More maps back claim over island sovereignty

Update: November, 26/2012 - 10:28


One of 90 maps that have been donated to central Da Nang City, indicating the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Viet Nam. The map, printed by Prevost Bellin in Germany in 1747, shows the southern extent of China as being Hainan Island. — Photo Courtesy of Tran Thang
DA NANG (VNS)— The central city of Da Nang has received a collection of 90 maps published between 1826 and 1980, 10 of which indicate the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes belong to Viet Nam, the chairman of the city's Hoang Sa District People's Committee, Dang Cong Ngu, told Viet Nam News yesterday.

"We have invited historians, archaeologists, lawyers and researchers to evaluate the collection before making it public," Ngu said. "The collection has been preserved with strict precautions and is significant evidence that the two archipelagoes belong to Viet Nam."

The donor, Institute for Vietnamese Culture and Education (IVCE) director Tran Thang, said by email yesterday that he had travelled to the US, England and Poland between July and October to collect the old maps, using his own funds and some from his friends.

"It cost US$12,000 to buy the collection," he told Viet Nam News via email. "I'm still searching for more maps to donate a more perfect collection to Da Nang in the future."

He spent $8,000 to buy two books of Postal Atlas Maps of China which were published by the Directorate General of Posts of the Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of China in 1919 (consisting of 49 maps) and in 1933 (29 maps), as well as one Atlas of the Chinese Empire, published by the China Inland Mission in 1909 (23 maps). None of the three books list Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in the maps or index pages. Hoang Sa District plans to display the collection during Sea and Islands Week in Khanh Hoa Province next April. — VNS