World map: Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Vietnam

World map: Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Vietnam
Vietnam has received an ancient foreign set of maps which affirms its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagos.

The maps, published in Belgium by Philippe Vandemaelen, founder of the Geological Survey of Belgium in 1827, was presented to Vietnam in May.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quang Ngoc, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences, has studied various ancient maps but he is really surprised with the accuracy of Belgium maps, which include six parts.

Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quang Ngoc even went to where Philippe Vandemaelen worked to check the origin and accuracy of the maps.

Belgium was a world leading country in geology and cartography, which Philippe Vandemaelen was very interested in. He was the person who brought lithography to Belgium to satisfy his passion for cartography. His maps were highly recognised by Belgium in early 19th century.

According to Prof. Dr. Ngoc, the maps, created by a geologist living faraway from Vietnam, have objectively shown Vietnam’s territory and territorial waters since 1800s. They have been recognised by many countries in the world. This means that the world has acknowledged that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagos belong to Vietnam.

It is said that it took long time and much work to create the maps, which was discovered in Sanderus bookstore in Gent City, Belgium by a Vietnamese PhD. candidate. In 2013, he presented it to Prof. Dr. Ngoc, who was amazed by the scientific accuracy of the maps.

Prof. Dr. Ngoc then sent the maps to the Ministry of Information and Communications to check the accuracy. The Ministry decided to buy them from the professor.

While studying Philippe Vandemaelen’s maps, French universities and the Geological Survey of Belgium created favourable conditions for him to access various documents as well as the original version of the maps.

Prof. Ngoc was surprised to see a copy of the maps in the library of the Paris Medical University and the reason is that the university used to keep scientific achievements in early 19 century, including the maps.

Prof. Ngoc has also met many famous geologists, scholars and lawyers who spoke highly of Philippe Vandemaelen’s maps.

At the French National Library, he also saw two sets of world maps, one of which used to belong to Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandson. Both sets cover Vietnam. Prof. Ngoc recognised that there are similarities between French and Belgium maps.

Incontrovertible proof

In the context of China’s illegal placement of the Ocean oil rig 981 within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, the announcement of Philippe Vandemaelen’s maps contributes greatly to affirming that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Archipelagos has belonged to Vietnam for ages.

Philippe Vandemaelen’s maps were created basing on the world’s best maps of the time, as well as the astronomy observation and journeys worldwide.

According to Prof. Ngoc, Vietnam was covered in maps 97, 105, 106, 110 (the Partie de la Cochinchine part), which indicate that Hoang Sa Archipelago belonged to the Empire of An Nam.

Partie de la Cochinchine was also the first map to accurately describe the location (longitude and latitude), geological characteristics, and western name of the biggest islands in Hoang Sa archipelago.

According to the maps, Cochinchine is an inseparable part of the An Nam Empire, thus proving Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago as internationally recognised.

The 106th map, which provides very accurate and detailed documents about the Hoang Sa archipelago, covers the central region of Vietnam while the 110th map covers the southern region.

The 106th map’s appendix also provides accurate geological and political information of the An Nam Empire.

Prof. Ngoc said Philippe Vandemaelen scientifically affirmed Vietnam uncontroversial sovereignty over the Hoang Sa Archipelago.

According to Philippe Vandemaelen’s 97th map, which clearly indicates Vietnam-China border, the southern most of China reaches the 220 north latitude while its sea reaches latitude 18.

All Chinese and Western map show that China’s territory ends in Hainan island. The Hoang Sa Archipelago, therefore, belongs to Vietnam.

Prof. Ngoc said the set of maps is an invaluable asset with legal evidence affirming Vietnam’s uncontroversial sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago, which China used force to invade in 1974.

Prof. Nguyen Ba Dien from the National University Hanoi said Philippe Vandemaelen’s maps have been added to the large collection of scientific evidence affirming Vietnam’s uncontroversial sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos.

This also means that the illegal installation of the Ocean oiling rig 981 runs counter international law and violate Vietnam’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction over its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.


Author: Translated by Dic