Through countless trips between Vietnam and the U.S., one historian can now accurately say that China should have no claim on its disputed territories with Vietnam along the South China Sea.
Dt. Tran Duc Anh Son, a Vietnamese historian and deputy director of the Da Nang Institute for Socio-Economic Development had made several trips to the U.S. to head to Yale University Library and the U.S. Library of Congress in order to gather evidence the disputed Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) along the East Vietnam Sea should belong to Vietnam without contest. During his trips, he also found some map collections at the Harvard-Yenching Library in Cambridge, Massachusetts that gave clear proof of Vietnam’s claims.
According to Dr. Son, the evidence is found in two map collections, which were sketched during the Qing dynasty reign back in the 17th and 18th centuries. The first collection is made up of as much as 200 maps, none of which showed Nansha Islands or Xisha Islands, which is now how China refers to Truong Sa and Hoang Sa respectively.
According to a report from Tuoi Tre News, the second collection Dr. Son found is the “Atlas von China,” which stated Hainan Island as China’s southernmost point. At the same time, Dr. Son also found other maps that were dated up to 1930, which also failed to mention Nansha and Xisha Islands. Dr. Son is now confident that China’s claims on Vietnam’s disputed islands have no basis in history.
Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that the 12th Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC )will be held in Vietnam on June 9. Among the goals is the promotion of “pragmatic maritime cooperation.” China is yet to react to Dr. Son’s new findings.