Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — Trần Đức Anh Sơn, deputy director of the Institute for Socio-Economic Development (ISED) in Đà Nẵng, yesterday donated to Hoàng Sa District several documents and old maps that clearly establish Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
Sơn said he collected these documents at the libraries of Yale and Harvard universities as well as the Library of Congress during a 10-month stay in the United States last year.
He said the collection, which comprises maps, books and bibliography covering Việt Nam, China and Japan in the 16th and 19th centuries, clearly show Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.
“I also found documents related to conflicts and disputes on sovereignty of islands in South China Sea (known as East Sea in Việt Nam). Some documents and files clearly explain the disputes of Hoàng Sa (Paracels) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagos among various parties, and the illegal occupation of Hoàng Sa (Paracels) Island by force by China on January 19, 1974,” Sơn said at the donation ceremony.
“I also collected old maps published during the times of the Ming and Qing dynasties between the 16th and early 20th century which clearly show that China’s borders did not include the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) and Trường Sa (Spratly) Islands,” he said.
Sơn said a 200-page geographical map detailing China’s territory under the Quianlong Emperor in 1760 does not include the two archipelagoes.
Researcher Trần Đức Anh Sơn (right) hands his new book and collection of documents on the seas and islands of Việt Nam that prove the nation’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes. VNS Photo Công Thành
Even the 1885-printed Atlas von China that the Qing dynasty commissioned the German Verlag von Dietrich Reimer publishing house to produce, including 55 coloured administrative and terrain maps of Beijing and 26 prefectures under the Guangxu Emperor (1875-1908), do not show any sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) and Trường Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes.
He said the atlas, which has a 16-page explanation in German, does not refer to China’s sovereignty over the archipelagoes.
Also yesterday, the Hoàng Sa District People’s Committee organised a meeting of 12 people who had lived, worked and protected the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) archipelagoes in the 1959-1974 period.
Last week, an American-Vietnamese collector, Trần Thắng, had donated to the district the Pattie De La Conchinchine, an 1827 map printed in the six-volume World Atlas (Atlas universel) by Belgium cartographer Phillippe Vandermaelen (1795-1869).
Residents, officers and other individuals who had lived on and protected the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) Island from 1959-1974 meet in Đà Nẵng to mark the January 19th 1974 illegal takeover by force of the island by China. VNS Photo Công Thành
The map is one of the most detailed maps indicating clearly Việt Nam’s sovereignty over the Hoàng Sa (Paracels) Islands.
Over three years (2012-2014), Thắng had collected 150 old maps published between 1826 and 1980 in England, America, France, Germany and Scotland from antique shops in the US, England and Poland.
None of these maps list the Paracels and Spratlys in the maps and index pages.
Lý Sơn Island, 30km offshore from Quảng Ngãi Province, still preserves the Âm Linh Pagoda, a place of worship for seamen dispatched to the Paracel Islands since the 17th century during the reign of the Nguyễn Dynasty.
A museum of the two archipelagoes displays over 200 ancient documents and 100 objects proving that the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes belong to Việt Nam.
In its adjusted urban master plan until 2030 with a vision until 2050, the city will develop the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago on 30,500ha.
The history of Đà Nẵng and its relationship with the Hoàng Sa (Paracel) Archipelago was introduced into secondary and high school textbooks last year. — VNS