The Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands Belong to Vietnam
The Paracel and Spratly archipelagos have been considered Vietnamese territories for many centuries. These islands have both strategic and economic significance, and are now being claimed by many countries including China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei making it a political hotspot in the region.
This research aims at providing a cumulative, systematic, and detailed picture of the process of establishing Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands.
Before 1909, Vietnamese sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands had not been violated by China and other countries. There were not any effort of establishing sovereignty, but there were much documentation of Vietnamese sovereignty in the Paracels.
After 1909 there began to be newspaper articles written about the islands, especially towards the 1920s and early 1930s.
After 1954, these two archipelagos were given to South Vietnam to control according to the Geneva Accord. There was quite a conflict regarding ownership of the islands. As a result a number of significant works were done on the issue.
In 1974, People’s Republic of China invaded the Paracels and there were more major works related to the islands during this time and after 1975 both in China and Vietnam.
Gen. Ly Thuong Kiet – Vietnamese Hero
Sông núi nước Nam vua Nam ở
Rành rành định phận tại sách trời.
Cớ sao lũ giặc sang xâm phạm,
Chúng bay sẽ bị đánh tơi bời.
Over Mountains and Rivers of the South,
reigns the Emperor of the South,
As it stands written forever in the Book of Heaven.
How dare those barbarians invade our land?
Your armies, without pity, will be annihilated.
南 國 山 河 南 帝 居
截 然 定 分 在 天 書
如 何 逆 虜 來 侵 犯
汝 等 行 看 取 敗 虛
Sur les monts et les fleuves du Sud,
règne l’Empereur du Sud.
Ainsi en a décidé à jamais le Céleste Livre.
Comment, vous les barbares, osez-vous envahir notre sol?
Vos hordes, sans pitié, seront anéanties!
Das Land Vietnam, wo sein König bleibt.
Das is offensichtlich im Heiligen Buch zugeteilt.
Warum haben die Eindringlinge es überschritten?
Euch wird eine brutale Niederlage beigebracht!
베트남 강산에는 베트남 왕이 산다.
그것은 바로 하늘의 뜻에 따른 운명이다.
그런데 왜 너희 원수들은 이곳을 차지하러 오는가.
너희들은 패배해서 쫓겨나갈 것이다.
From ancient times until French colonialism, Hoang Sa and Truong Sa were considered by Vietnamese as one entity. During the French colonial period, they were separated into two archipelagos.
The Chinese names Tay Sa and Nam Sa appeared only since the beginning of the 20th century while the Vietnamese names “Hoang Sa or Cat Vang” appeared since the beginning of the 17th century.
Many historical documents affirm the location of Hoang Sa which is consistent with the present location.
Vietnam has adequate geographical, historical, and legal evidence to clearly prove an indisputable process of occupation of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa that was peaceful and continuous. Virtually all of the documents of Vietnam are official records of the process of establishment of sovereignty, coming from the very Vietnamese court.
All these evidence repute absolutely the inconsistent and ever changing arguments of China. At first, China claimed that the islands had no owners. After that, it was changed to China being the first to discover, to carry out economic activities, and to administer the islands at least since the T’ang or the Han dynasty. Even in how China refers to the islands change from time to time.
It is Vietnamese policy to assert absolute and indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands in the past and in the future. Even if Vietnam has to wait a millennium as was the case in the first millennium for Vietnam to retake its control of Hoang Sa, it will wait patiently. The eternal strength that protects national territories and resist external invasion is still the strength of the Vietnamese people on the mainland as well as on the seas. As for Truong Sa, Vietnam must persist in defending until the end when the islands return in our control.
On the other hand, Vietnam has to patiently pursue the path of peaceful resolution, and engage in bilateral or multi-lateral negotiations in order to resolve the issue of sovereignty. In favorable conditions, Vietnam will continue to propose taking the matter to international court to resolve the issue of its sovereignty being violated. Vietnam always proves that it wants to engage in dialogue with other countries, and does not present a threat to any country.