How did China distort history in order to occupy East Sea?

Posted at: FRIday - 30/05/2014 12:06 - post name: Nguyễn Thị Thùy

 
How did China distort history in order to occupy East Sea?

China’s wish to impose unjustified sovereignty over most of East Sea has proven an extreme conflict with the evidence and historic resources they used. For a long time, China has not given up doing things that all true scholars have condemned as deliberately fabricating and distorting history.

This action has been attempted and meticulously implemented by China in order to distort history for thousands of years from ancient times in many different fields. Within the scope of this article, we will only point out a few specific cases as testaments for many attempts of China.

Da Dong island of the Spratly Islands, Vietnam - The White Paper on China's sovereignty in two Xisha and Nansha and a number of research papers by some Chinese scholars such as Han Chan Hoa with the book "Synthesis of historical documents about Hainan islands of our country" (China-NV) has given out several "eloquent"  conclusions that there are many "historical truths” ( for example: the presence of the archaeological site) which "fully demonstrated that" China discovered, operated business and perform its rule  of the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands (which they called Xisha and the Nansa) from "thousands of years".

Unfortunately, Chinese ancient historiographies had the self-respect and decency to authorities. The Chronicles of several Chinese dynasties recorded the most significant events with more clarity, so when going into  specific issues, arguments about China 's sovereignty them on the East Sea, which has two archipelagos Hoang Sa and Truong Sa of Vietnam, has been extremely conflicted with the their own historical documents. In terms of geography, China quotes from a number of ancient geography books having records and description of  Paracel and Spratly Islands in order to believe that their findings and assert sovereignty in the islands the past thousands of years.

For instance, “Nam Chau Di Vat Chi” book written by Van Chan Chi (Three Kingdoms Period 220-265 ) in the time of Emperor Han Vu De has a description of the rocks and sand on the East Sea and a description of shallow water and rocks magnet which makes it dangerous. “Di Vat Chi” of Duong Phu (in Dong Han period , AD 25-220) about the origin of the strange foreign places describes Changhai : " In Truong Hai Ky Dau there were many lodestone, if the boat out of the realm, their iron sheets will be spit out ."

There are few papers, but some recent documents of China "impose" this description of Truong Hai Ky Dau and legend of loadstones in relation to the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands in the East Sea. It should also be noted that the majority of Chinese ancient documents talking about islands and reefs in the East Sea are written with a lot of different names.

For example, in  Dong Tay Duong Khao written by Truong Nhiep (1618), which refers to the islands located 100 miles (about 50km) away from Van Xuong District, this documents may not fit geographically with the Paracel Islands (Paracels ) lying over 250km to the south of Hainan. The name of the island is also written very differently depending on the imagination of authors such as Cuu Nhu Loa Chau, Van Ly Thach Duong, Thien Ly Thach Duong, That Chau Duong, That Chau Son... It is difficult to accept the opinion of China as they insisted that this island is Paracel Islands (Paracel islands) or perhaps Changsha (Spratly islands).

Sometimes, their assertion could not avoid causing shock. In the documentary "The borders of China" written by Chu Kien (1991), the authors assert, "In 1873,  Quach Tong Dao, the first Ambassador of China to be elected to go to the West, mentioned in his itinerary that Nansha  islands ( also known as Spartly Islands) was belong to China. " But this passage is illustrated further by footnotes referring to the Hoang Sa (Paracels) and other islands located in the 17 degree northern latitudes. This is serious confusion as to show deliberate pairing the Paracel Islands and the Spratly Islands of Vietnam which lies in th south of the 17th parallel into Chinese territory.

The ambitions of China also contradict each other by their other resources. Many ancient documents describe the geographical and territorial delineation of the Chinese empire quite coincidently, the descriptions said Chinese territory’s specified end point is south of Hainan Island. In this way, among the books written in 12th  century, and 17th and 18th  centuries, in the “Dia chi phu Quynh Chau” (Hainan Island) as well as the “Dia chi tinh Quang Chau” (1731) offered to the King Thanh IX – Van Chinh (1731), Quang Dong province’s map was not mentioned two Paracels and Spratlys.

Meanwhile in 1754, the militia of the Hoang Sa flotilla of Vietnam wrecked when working on the Paracel Islands and drifted to China’s coast, the Chinese authorities took them about homeland without any resistance after complete verification;  this demonstrated that the operation of the Hoang Sa flotilla China at that time was recognized as the normal implementation of Vietnam's sovereignty in these waters . All documents are China reiterated that the Chinese fishermen came to the islands in the East Sea at all times. However, the documents they put out just show that this behavior is the act of individuals and non- governmental, it did not affirm China’s possession with intention to assert national sovereignty because the occupation " by the private sector does not act on behalf of their government which made ​​for a personal benefit not constitute an appropriation," according to contemporary international law.

Moreover, Vietnamese fishermen also visited the islands very often. In fact, there was not a trace proving Chinese had resisted the claims of Emperor Gia Long and his successors throughout the eighteenth century and nineteenth century, when lord Nguyen of Vietnam organized the exploitation of the island under their jurisdiction forcefully and repeatedly. We can find the text file in Chinese history the evidence of denial of China’s ambitions of the island in the East Sea in history.

Thus, we can see that China has never had the exercise of national sovereignty of the islands throughout history until the early twentieth century. China's indifference to the islands on the East Sea was confirmed in two documents: the map of the China  under unified empire – Hoang Trieu  Nhat Thong Du Dia apostles , released  in 1894, shows that the territory of China extend only to the island of Hainan. Also, the book "China Geography Education Textbooks ", released in 1906 stated on page 241 that "the southernmost point of China is Nhai Chau coast, Quynh Chau Island, lying at 18 ° 13' North latitude.

The accuracy and clarity of the argument claims Vietnam’s sovereignty by the specific actions of the Vietnamese court at the behest of the eighteenth century, prompting China to counter that the Vietnam kings always only worked to serve the Chinese Emperor. This is even more absurd. Kingdom of Vietnam (Dai Co Viet) was founded in the eleventh century by establishing a political power and an independent rule, but also cleverly recognized the hegemony of China.

This vassal relationship is difficult to determine under a legal standpoint because of its vague content and the increase or decrease depending on each period. In the long relation between Vietnam and China, Vietnam needed dynasties of China ordination to be recognized, like every modern nation which wanted to stand couldn’t ignore international recognition. For China, tribute showed the maximum dependence they hoped. In contrast, for Dai Viet, tribute showed the maximum attainable independence without causing reactions from the Chinese empire. Vassal regime was nominally accepted. But the obligation of Vietnam to China is just in forms.

History of China - Vietnam relation from the establishment of Vietnam to the escape from the domination of China has been marked by several attempts of Chinese military against Vietnam. After the victory, the king of Vietnam will never forget to find the way to appease their giant neighbor with a symbolic homage. Suggesting that China's arguments made ​​from vassal relations to require vague claims of Vietnam's territory has no legal value.         

The Chinese considered some “archaeological evidences” found in Paracels and Spratlys to conclude "a series of textual material objects demonstrate eloquently that the Paracels and Spratlys from the ancient territory of China is a “deduced conclusion” without scientific basis, history and international law. The so-called "archaeological evidences" of China are just a intentionally fabrication to serve political intrigue, they does not alter the fact that both the Paracels and Spratlys belong in Vietnam territory for a long time and people of Vietnam has exercised its sovereignty over the islands continuously so far.

Translated by Nga Nguyen

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