the Chinese people's voyages to these two archipelagoes" and their "engagement in production activities" there. Even if the geographical names used in these ancient books correctly refer to the two archipelagoes as Peking claims, they are designations used by the Chinese in thepast to denote geographic features of foreign countries or to describe navigation routes in these sea areas. They are in no way of any legal value for the Chinese claim of sovereignty over these islands.
Similarly, even if it is true that the Chinese discovered these archipelagoes, that will not constitute a legal basis for the Chinese claim that they have been under Chinese jurisdiction. Even if it can be shown that some exploitation work was carried by the Chinese in "Xisha" and "Nansha", that will in no way help create sovereign rights for the Chinese state over these archipelagoes, since the work was done by private individuals.


Public opinion has demanded that the Chinese ruling circles prove when and how theChinese state took possession of the two archipelagoes of "Xisha" and "Nansha". TheChinese authorities, however, have failed to provide an answer. They had to resort to a general statement that "the governments of various Chinese dynasties had continuously exercised their jurisdiction over these two archipelagoes", and with a view to proving that, they have cited a number of events taking place during the whole period from the 11th to the 19th century, of which the following three are emphasized :
The first event: In the above-mentioned document of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, what follows is said to be an excerpt from Wujing Zongyao, a book written in the reign of King Renzong (1023-1063) of the Northern Sungs : The Court "orders that royal troops be dispatched to build and defend the bases of maritime patrol in Guangnan (i.e. present day Guangdong)" and "that combat ships be built"... "if from, Tunmenshan one avails oneself of the east wind and takes the southwest route one will reach Jiuru Lozhou in seven days." The Chinese Foreign Ministry document considers Jiuru Lozhou to be the "Xisha archipelago" and concludes that "The Court of the Northern Sungs had placed the Xisha archipelago under its administration and that "Chinese naval units had patrolled the area of the Xisha archipelago".In fact, the original Wujing Zongyao had this to say about the abovementionedevent:
"...Orders that royal troops be dispatched to build and defend the basesof maritime patrol in the Eastern and Western sea-habours, which are 280truongs (41) in width, and which are about 200 li from Tunmenshan (42), and thatwarships be built"... "If from Tunmenshan one avails oneself of the east windand takes the southwest route one will reach Jiuru Lozhou in seven days andif proceeding further, one will reach Pulaoshan (in the Kingdom of Huanzhou (43)within 3 days : and about 300 li further southwards from that point is Lingshandongregion. To the southwest of Ungshandong are the Kingdoms of Dashifu,Sizi and Tianzhu (44) where no one had any idea of how long a voyage to theseKingdoms would take" (45).
Clearly the above excerpt from Wujing Zhongyao mentions on the one handthe order of the Court of the Northern Sungs on the establishment of bases formaritime patrol in Guangzhou Harbour, and on the other hand describes the positionsof these bases and the sea-routes from Guangzhou to the Indian Ocean, andnot a single line of the afore-said passage suggests that Chinecument of the ChineseForeign Ministry, indeed, re-arranges the words of the quoted passage (whichare here-above quoted) with no other aims than serving the expansionist designof the Chinese authorities with regard to the Hoang Sa archipelago (46).The second event: The document of the Chinese Foreign Ministry mentionsthe astronomical surveys conducted by the Yuan dynasty in the "South Sea" toconclude that "the Xisha archipelago lies within Chinese territory under theYuan".
Nevertheless, in Yuanshi, the official history of the Yuan dynasty, the astronomicalsurveys conducted during the early years of the Yuan dynasty are describesas follows :
"The measurements of shadows cast by the sun in the Four Seas were carriedout at twenty-seven points including Kaoli in the East, Tianchi in the West, Zhuyain the South and Tiele in the North." (47)

In the chapter "The Measurements in the Four Seas", Yuanshi clearly listed thetwenty-seven points including Kaoli, Tiele Peihai and Nanhai, where the measurements were carried out. (48) From what is written in Yuanshi, one can see clearly that the astronomical surveys at the twenty-seven points were not made on a "national level" as Peking said in its document but "in the Four Seas". That is why these twenty-seven points included such places lying outside the "Chinese domain" asKaoli i.e. Korea, Tiele i.e. a place in Siberia (U.S.S.R.), Peihai (Northern Sea) i.e. thesea off Siberia and Nanhai i.e, the East Sea (49).
Even if the point where measurements were carried out in Nanhai lies in the"Xisha" archipelago, that does not mean "Xisha" was part of the Chinese domainunder the Yuan dynasty. Yuanshi itself says the Chinese Empire then extendedonly to Hainan island in the south and not beyond the Gobi desert in the north. (50)The third event: The document of the Chinese foreign Ministry mentions the patroltour made by Vice-Admiral Wu Sheng some time between 1710 and 1712 duringthe Qing dynasty. The admiral was said "to have set out from Qiongya,proceeding to Tonggu, Qizhouyang, and Sigengsha. making a three-thousandlitour of patrol and observation". Making use of the above description of the tour,the publisher of the document says "Qishouyang is present-day Xisha archipelagoarea which was then patrolled by naval units of Guangdong province".
In reality, the places mentioned in the above excerpt are in or around Hainanisland :
— Qiongya or "the military district of Qiongya" under the Qing dynasty hadits headquarters at Qiongshan near the present-day township of HaiKou, in thenorthern part of Hainan island. (5 l)
— Tonggu lies in the northeastern point of Hainan island. (52)
— Qizhouyang is that part of the sea east of Hainan island in which there areseven islets called Qizhou. (53)
— Sigengsha is a sandbank in the western part of Hainan island. (54)It is now clear that the document of the Chinese Foreign Ministry has distortedfacts, turning "Qizhouyang" into "Xisha archipelago region" and conjuring atour in "Xisha archipelago region" out of Wu Sheng's patrol tour around Hainanisland to conclude that "the region was then patrolled by naval units of Guangdongprovince".
The comparison between Peking's excerpts and the original texts shows clearlythat none of the three cited events had any connection with the Xisha archipelago.Peking also cited some local geographical books in the Ming and Qing dynastieswhich said "Wanzhou includes Qianli Changsha and Wanli Shitang" (55) in an attempt to prove their assertion that "the Xisha and Nansha archipelagoes were then part of Wanzhou in the district of Qiongzhou, Guangdong province". Nevertheless,in "Daqing Yitongzhi", the official geographical book edited by the National Instituteof History of the Qing dynasty with a foreword by Emperor Xuanzong in the 22ndyear of Daoguang (1842), there was not a single mention about "Qianli Changsha"and "Wanli Shitang" being part of Wanzhou. Qiongzhou district, Guangdongprovince. That is the reason why, perhaps, Peking failed to mention this officialwork published by that feudal state itself.
Peking goes even further to say that it is in possession of three ancient mapsof China, all drawn in the Qing dynasty (56). "as evidence" supporting its claim-Readers may ask why the Peking author ties have not yet made public these maps.Such caution is not accidental because of the fact that all the maps of China drawnfrom that time till the early years of Zhunghua Minguo (the Chinese Republic) didnot include "Xisha" and "Nansha" as is asserted by the Peking authorities (57).Isn't it so that they need time to have these maps altered ?
The landing of 170 Chinese sailors on some islands in "Xisha" in 1909 underthe command of the Guangdong Admiral Li Zhun on order of Liang-guangGovernor Zhang Renjun was simply an unlawful act since the archipelagoby that time had been part of the Vietnamese territory for several hundredyears and no longer unoccupied land.
The landing of the Quo Ming Tang troops on Phu Lam island (Ile Boisée) inthe Hoang Sa archipelago and on Itu Aba island in the Truong Sa archipelago inDecember 1946 was an act of aggression for these islands had belonged to Vietnamlong before.
The occupations by the P.R.C. troops of the northeastern islands in the HoangSa archipelago in the early 1950s and of the southwestern islands of the samearchipelago which were being held by the troops of the Saigon administration in1974 were also acts of armed aggression.
Be it a lightning invasion or a prolonged occupation or any other acts undertakenby the Chinese in the Hoang Sa archipelago and Itu-Aba island, they areall flagrant acts of encroachment upon the territorial integrity of Vietnam andbrazen violation of international law. Those acts cannot create any rights or titlesfor the Chinese.


The above-mentioned document published by the Chinese Foreign Ministryends with a most sensational assertion: Vietnam's Hoang Sa and China's "Xisha"are not the same Vietnam's Truong Sa and China's "Nansha" are not the same;Vietnam's Truong Sa and Hoang Sa can only be "islands and sandbanks along the(56) Huangqing Gezhisheng Fentu (1755), Daqing Wannian Yitong Dili Quantu (1810) and Daqing Yitong Tianxia Quantu (1817).(57) See Supplements 11, 12, 13.coast of Central Vietnam". The Chinese authorities also say Vietnam cannot provethat the Truong Sa archipelago is the China-claimed archipelago of "Nansha". Theseare new allegations from Peking.
What arrises from this Chinese allegation is the recognition that there existin Vietnamese territory the archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa and alsothe assertion of the existence of the claimed archipelagoes of "Xisha" and "Nansha"belonging to Chinese territory. Then whatever are these "Xisha" and "Nansha"and where do they come from ? It is written in many Vietnamese ancient booksthat the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes have long since been Vietnameseterritories and this was confirmed in many Westerners' maps (under the designationsof Paracels and Spratley or Spratly) as well as in Vietnamese maps. However,the Chinese expansionists have chosen to baptize them "Xisha" and "Nansha"with a view to deliberately asserting claims on these two archipelagoes.Having done all this, the Peking authorities are now saying that Vietnam canin no way prove that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa are the same as the China-claimedarchipelagoes of "Xisha" and "Nansha". This new allegation of the Chinese expansionists shows on the one hand their arrogant attitude and on the other handtheir legally indefensible position in attempting to grab Vietnam's territory.Vietnamese archives make distinction between the islands along the coastof Central Vietnam and the Hoang Sa archipelago. In Phu Bien Tap Luc, forexample, Le Qui Don noted clearly that the Dai Truong Sa islands stand fartherout in the sea, separated from the Re island by a voyage of 3-days sailing. (58)Similarly in the map entitled Dai Nam Nhat Thong Toan Do, Hoang Sa—Van Ly Truong Sa are situated far out in the sea, away from suchVietnamese coastal islands as Cham, Re, Xanh, Thu and others.
The Peking authorities even distort Bishop Taberd's article written in 1837,saying that the archipelago of Paracel referred to by the Bishop precisely areislands and sandbands along the coast of Central Vietnam. They do not know ofthe fact, or they may have known it but pretend not to know it, that a year 1838, Bishop Taberd published a map called An Nam Dai Quoc Hoa Do in his Dictionarium Latino-Annamiticum in which Paracel or Cat Vang was defined assituated far away from major islands along the coast of Central Vietnam such asCham, Re, Xanh, Tre, Thu etc. Thus, Bishop Taberd made a distinction betweenthe Paracel archipelago in the middle of the sea and the islands along the coastof Central Vietnam. Almost all the maps drawn by the 16th, 17th, and 18thcentury navigators (59) generally marked the Paracel or Parcel in the same areasof the present-day Paracels and Spratly far beyond the coastal islands of centralVietnam.
In 1959, 82 fishermen of the People's Republic of China sailed in three boatsand landed on three islands — Huu Nhat, Duy Mong and Quang Hoa — in theHoang Sa archipelago and were arrested by the Saigon troops. In connection withthis case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, on February 29, 1959, issued a statement protesting against the Saigon administration.The arrest of the fishermen of the People's Republic of China mentionedin the above statement did not take place on the coastal islands of South Vietnambut on the islands of Huu Nhat, Duy Nong and Quang Hoa in the Hoang Sa archipelago.
On January 19, 1974, the Saigon authorities denounced the occupation of theHoang Sa archipelago by Peking armed forces and on January 20, 1974, theMinistry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China issued a statement todefend the aggression. It is evident that the fighting between Saigon and Pekingtook place in the Hoang Sa archipelago (Paracels) which Peking calls "Xisha" andnot on the islands along the South Vietnamese coast, and that Chinese armedforces have been occupying the Hoang Sa archipelago ever since, not the islandsalong the coast of South Vietnam.
The two events recalled above show all the more clearly that before January30, 1980, — the date on which the document of the Chinese Foreign Ministrywas circulated-Peking always held that what they called "Xisha" and "Nansha"were also the Vietnamese archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, i.e. theParacels and Spratley in international maritime maps.
The Vietnamese archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa can in no wayalter their geographical positions by their Chinese names, nor can they becomeChinese territories due to Peking's allegations.
Despite all the noisy propaganda, all the concoction and distortion ofthe documents, and all the arguments constructed over the past decades, Peking hasfailed to bring out when the Chinese state began to take possession of the HoangSa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, and how this state has exercised its sovereigntyover them. This is the thing Peking cannot prove, because of a simple fact that theHoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes which they call "Xisha" and "Nansha" havenever been Chinese territories.
Supplement 11The HuangZhao Yitong Jidi Zongtu Map printed in the Huanqing Yitong Jidi Quantu Atlas published in the 20th year of Guangxu Reign (1894) on which only the Hainan island was defined and no archipelagoes whatsoever in the East Sea were drawn.
Supplement 12
The Da Qing Diguo Map printed in the Da Qing Diguo Quantu Atlas published byShanghai Shangwu Jinshuguan in the 31st year of Guangxu reign (1905) and republished in the 2nd year of Xuantung reign (1910), on which, similarly, only the Hainan island was drawn and no archipelagoes whatsoever in the East Sea were defined.Supplement 13The Zhungguo Zhengkutu Map printed in the Zhungguo Sonjyiu Atlas published by Shanghai Shangwu Jinshuguan in the 2nd year of Zhunghua Minguo (1913) and Re-published, the 3rd time, in the 6th year of Zhunghua Minguo (1917). On this map an archipelago was defined (marked "X")i the name of which, Patras, was transliterated by the publisher because there was not a ready name in Chinese. Later, the Chinese authorities gave it the name of Dongsha.38Supplement 14 :The Zhunghua Renmin Gungheguo Daditu Map printed by Aguang Judi Xuesha in 1952 on which the archipelagoes in the East Sea were defined as lying within Chinese frontiers (note the right corner).39
Supplement 15 :The Zhungguo Xingzheng Qwi Map drawn by Dilu Chupenshe, 1st printing in 1964, 4th printing in 1975, distributed by Xinhua Shudian, Peking, used in schools. On this map, the whole East Sea was shown as lying adjacent the Chinese mainland and the Chinese border line ran close to the coasts of Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.40
Supplement 16:The Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan island sheet of a maritime map (Scale: 1/500,000)published by China in May 1965, in Chinese and Vietnamese: That Chau Duong, name of a place lying east to the Hainan island where there is a group of seven islands (Note "X" mark on the map).


There exists a Hoang Sa and Truong Sa problem. But this question must becorrectly understood.
On the basis of historical facts and international law it cannot be denied thatthe Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes have long since and always been Vietnamese territories. The Vietnamese state took possession of these archipelagoeswhen they were not under the sovereignty of any nation, and it has been continuouslyand effectively exercising its sovereignty over them.
The Chinese state in the past had never taken possession of these two archipelagoeswhich it calls "Xisha" and "Nansha" and had never exercised its sovereigntyover them. China had not even raised any claim over these two archipelagoesuntil the early years of the 20th century, but Peking is now fabricating facts anddistorting history to back up its claims that "Xisha" and "Nansha" have sinceancient times been Chinese territories.
The real problem here is not the question of a dispute between Vietnam andChina, but it is the Chinese aggression and occupation of the Hoang Sa archipelago,part of Vietnamese territory, and the Chinese claim of the Truong Sa archipelagoas part of China. The Chinese authorities must return to Vietnam the Hoang Saarchipelago and renounce all claims to the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes —this is a matter of course, in conformity with international law.
The ambition of the Peking authorities over the two Vietnamese archipelagoesof Hoang Sa and Truong Sa manifests all the more clearly their policy of bignationexpansionism and hegemony which is aimed at conquering Vietnam as wellas Laos and Kampuchea, gradually controlling and eventually turning the East Seainto a Chinese lake, and using the Indochinese peninsula as a springboard for theirexpansion into Southeast Asia.
The act of aggression of the reactionary clique in the Peking ruling circlesagainst the Hoang Sa archipelago and their scheme to annex the Truong Sa archipelago constitute not only an encroachment upon Vietnam's sovereignty and terrorial integrity but also an immediate threat to the interests of the countries in theEast Sea area, as well as to peace and stability in Southeast Asia.
The Vietnamese people are determined to defend the territorial integrity oftheir country and their sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa andTruong Sa against all expansionist designs of the reactionary clique in the Pekingruling circles. This just struggle enjoying the sympathy and support of the world'speace-loving and progressive forces fighting against imperialism and Peking's expansionism and hegemonism, will certainly end in total victory.


(1) The Vietnamese have long since adopted this name to designate what the Western car tographers call the China Sea or the South China Sea.

(2) Maps drawn by Portuguese, Dutch and French navigators such as Lazaro Luis, Ferdanao Vaz Dourdo, Joao Teixeira, Janssonius, Willem Jansz Bleau, Jacob Aertsz Colom, Theunis Jacobsz, Hendrick Doncker, Frederich De Wit, P. Duval, Van Langren, etc.

(3) See supplement 10.

(4) See supplements 14 and 15.

(5) The Nguyen family (1558-1775) governed the Southern part of present-day Vietnam.

(6) See supplement 1.

(7) In the Hong Duc Atlas.

(8) South of the Sa Ky Harbour, the An Vinh settlement on the Ré island also belongsto this village.

(9) Dam is an ancient unit of measurement equal to half a kilometre.

(10) See supplement 2.

(11) The chapters on Central Vietnam provinces were amended and printed in 1909.

(15) i.e. Northern Vietnam,

(16) A. Salles's quotation in his article "Le mémoire sur la Cochinchine de J.B. Chaigneau" printed in "Bulletin des amis du vieux Hue", No 2, 1923, p. 257.

(17) Bishop Jean—Louis Taberd's article "Note on Geography of Cochinchina" printed in "The Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal", 1837, vol VI, p. 745.

(18) Printed in "Dictionarium Latino-Anamiti*****", 1838; see Supplement 3.

(19) "Geography of the Cochinchinese Empire" printed in "The Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London", 1849, vol XIX, p. 93.
(20) ??
(21) Sa Vinh is presently known as the Harbour of Sa Huynh, Nghia Binh province.

(22) Bai Cat Vang, the Golden Sandbank, is an area where there are dangerous submerged rocks.

(23) See Supplement 4.

(24) Part II, Vol 122.

(25) Part I, vol. 50.

(26) Part I, vol. 52.

(27) Part n, vol. 104.

(28) Part II, vol. 122.

(29) Part II, vol. 154.

(30) Part II, Vol 165.

(31) Part II, Vol 104.

(32) The islands of Song Tu Dong and Song Tu Tay.

(33) Presently part of Dong Nai province. See supplement 5.

(34) Presently part of Binh Tri Thien province.

(35) See supplement 6.

(36) See supplement 7.

(37) See supplement 8 and 9.

(38) Document published by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Jan. 30th, 1980.

(39) Nanzhou Yiwuzhi and Funanzhuan.

(40) Monglianglu, Daoyi Zhilue, DongxiyangKao, Shunfeng Xiangsong, Zhinan Zhengfa and Haiguo Winjianlu
(41) Truong: an ancient unit of measure equal to 3.51 metres.(42) Tunmenshan is a place on the mouth of Pearl River (Guangdong province).(43) Pulaoshan is Cham island ; Huanzhou was the Kingdom of Champa.(44) Dasifu, mentioned in many Chinese ancient books as Dashi, was a Middle Age nation in the Persian Gulf area ; Sizi was ancient Sri Lanka and Tianzhu denoted India (according to Chinese books Tengshu, Sungshi and Gugin Doshu Zisheng).(45) Wujing Zongyao, Part I, Vol. 20, pp. 19a — 19b.(46) Peking not only distorts the contents of the books but also their titles in the French translation. For example "Daoyi Zhilue" means "genera! observation of the barbarous countries on islands" — "barbarous countries" is a spiteful Chinese term for foreign countries — but the Chinese translation is "general observation of the islands". "Haiguo Winjianlu" means "What one sees and hears about foreign countries" but the Chinese translation is "What one sees and hears about coastal areas".
(47) Yuanshi, Vol. 48, pp. la and lb.
(48) Yuanshi, Vol. 48, pp. 7a and 7b.(49) See Notes in Haiguo Tuzhi, a book published in 1842.(50) After Yuanshi, the part on geography, and Lidagangwupiao (Qing dynasty).(51) According to Zhungwen Dacidian, 1963 (published in Taiwan).(52) See Zhungguo Xinjutu, a map published by Shanghai Shangwu Jinshuguan, 1917.(53) See Zhungguo Haitu under Supplement 16.(54) See also Zhunggus Xinjutu, published by Shanghai Shangwu Jinshuguan, 1917.(55) Guandong Tongzhi, QiongZhou Fuzhi and Wanzhou Zhi.
(58) Sea also footnotes (7) and (8).(59) See also footnote (2).

paracel heading