HCM CITY — A set of books including maps which indicate Hainan as China's southernmost island was made public by the Viet Nam Buddhist Shangha at the headquarters of the Giac Ngo (Enlightenment) newspaper in HCM City yesterday.
|New evidence: Researcher Tran Dinh Son makes public the Dia Du Do Khao (Geography Maps Studies) books. — VNA/VNS Photo The Anh
The set belongs to researcher Tran Dinh Son.
The books, titled Dia Du Do Khao (Geography Maps Studies), were published under the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908) in the Chinese Qing dynasty.
Tran Dinh Ba (1876-1933), minister of justice under the reign of Vietnamese King Khai Dinh (1916-25) had the books copied and stored at his private house at 114 Mai Thuc Loan, Hue City.
The books were handed over to the fourth generation of the family, researcher Son. In 1968, Son moved to HCM City and brought along the books.
The books are covered with red silk and consist of 65 pages inscribed with Han Chinese scripts. Even after all these years, the writing is still legible. The set comprises 20 sections of geography studies and 20 maps.
Superior Buddhist Monk Thich Trung Hau, head of the Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha's Culture Department, said that the nation and Buddhism have always been closely connected.
"The announcement of this historical document relating to Viet Nam's territorial sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands is a necessary act that benefits the nation," Hau said.
Professor Cao Huy Thuan, who teaches law and politics at the University of Picardie, France, appreciated Son's contribution, saying the researcher had added a compelling piece of evidence to Viet Nam's of sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.
The books reaffirm that more than a century ago the Chinese authorities themselves acknowledged that the most-southernly point of China is Hainan Island, Thuan said. — VNS