Old map seen as proof of Vietnam’s sovereignty over islands

By VnExpress   January 11, 2017 | 04:16 pm GMT+7
Old map seen as proof of Vietnam’s sovereignty over islands
Tran Thang (L) has donated to the Vietnamese government hundreds of maps and old documents showing that the Spratlys and Paracels have historically belonged to Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress

The 1827 map depicts Vietnam’s central coastline with the offshore Paracel Islands clearly shown.

Another cartographic record from hundreds of years ago has proven Vietnam's historic rights to the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, also known as the East Sea in Vietnam, officials said.

The map clearly depicts Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands.

Tran Thang, a Vietnamese-American, chairman of the Institute for Vietnamese Culture and Education, gave the local authorities of Hoang Sa District the 1827 "Partie de la Cochinchina" map, showing the southern region of Vietnam under the French colony.

The map by geologist Phillipe Vandermaelen clearly depicts Vietnam’s central coastline with the offshore Paracel Islands clearly shown.

Thang said he was very determined to buy the map because it provides clear historical proof that Vietnam’s maritime territories really reach the Paracel Islands. He said with cartographic records like this the country will have more legal basis to settle disputes with a number of countries, including China and the Philippines.

“The map is not only internationally recognized for its geographical and scientific values but more importantly, it provides a legal basis for Vietnam’s sovereignty claim over the Paracels,” Thang told VnExpress.

“This map and other old documents that he has so generously offered to the local authorities have added to a collection that could confirm Vietnam’s sovereignty to the Paracels,” said Vo Ngoc Dong, a local official.

In 2012, Thang donated to Da Nang’s Institute for Socio-Economic Development a collection of 150 maps and three atlases which had been published between 1626 to 1980 by different countries, all indicating that China’s southern territorial reach traditionally ended at the island of Hainan and that the Spratlys and Paracels have historically belonged to Vietnam.

Related news:

Vietnam plans to power up its Spratly Islands

Hanoi to name streets after Spratly and Paracel islands