The Hoang Sa (Paracel) and the Truong Sa (Spratly) are the two archipelagoes to the East of the Vietnamese coast in the East Sea(1). The closest point of the Hoang Sa is about 170 nautical miles from the central city of Da Nang and about 120 nautical miles from the Re island, a near-shore island of Vietnam. While, the Truong Sa is about 250 nautical miles from the Cam Ranh Bay, Nha Trang city, Khanh Hoa province, at its closest point.
In the past, with sketchy information about the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagos, navigators knew little about a large area of submerged reefs very dangerous for boats. Ancient Vietnamese documents indicated this area with various names, including “Bai Cat Vang” (Golden Sandbank), “Hoang Sa” (Golden Sand), “Van Ly Hoang Sa” (Ten-Thousand-Mile Golden Sand), “Truong Sa” (Long Sand) or “Van Ly Truong Sa” (Ten-Thousand-Mile Long Sand). Most of the maps drawn by Western navigators from the 16th to the 18th centuries marked the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes under one single name: Pracel, Parcel, or Paracels(2). All of the above-mentioned maps generally located Pracel (including both the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa) as an area in the East Sea, east of Vietnam, off Vietnamese near-shore islands. Later, thanks to progress in navigation science, the Hoang Sa archipelagoes and the Truong Sa archipelagoes were clearly defined.
The two archipelagos identified as the Paracels and the Spratley or Spratly in present-day international maritime maps are precisely the two Vietnamese archipelagoes of “Hoang Sa” and “Truong Sa”. The appellations of Xisha and Nansha were given by China several decades ago to make claims to sovereignty over these islands. Long ago, the Vietnamese people discovered the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes. The Vietnamese state had occupied and exercised its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes in an actual, continuous and peaceful manner.
1. Vietnam’s historical sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes
Many ancient geography books and maps in Vietnam have clearly indicated that .Bai Cat Vang., also known under various names such as “Hoang Sa”, “Van Ly Hoang Sa”, “Dai Truong Sa”, or “Van Ly Truong Sa” (Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos), has been Vietnamese territory for a long time.
The Toan Tap Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do Thu (The Book of the South’s Map), compiled in the 17th century by Do Ba, alias Cong Dao, clearly noted in the map of Quang Nghia Prefecture in Quang Nam province that “there is an elongated sandbank lying in the middle of the sea known as Bai Cat Vang (Golden Sand)”, and that “Every year, in the last month of winter, the Nguyen(3) kings send eighteen boats there to collect ship-wrecked cargoes, mainly jewelries, coins, arms, and ammunitions”.
In the map of Dang Trong (Southern Vietnam) called the “Giap Ngo Binh Nam Do” (The Map for the Pacification of the South in the Giap Ngo Year) by Doan Quan Cong (Duke of Doan County) Bui The Dat in 1774, Bai Cat Vang was also identified as a part of Vietnam’s territory( 4).
During his assignment in Southern Vietnam, scholar Le Quy Don (1726- 1784) compiled the 1776 Phu bien tap luc (Miscellany on the Pacification at the Frontier) on the history, geography, and administration of Southern Vietnam under the Nguyen Lords (1558-1775). In this work, Le Quy Don described that Dai Truong Sa (including the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes) were under the jurisdiction of Quang Ngai Prefecture. “An Vinh Commune(5), Binh Son District, Quang Nghia Prefecture has a mountain(6) off its seaport called the Re island, covering an area of 30 dam (mile)(7). It took about one night time by boat to reach the island, on which there was a ward named Tu Chinh with bean-growing inhabitants. Further away, there were the Dai Truong Sa Islands, where sea products and ship-wrecked cargoes were available. It took the Hoang Sa Flotilla, founded to collect those products and goods, three days and nights to reach there, which was near an area called Bac Hai (worth sea)”.
The “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Toan Do” (The Complete Map of the Unified Dai Nam) – The map of Vietnam under the Nguyen Dynasty in 1838 – clearly defined “Hoang Sa” – “Van Ly Truong Sa” as part of Vietnam’s territory.
The “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi” (The Geography of the Unified Dai Nam), the geography book completed in 1882(8) by the National History Institute of the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1845), defined the Hoang Sa Islands as part of Vietnam’s territory under the administration of Quang Nghia province. In paragraphs describing the topography of Quang Nghia province, the book recorded that “To the east (of Quang Ngai province), there are sand islands – the Hoang Sa, in which sands and waters are alternate, forming trenches. To the west, a mountainous region stands like a bulwark. To the south, the province borders Binh Dinh province, separated by the Ben Da mountain pass. To the north, it borders Quang Nam province, marked by the Sa Tho Creek …”
Many Western navigators and Christian missionaries in the past centuries confirmed that Hoang Sa (Pracel or Paracel) was Vietnam’s territory.
A Western missionary wrote in a letter during his trip on the ship Amphitrite from France to China in 1701 that: “Paracel is an archipelagoes belonging to the Kingdom of An Nam”(9).
J.B. Chaigneau, adviser to Emperor Gia Long, wrote in the 1820 supplementary note to his “MÐmoire sur la Cochinchine” (Memoir on Cochinchina)(10) that: “The Country of Cochinchina, whose emperor has ascended the throne, includes the Regions of Cochinchina and Tonkin(11), some inhabited offshore islands, and the Paracel archipelago formed by uninhabited small islands, rocks, and reefs(12)”.
Bishop J.L. Taberd, in his book “Note on the Geography of Cochinchina”, published in 1837 also described “Pracel or Paracels” as part of Cochinchina’s territory and indicated that Cochinchines people referred to Pracel or Paracels as “Cat Vang”(13). In “An Nam Dai Quoc Hoa Do” (Tabula geographica imperia Anamitici – The Map of the An Nam Empire) published in 1838, Bishop Taberd delineated part of Paracels and noted that “Paracel seu Cat Vang” (Paracel or Cat Vang) lie in the middle of the sea beyond the coastal islands of central Viet Nam, in the area known as the Hoang Sa archipelago nowadays(14).
In his article “Geography of the Cochinchinese Empire”(15) published in 1849, Gutzlaff defined Paracels as part of Vietnam’s territory and noted the islands with the Vietnamese name “Cat Vang”.
As the sovereign country, successive feudal dynasties in Vietnam had for many times conducted surveys on geography and resources of the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes over centuries. The results of those surveys have been recorded in Vietnamese geographical and historical books since the 17th century.
The “Toan tap Thien nam tu chi lo do thu” (The Collection of the South’s Road Map) of the 17th century read: “In the middle of the sea is an elongated sandbank, called Bai Cat Vang, with a length of 400 miles and a width of 20 miles, extending in the middle of the sea from Dai Chiem(16) to Sa Vinh seaports. Foreign ships would be drifted and stranded on the bank if they traveled on the inner side (west) of the sandbank under the southwest wind or on the outer side under the northeast wind (east). Their sailors would starve to death and leave all their goods there”.(18)
In the Phu bien tap luc written by Le Quy Don in 1776, “An Vinh commune, Binh Son district of Quang Ngai Prefecture, lies close by the sea. Offshore to the northeast of An Vinh, there is a cluster of islands composed of about 130 islands(19) separated by waters, which can take from a few hours to a few days to travel across. Fresh water can be found on these islands. A flat and large strip of yellow sand stretching over 30 miles dis–tinguishes itself among these islands. The water is so clear that one can see through. The islands are rich in swift nests, and there are hundreds or thousands of other kinds of birds; they come around instead of avoiding humans. There are many curios on the sandbank. Among the volutes are the Indian volutes. An Indian volute here can be as big as a mat; on their ventral side are opaque beads, different from pearls, which are as big as fingertips; their shell can be carved to make identification badges or baked into lime for house construction. There are also conches that can be used for furniture inlay, and Babylon shells. All mollusks here can be salted or cooked for food… Foreign vessels hit by storms are often wrecked on these islands(20)”.
The “Dai Nam Thuc Luc Tien Bien” (The First Part of The Chronicles of Dai Nam), the historical document collection about the Nguyen lords completed by the institute of history (Quoc Su Quan) in 1844, read: “Offshore An Vinh commune, Binh Son district, Quang Ngai prefecture, there are over 130 sandbanks separated by sea distances of few hours or a full day’ơs voyage to travel. They cover an area of thousands of dam, and are thus called “Van Ly Hoang Sa”. There are freshwater wells on the sandbanks, and sea products of the area include sea cucumber, sea turtles, volutes, and so on and so forth”.
The 1882 “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi” (The Geography of the Unified Dai Nam) read: “Hoang Sa Islands lies to the east of the Re island, under Binh Son district. It takes three or four days to sail from the Sa Ky seaport to the islands if the wind is favorable. There are more than 130 small islands, separated by waters, which take a few hours or a few days to travel across. Within the islands, there is the golden sand bank expanding tens of thousands of dam and thus called Van Ly Truong Sa. There are freshwater wells, and numerous birds gathering on the bank. Sea products there include sea cucumbers, sea turtles, and volutes. Cargoes from ships wrecked by storms drift into the bank”.
According to the Dai Nam thuc luc chinh bien (The Main Part of The Chronicles of Dai Nam), the historical document collection on the Nguyen dynasty completed in 1848, Garrison Commander Truong Phuc Si, upon completion of his map-drawing assignment to Hoang Sa, reported to Emperor Minh Menh that “Hoang Sa is a boundless area of sandbanks in the middle of the sea”(21).
Other books published under the Nguyen Dynasty such as the 1821 Lich trieu hien chuong loai chi (Classified Rules of Dynasties), the 1833 Hoang Viet du dia chi (Geography of the Viet National), the 1876 Viet su thong giam cuong muc khao luoc (Outline of the Viet History Chronicles) all have similar descriptions for the Paracel Islands.
Aware of the availability of valuable sea-products and cargoes from wrecked ships in Hoang Sa and Truong Sa, the Vietnamese feudal state had long ago exercised its sovereignty over the two archipelagos and organized the exploitation of these two archipelagoes. Many Vietnamese ancient books on history and geography provided evidence of the organization and operation of the Hoang Sa Flotillas, which performed these exploitation duties.
In the Toan Tap Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do Thu (17th century), it was said: “Every year in the last month of winter, the Nguyen rulers send eighteen 18 boats there (Bai Cat Vang) to collect shipwrecked cargoes, mainly jewelries, coins, arms, and ammunitions”.
In the Phu Bien Tap Luc (1776), it was related: “The Nguyen kings used to form a 70-strong Hoang Sa flotilla made up of An Vinh villagers. It was sent on duty in the third month of every year, taking along enough food for six months. It sailed in five small fishing boats (22) and reached the islands after a three-day and -night voyage. There, the men were free and able to catch birds and fish for additional food. They collected goods from wrecked ships such things as swords, silver or gold ornaments and coins, rings, brassware, tin and lead ingots, guns, ivory, beeswax, porcelain, woolens, etc. They also collected turtle shells, oysters, sea-cucumbers and conch shells in large quantities. This Hoang Sa Flotilla would return to mainland in the eighth month of the year through the Eo seaport. Then, it went to the Phu Xuan Citadel to hand over the goods that it had collected to be measured and classified. They could then take their parts of volutes, sea turtles, and sea cucumbers for their own trading businesses, and receive licenses before going home”. “The Nguyen rulers also formed a Bac Hai flotilla without a fixed number of members, selected from among Tu Chinh villagers in Binh Thuan province or Canh Duong villagers. Sailors were selected on a voluntary basis. Those who volunteered to join the Flotilla would be exempted from personal tax, travelling expenses. They travelled in small fishing boats to Bac Hai, Con Lon island and the islets in Ha Tien area, collecting cargoes from wrecked ships and sea products such as turtles, oysters, abalones, sea-cucumbers. The Bac Hai Flotilla was placed under the control of the Hoang Sa Flotilla commander”.
The Dai Nam Thuc Luc Tien Bien (1844) wrote: “During the early days of the dynasty, the Hoang Sa Flotilla was created and it was made up of 70 men recruited from among An Vinh villagers. It set out every year in the third month and used to reach the islands after a three-day-and-night voyage. There the men collected articles from wrecked ships. Its home trip would normally begin in the eighth month of the year. In addition, there was a Bac Hai flotilla whose mates were recruited from Tu Chinh commune in Binh Thuan province or from Canh Duong village. The team was sent to Bac Hai area and the island of Con Lon to collect articles from wrecked ships. The Bac Hai Flotilla was placed under the Hoang Sa Flotilla commander”.
The Tay Son Dynasty who succeeded the Nguyen lords also paid close attention to maintaining and deploying the Hoang Sa flotillas although it had to continuously deal with the invasions of the China’s Qing Dynasty and Siam. Among those documents that have been preserved today is the following order issued in 1786 by Mandarin Superior Thuong Tuong Cong: “It is ordered that commander Hoi Duc Hau of the Hoang Sa Flotilla lead four fishing boats to sail directly towards Hoang Sa and other islands on the sea to collect jewelries, copper items, guns of all size(23), sea turtles, and valuable fishes, and to return to the Capital to hand over all of these items in accordance with the current rules”. Thus, the Vietnamese state under the Tay Son Dynasty continued the exploitation of Hoang Sa, being well aware that it was exercising sovereignty over the archipelagoes.
The Nguyen Emperors did their best to consolidate Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa from their coming to power in 1802 until the signing of the 1884 Treaty with France.
The Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien (1848) described some of the measures taken by the Nguyen Emperors to consolidate Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes:
– In 1815, Emperor Gia Long ordered Pham Quang Anh to lead the Hoang Sa Flotilla to Hoang Sa to survey the sea routes(24).
– In 1816, Emperor Gia Long ordered a naval unit and the Hoang Sa Flotilla to sail to Hoang Sa to make a survey of sea routes(25).
– In 1833, Emperor Minh Menh instructed the Ministry of Public Works to prepare for a boat trip in the following year to Hoang Sa to build a temple, install stone markers and plant trees(26).
– In 1834, Emperor Minh Menh ordered Garrison Commander Truong Phuc Si with more than 20 sailors to Hoang Sa to draw maps (27).
– In 1835, Emperor Minh Menh ordered Navy Commander Pham Van Nguyen to recruit soldiers, workmen and boatsmen from the provinces of Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh and to transport materials to Hoang Sa to build a temple. A stele was to be installed on its left and a brick screen in front(28).
– In 1836, agreeing with a report from the Ministry of Public Works, Emperor Minh Menh ordered Navy Commander Pham Huu Nhat to head a contingent to Hoang Sa to conduct a survey for mapdrawing. The requirements of the survey were recorded in detail in the Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien: “At whatever place they reach, be it an islet or a sandbank, they will have to examine its length, width, height and perimetre and the depths of the surrounding waters, and to ascertain whether underwater rocks and reefs exist and whether the terrain is difficult or not. All these data must be included in their maps. Moreover, they will have to record the date and the point of their departure, the direction taken and the distance covered. On each arrival, they will also have to locate exactly the names and directions of the coastal provinces facing them and those which are on their right and left, and to note down the estimated distance to the mainland in terms of mile. Upon completion of their tasks, they will have to submit a detailed report(29)”.
The Dai Nam Thuc Luc Chinh Bien also clearly recorded each of the wooden brought along by Pham Huu Nhat to be planted as sovereignty markers, carried the following inscription: “In the year Binh Than, the 17th year of the reign of Minh Menh, Navy Commander Pham Huu Nhat, on orders from His Majesty the King, has arrived in Hoang Sa to conduct a survey for map-drawing and has planted this marker to perpetuate the memory of the event”.
The Nguyen Emperors were not only concerned with the consolidation of national sovereignty and interests in the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, but also with the safety of foreign vessels navigating in their vicinity. In his letter to the Ministry of Public Works in 1833, Emperor Minh Menh said: “In our territorial waters off Quang Nghia, there is a strip of the Hoang Sa islands. From afar they become merged into the sky and the sea. It is difficult to estimate the depths of the surrounding waters. Recently, foreign merchant ships have often been caught in danger there. Preparations should be made for a team to go there next years to plant trees. The trees will grow into a luxuriant vegetation that would allow navigators to recognize the areas and avoid shipwrecks. This will be for the benefit of many generations to come.(30)” Clearly this represents a profound sense of responsibility displayed by a sovereign state with regard to international navigation in its domain.
Thus it has been shown in ancient Vietnamese works of history and geography and through testimonies of western navigators and missionaries that the Vietnamese state from one dynasty to another over hundreds of years had continuously exercised its sovereignty over the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. The regular presence of the state-directed Hoang Sa flotillas from five to six months annually to perform stateentrusted tasks in these two archipelagoes in itself constitutes irrefutable evidence of the jurisdiction exercised by the Vietnamese state over these two archipelagoes. The occupation and exploitation of these two archipelagoes by the Vietnamese state had never encountered protests from any nations including China. This further proves that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa have for long been part of Vietnamese territory.
2. France on behalf of Vietnam continues exercising sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes
Since signing the June 6, 1884 Treaty with the Nguyen Dynasty, France had represented Vietnam in all of its external relations and protected Vietnam’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Within the framework of those commitments, the Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes was exercised by France.
Hereunder are some examples:
The French battleships often patrolled in the East Sea, including the areas of the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes.
In 1899, Paul Doumer, then Governor- General of Indochina, sent a proposal to Paris for building a lighthouse on the Island within the Hoang Sa archipelago to guide ships in the area. The plan, however, was abandoned due to the lack of budget.
Since 1920, Indochinese ships of customs had intensified their patrol in the area of the Hoang Sa archipelago to prevent smuggling.
In 1925, the Institute of Oceanography in Nha Trang sent the ship De Lanessan for an oceanography survey in the Hoang Sa archipelago. In addition to A. Krempf, then Institute’s Director, and other researchers including Delacour and Jabouille also joined the trip for their geological and biological research and other studies. Also in 1925, the Minister of Military Affairs Than Trong Hue of the Imperial Court reaffirmed that the Hoang Sa archipelagoes are within Vietnam’s territory.
In 1927, the ship De Lanessan went to the Hoang Sa archipelago for a scientific survey.
In 1929, the Pierre de Rouville delegation proposed that four lighthouses to be set up at four corners of the Hoang Sa archipelago, namely Tri Ton (Triton) and Lincoln islands, and Da Bac (the North) and Bombay Reefs.
In 1930, the gunboat La Malicieuse went to the Hoang Sa archipelago. In March 1931, the ship Inconstant went to the Hoang Sa archipelago.
In June 1931, the ship De Lanessan went to the Paracel Islands.
In May 1932, the battleship Alerte went to the Hoang Sa archipelago.
From April 13, 1930 to April 12, 1933, the French Government deployed naval units to garrison in major islands of the Truong Sa archipelago, namely Truong Sa Lon (Spratly), An Bang (Amboyna Cay), Itu Aba, Song Tu group (Group des Deux Iles)(31), Loai Ta, and Thi Tu.
On December 21, 1933, the then Governor of Cochinchina (Thống Đốc Nam Kỳ) M.J. Krautheimer signed the decree of annexing the islands of Spratly, Amboyna Cay, Itu Aba, Song Tu group, Loai Ta, and Thi Tu into Ba Ria province(32).
In 1937, the French authorities sent a civil engineer named Gauthier to the Hoang Sa archipelago to examine the positions for building lighthouses and a seaplane terminal.
In February 1937, the patrol ship Lamotte Piquet commanded by Rear- Admiral Istava came to the Hoang Sa archipelago.
On March 30, 1938, Emperor Bao Dai signed the Imperial Edict to split the Hoang Sa archipelago from Nam Nghia province and annexed them into Thua Thien province(33).
On June 15, 1938, the then Governor- General of Indochina Jules Brévié signed the decree on establishing an administrative unit in the Hoang Sa archipelago under Thua Thien province.
In 1938, France erected a sovereignty stele, completed the constructions of a lighthouse, a meteorological station, a the radio station on the Pattle island within the Hoang Sa archipelago, and a meteorological station and a radio station on the Itu Aba island within the Truong Sa archipelago.
On May 5, 1939, the Governor-General of Indochina Jules Brévié signed a decree on amendment to the decree dated on June 15, 1938. The new decree established two administrative delegations, namely the Delegations of Croissant and its Dependents, and Amphirite and its Dependents.
For the whole time of representing Vietnam for its external relations, France consistently affirmed the sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, and protested actions that seriously violated this sovereignty. For instance, on December 4, 1931 and April 24, 1932, France opposed the Chinese Government regarding the intention of the Guangdong provincial authorities to invite bids for exploiting guano on the Hoang Sa archipelagoes. Other examples include the France.s announcement on July 24, 1933 to Japan that its armed forces would encamp on major islands within the Truong Sa; and the France’s objection on April 4, 1939 to the Japan’s inclusion of some islands within the Truong Sa archipelago under its jurisdiction.
3. Defense and exercise of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes since the end of World War II
When World War II entered its fiercest stage, at the conference on November 27, 1943 in Cairo, Egypt, the three powers of the Allies, represented by US President Roosevelt, UK Prime Minister Churchill and Head of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek, signed the Cairo Communiqué. It states that: “It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped off all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the first World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China. Japan will also be expelled from all other territories which she has taken by violence.(34)”
Obviously, the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes were not mentioned in the important international treaty and could not be handed over to China. So those proved that the two archipelagoes belonged Vietnam’s sovereignty. Furthermore, China itself was party to the Declaration, Chiang Kai-shek having been present in person in Cairo, where the talks lasted several days, but he did not mention the transfer of the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes to China.
In 1931, Japan invaded Manchuria with a plot of forming a state of Manchuria. Earlier, during the 1894- 1895 Sino-Japanese war, Japan seized the Taiwan island and the Pescadores by violence. Therefore, in the Cairo communiqu Ð, President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed with Chiang Kai-shek’s proposal on the Allies to restore Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores to China when the war ended.
In the East Sea, Japan also occupied Vietnam’s Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes by violence as World War II began. In 1938, Japan took three islands in Hoang Sa, namely Phu Lam, Lincoln and Huu Nhat (Robert). In 1939, Japan claimed its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes and renamed them into Hirata Gunto and Shinan Gunto, respectively. So, if the two archipelagoes were China’s territorial sovereignty, Chiang Kai-shek would demand the Allies to restore them to China at the 1943 Cairo conference.
Under modern international law, the 1943 Cairo communiqué is an international treaty that does not only specify rights but also define international obligations binding concerned nations. As a party to the international treaty, China – the Republic of China or the People’s Republic of China (the successor state) has an obligation to observe the international treaty. At first both the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China acknowledged the communiqué’s legal value. For examples, on December 4, 1950, Zhou Enlai, then Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China, approved of the 1943 Cairo communiqué, describing it as an “international historic document that the United States, the United Kingdom and China signed to serve a basis for the San Francisco Treaty on September 8, 1951.” On February 8, 1955, 12 years after signing the Cairo communiqué, Head of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek also admitted the merit of the Cairo communiqué and the Potsdam Declaration. He said he till remembered that he and late US President Roosevelt and UK Prime Minister Churchill gathered at the Cairo conference to discuss issues relating to the anti-Japan war. In the communiqué released at the end of the conference on November 27, 1943, they announced that “all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China.” The communiqué was recognized by the Potsdam Treaty dated July 26, 1945 and accepted for execution by Japan when it surrendered. Thus, the value of the Cairo communiqué was established on the basis of undeniable agreements(35).
The Cairo communiqué released on November 27, 1943 was also approved by the Soviet Union’s representative at the Teheran on November 30, 1943 between President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Marshall Stalin. At the conference, Stalin said he read the Cairo communiqué and that the restoration of Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores to China was logical. However, Stalin did not mention the restoration of the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes to China(36). French lawyer Professor Monique Chemillier-Gerdreau said that “The omission of the archipelagoes from this part of the 1943 Cairo Declaration is remarkable. It cannot have been accidental. There was neither reservation nor separate declaration by China regarding these territories (37).”
After Nazi Germany surrendered the Allies, the US, the UK and the Soviet Union met at the Potsdam conference in July 1945 in Germany to discuss the political future of Eastern and Central European countries after World War II with the Potsdam August 2, 1945 Agreement. At the meeting, Harry S. Truman, Winston Churchill and Cheng Kaishi signed the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945. It demanded Japanese unconditional surrender and assigned China with the responsibility to disarm the Japanese troops in the north of the 16o latitude in Vietnam, including the Hoang Sa archipelago (lying from the 16o latitude such as the Crescent Group in the southwest at the latitude of 16o30 and the Amphirite Group in the northeast at the latitude of 16o50). While, the UK was assigned with the responsibility to disarm the Japanese troops in the south of the 160 latitude, including the Truong Sa archipelago. It is noted that the disarmament under international law is not the restoration or possession of territories. Obviously, their disarming activities assigned by the Allied countries in these areas do not mean, in any sense, affirmation and/or restoration of Chinese or British sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes.
This proves that unlike Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores, the Allied countries did not recognize Hoang Sa and Truong Sa as belonging to China.s sovereignty, and indirectly asserted Vietnam’s undisputable sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes!
On September 8, 1951, six years after the San Francisco Conference established the United Nations (June, 1945), 48 Allied nations met in San Francisco to sign the San Francisco Treaty with Japan in order to end the fighting and rebuild Japan, restore peace in the world in the spirit of conciliation, cooperation and friendship in line with the goals and guidelines of the UN Charter. According to Article 2 in the Treaty, Japan renounced all rights, titles and claims on the Taiwan island and the Pescadores (Penghu) and other territories, including the Spratly and Paracel Islands.
When Japan renounced its claims to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa at the 1951 San Francisco Conference, nations attending the conference denied China’s sovereignty and recognized the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two archipelagoes. At the request of the Soviet Union representative (Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko), an amendment was tabled at the plenary meeting of September 5, 1951. It envisaged the recognition by Japan of the sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China over a series of territories including the Paracels and the Spratly. Yet this amendment was rejected on that occasion by 46 of the countries present. Only Poland and Czechoslovakia supported the Soviet Union(38).
Also at the seventh plenary session of the San Francisco Conference on September 7, 1951, Prime Minister-cum- Foreign Minister of Vietnam Tran Van Huu, who was also head of the Vietnamese delegation, stated that the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes have long been the territories of Vietnam, and that “to take full advantage of every chance to prevent any seed of dispute in the future, we affirm our longstanding sovereignty over the Paracel and the Spratly Islands.” None of the representatives of 51 countries attending the Conference, including the Soviet Union, objected to and/or expressed their wish to reserve opinions about this statement.
So, Vietnam’s declaration on its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes to 50 nations at the 1951 San Francisco Conference clearly demonstrated that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes were recognized as Vietnam’s territories and sovereignty by nations in the world.
The recognition by 92 percent of the Allied countries, who are also UN members, of the sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa Islands is the binding international legal value(39).
Another evidence is that when signing an international treaty with Japan on April 28, 1952, the Republic of China acknowledged the renouncement of Japan to all rights, titles and claims on islands, but did not add any terms relating to the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes in the bilateral treaty.
According to French lawyer Professor Monique Chemillier-Gendreau, “the very terms of the (individual or collective) peace treaties with Japan, the declarations made in them or from which these treaties stem, signify that Nationalist China, which after 1949 took over the mantle of continuity from the former single Chinese Government, did not make any claim to the archipelagos on the occasion of the Cairo communiqué and bilaterally recognized Japan’s renunciation without putting forward a claim of its own. These two elements, the latter having all the solemnity of treaty instruments and the former substantial political force, warrant the conclusion that at that time the Republic of China ceased asserting rights to the disputed islands(40).”
Three years after the 1951 San Francisco Conference, the 1954 Geneva Conference with the attendance of nine nations, including five powers: the US, the UK, France, the Soviet Union and China, attested the sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes in the Geneva Agreement signed on July 20, 1954.
In fact after the Second World War, the French, following their return to Viet Nam, sent warships to the Hoang Sa archipelago, which fell within their occupation zone, to rebuild the meteorological station on the Pattle island and to resist Chinese land-grabing attempts. In 1953, the French ship Ingénieur en chef Girod went on its survey trip on oceanography, geology, geography, and ecology in the Hoang Sa archipelago.
The Saigon Administration and then the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Viet Nam (RSVN Government), exercised Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes as clearly showed by the following examples.
In 1956, the naval forces of the Saigon Administration took over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes when France withdrew its troops.
In the same year, with the assistance of the Saigon Administration’s naval forces, the Department of Mining, Technology, & Small Industries organized a survey on four islands within the Hoang Sa archipelago, namely Hoang Sa (Pattle), Quang Anh (Money), Huu Nhat (Robert), and Duy Mong (Drumond).
On October 22, 1956, the Saigon Administration placed the Truong Sa archipelago under Phuoc Tuy province.
On July 13, 1961, the Saigon Administration transferred the jurisdiction of the Hoang Sa archipelago from Thua Thien province to Quang Nam province. The administrative commune of Dinh Hai, headed by an administrative envoy directly under Hoa Vang district, was established in the archipelago.
From 1961 to 1963, the Saigon Administration built sovereignty steles on major islands within the Truong Sa archipelago such as Truong Sa (Spratly), Amboine Cay (An Bang), the Group of Song Tu, Thu Tu and Loai Ta.
On October 21, 1969, the Saigon Administration annexed Dinh Hai commune into Hoan Long commune, also under Hoa Vang district of Quang Nam province.
In July 1973, the Institute of Agricultural Research under the Ministry of Agricultural Development & Land conducted its investigation on the Namyit Island within the Truong Sa archipelago.
In August 1973, the Saigon Administration’s Ministry of National Planning & Development in collaboration with Marubeni Corporation of Japan conducted surveys on phosphates in the Hoang Sa archipelago.
On September 6, 1973, the Saigon Administration annexed the islands of Spratly, Amboine Cay, Itu Aba, Loai Ta, Thi Tu, Namyit, Sin Cowe (Sinh Ton) and other adjacent islands into Phuoc Hai commune, Dat Do district, Phuoc Tuy province.
Fully aware of the long-standing sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, the governments in South Vietnam all showed efforts to protect the sovereignty against any violations and/or disputes over the two archipelagoes.
On June 16, 1956, the Foreign Minister of the Saigon Administration issued a statement to reaffirm Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Truong Sa archipelagoes in response to claims to the archipelagoes by the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of China and the Philippines.
On February 22, 1959, the Saigon Administration detained for some time 82 people from the People’s Republic of China who had landed on the islands of Robert, Drummond, and Duncan (Quang Hoà) within the Hoang Sa archipelagoes.
On April 20, 1971, the Saigon Administration once again affirmed that the Truong Sa archipelago was Vietnam’s territories in response to Malaysia’s claim of sovereignty over some islands in that archipelago.
In connection with the statement by the Philippine President on the Truong Sa archipelago at the press conference on July 10, 1971, the Foreign Minister of the Saigon administration on July 13, 1971 reaffirmed Vietnam’s sovereignty over that archipelago.
In 1974, when the military forces of the People’s Republic of China occupied the southwestern islands of the Hoang Sa archipelagoes, the Saigon administration in its statement on January 19, 1974, condemned the People’s Republic of China for having encroached upon the territorial integrity of Vietnam. On June 28, 1974, in a statement at the first session of the 3rd UN Conference on the Law of the Sea, held in Caracas, the Saigon administration restated that the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands were part of Vietnamese territory. In a statement issued on February 14, 1974, the Saigon administration once again affirmed that the two archipelagoes were always part of Vietnam.
The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam, for its part, announced a 3- point stance concerning the settlement of the territorial disputes in a statement on January 26, 1974.
On May 5 and 6, 1975, the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam announced the liberation of islands in the Truong Sa archipelagoes which had been held by the Saigon troops. The Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam continued to affirm the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two archipelagoes.
In September 1975, the delegation of the Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Republic of South Vietnam to the Colombo Meteorological Conference stated that the Hoang Sa archipelago belonged to Vietnam, and requested the World Meteorological Organization to continue to register the Hoang Sa meteorological station of Vietnam in the WMO list of meteorological stations (this station had previously been listed in the WMO network under registration number 48,860).
After the reunification of Vietnam in 1976, the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repeatedly affirmed Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, e.g. in its notes to the parties concerned, at the deputy foreign ministerial-level talks between Vietnam and China in Beijing in October 1977, in various statements issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the conference of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva in June 1980, at the World Geological Congress in Paris in July 1980, etc.
Since 1976, Vietnam under the new name of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, as a successor from its previous administrations, has been responsible for maintaining the defense of sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos. In 1979, 1981 and 1988, the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam issued White Papers on the country’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos. These documents have clearly specified the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two archipelagoes on all aspects: historical, legal and international practices.
Proceeding from the demand on administrative management and affirmation of its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa archipelago, on September 12, 1982, Vietnam Council of Ministers issued a decree putting the Hoang Sa archipelago into the district of Hoang Sa directly under Quang Nam-Da Nang province. The Resolution of the 9th National Assembly on June 11, 1996 decided to split the Hoang Sa district from former Quang Nam – Da Nang province, and annex it into the centrally-managed city of Da Nang. In April 2007, the Government decided to establish Truong Sa town, Song Tu Tay and Sinh Ton communes under Truong Sa district.
Although the Hoang Sa archipelago have been illegally occupied by China since 1974, Vietnam did not cease activities designed to assert its sovereignty over the archipelago.
The Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in its diplomatic note to the concerned parties, particularly China, or at the diplomatic talks between Vietnam and China in Beijing in October 1977 affirmed the full sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes.
In October 1978, during his official visit to Malaysia, Prime Minister Pham Van Dong affirmed that the Truong Sa archipelago, including the An Bang island, belonged to Vietnam; and all related disputes and misunderstandings between the two countries would be resolved through negotiations.
From September 16-20, 1978, during his official visit to the Philippines, Prime Minister Pham Van Dong also affirmed the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two archipelagoes, and agreed with President F. Macos that the two sides would solve disputes through negotiations in the spirit of conciliation and friendship.
On March 15, 1979, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a Memorandum on border issues between Vietnam and China. Article 9 in this Memorandum accused Chinese of illegally invading Vietnam’s Hoang Sa archipelagoes in January 1974.
On September 28, 1979, Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs opposed the Philippines to merge most of the Truong Sa archipelago into the Philippine territory.
On April 29, 1980, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a diplomatic note to Malaysia to protest the publishing of a map which showed Malaysia’s territorial waters into the southern waters of the Truong Sa archipelagoes, including the An Bang and Thuyen Chai islands stationed by the Vietnam People’s Army and the Commodore Reef illegally seized by the Philippines (The area covers about 4.4 sq.km).
On May 8, 1980, during the talks with his Malaysian counterpart in Malaysia, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Nguyen Co Thach affirmed the An Bang island as belonging as to Vietnam. In July, 1980, the Philippine troops launched Operation Polaris-I to occupy one more island in southern Truong Sa archipelagoes – the Commodore Reef that the Philippines called Rizal, about 150 nautical miles to the nearest island they illegally occupied before.
On July 26 and August 11,1980, the Vietnamese Government sent diplomatic notes to protest the above-said actions by the Philippines.
On June 6, 1981, the Vung Tau-Con Dao Special Zone People’s Committee issued decision No.359-QD/UB-DK on the illegal encroachment on Vietnam’s Truong Sa area by 15 crewmen of Taiwanese nationality.
On February 21, 1982, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry protested the Taiwan authorities for arbitrarily putting the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos under its jurisdiction. On May 6, 1983, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry issued a statement protesting the People’s Republic of China for giving Chinese names to the islands, reefs and shallow banks on the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes of Vietnam.
On April 15, 1984, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry protested Malaysia’s illegal occupation of the Hoa Lau island (Shallow Reef) on the Truong Sa archipelagoes underVietnam’s sovereignty.
On June 2, 1984, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry condemned China for mergering Vietnam’s Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes into the territory of Hainan.
In December 1986, Malaysia sent troops to illegally occupy Da Ky Van (Mariveles Reef) and Da Kieu Ngua (Ardasier Reef) which they called Terumbu Mantanani and Terumbu Ubi to the north of Da Hoa Lau. Vietnam protested this act by Malaysia.
On April 16, 1987, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry asserted Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes in reply to the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s January 15, 1987statement on its sovereignty over the Nansha islands. On the same day, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman condemned China for repeatedly deploying ships to survey and carry out illegal activities in the Truong Sa archipelagoes. Especially China’s military exercises in the Truong Sa archipelago from May 16 to June 6,1987.
On February 20,1988, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry condemned Chinese warships for violating Vietnam’s territorial sea in the Truong Sa archipelagoes, and condemned China’s military operations in the Truong Sa archipelago which threatened the security of Vietnam and those of the neighboring countries in the region.
When China launched attacks on and then occupied Da Chu Thap (Fiery Cross Reef), Da Gaven (Gaven Reef) and some rocks and banks in Vietnam.s Truong Sa archipelago, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry on March 14, 1988 issued a statement condemning China for provoking armed conflicts and occupied some reefs in Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelagoes, in violation of the territory sea and sovereignty of Vietnam and international law.
In 1992, China used force to occupy the Van An Bank in Vietnam’s continental shelf, to the east of the Thanh Long and Tu Chinh Banks.
Those invasions clearly not only violated Vietnam’s territorial sea and sovereignty, but also seriously violated basic principles of the modern international law, such as the principle of respecting national sovereignty, the principle of prohibiting the use of force on the threat of using force in international relations, the principle peacefully settling international disputes, and the principle that the nations are obliged to cooperate with each other, etc. These principles are stated in the UN Charter, the October 24, 1970 UN Declaration the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and in a series of multilateral and bilateral treaties at regional and global levels.
On January 16, 2005, the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs requested the Chinese side to take measures to prevent and stop similar illegal acts, and investigate and strictly punish those who fired a Vietnamese fishing boat on January 8, 2005 which wounded nine fishermen from the Vietnamese province of Thanh Hoa. On November 24, 2007, Vietnam protested China for conducting military exercises in the Hoang Sa area from November 16 to 23, 2007, seeing it as a violation of sovereignty. The spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said that this act was not in conformity with the spirit of the recent meeting between the Prime Ministers of Vietnam and China on the sidelines of the 13th ASEAN summit in Singapore.
On December 3, 2007, Vietnam strongly protested the Chinese State Council’s decision to establish Sansha city to administer the islands including the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes of Vietnam. The spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said: Vietnam has sufficient historical evidences and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the above-mentioned archipelagoes.
On March 12, 2009, the spokesman of the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement protesting China for allowing its Zhoujiang International Travel Co. Ltd in Hainan to open tours to the Phu Lam island inside Vietnam’s the Hoang Sa archipelago. The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokesman emphasized: “Vietnam has sufficient historical evidence and legal basis to assert its sovereignty over these two archipelagoes. This action has seriously violated the territorial sovereignty of Vietnam, is not helpful to the process of negotiations to seek a fundamental, durable solution to the sea issues between the two sides.”
On March 12, 2009, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry protested the Philippines’ new baseline law recently signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, under which islands within Vietnam’s Truong Sa archipelagoes are added into the territory of the Philippines.
On May 8, 2009, the Vietnamese’s permanent delegation to the United Nations sent diplomatic note No. 86/HC-2009 to the UN Secretary-General, rejecting China’s note on May 7 and its U-shaped line claim in the East Sea. On the same day, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry in an interview affirmed the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes and regarded China.s nine-dotted line claim shown in its diagram as “invalid due to the lack of legal, historical and practical basis.”
On May 16, 2009, in reply to reporters. questions about Vietnam’s reaction to China’s fishing ban in some sea areas, including those under Vietnam.s sovereignty in the East Sea, that took effect from May 16-August 1, 2009, the spokesman of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said: “Vietnam asserts its sovereignty over the Truong Sa and the Hoang Sa archipelagoes. All actions of foreign countries on the archipelagoes as well as in the economic exclusive zone and continental shelf of Vietnam without its consent are a violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty, the right to sovereignty and to jurisdiction of Vietnam in the areas.
In fact, therefore many events, documents and evidence which prove the sovereignty of Vietnam over the two Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos over the past centuries. With some the abovementioned evidences, we have firm basis to affirm Vietnam.s sovereignty over the two Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes in conformity with practices and international law.
Based on the historical, legal documents and principles of international law and international practices, the following conclusions are drawn:
1. The state of Vietnam had for a long time actually and publically possessed the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes when the islands were not claimed by any country.
2. Since then, throughout the centuries, Vietnam has continuously and actually exercised its sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes.
3. Vietnam always actively protect its rights and titles against all violations of sovereignty, territorial integrity and interests of Vietnam on the Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa archipelagoes./.
Nguyen Ba Dien*
* Associate Prof. Dr. Nguyen Ba Dien, Director of the Center for International Sea and Navigation Laws, the Law Faculty, Hanoi National University
1. The Vietnamese people have long ago used the Bien Dong (the East Sea) to indicate that Western maps called the South China Sea.
2. These nautical maps were made by Portuguese, Dutch, and French navigators including Lazaro Luis, Fern·o vaz Dourado, Jo·o Teixeira, Johannes Janssonius, Willem Janszoon Blaeu, Jacob Aertsz Colom, Theunis Jacobsz, Hendrick Doncker, Frederick de Wit, Pierre du Val, and Henricus van Langren.
3. “The Nguyen rulers” refer to the Nguyen lords, the feudal rulers of Southern Vietnam (Đàng Trong) from 1558 to 1775.
4. In Hong Đuc ban do (The Hồng Đức Map).
5. In southern Sa Ky sea, An Vinh ward on the Re island.
6. For Vietnamese and Chinese people, “mountain” is also used to indicate an island in the sea. For examples, Chinese people refer to most of the islands in Hangzhou Bay in southern Shanghai as “shan”; these include Bai Shan and Dayu Shan. The Chinese people also used “shan” to call some Vietnamese islands such as Jiutou Shan for the Co To island, Bulao Shan for the Cham island, and Wailuo Shan for the Re island.
7 “Dam” is a Vietnamese old length measurement unit, equivalent to 0.5 km.
8. The part covering the Central provinces was revised and carved for woodblock printing in 1909.
9. J.Y.C. cited from “Mystere des atolls – Journal de voyage aux Paracels” (Mystery of the atolls – Journal of the voyage to the Paracel Islands), published in the issues 3, 10, and 17 of the weekly magazine Indochine in July 1941. The name “Cochinchina” in these articles refers to Viet Nam as a whole country.
10. “Cochinchine” (French) or “Cochinchina” (English) indicates either Southern Vietnam (Đàng Trong) or Vietnam as a whole, which also included Northern Vietnam (Đàng Ngoài).
11. Northern Vietnam (Dang Ngoai) or Tonkin.
12. A. Salles cited from “Le mÐmoire sur la Cochinchine de J.B. Chaigneau” (The memoir of Cochinchina by J.B. Chaigneau), published in the 1923 Bulletin des amis du vieux Hue (Bulletin of the Friends of Ancient Hue), Volume 2, page 257.
13. “Note on the Geography of Cochinchina” by Bishop Jean-Louis Taberd was published in the 1837 Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Volume 6, page 745.
14. Attached in the 1938 Latin-Annamese Dictionary (Dictionarium Latino– Anamiticum), Appendix III.
15. “Geography of the Cochinchinese Empire” was published in the 1849 Journal of the Royal Geography Society of London, Volume 19, page 93.
16. The Dai Chiem seaport is now called the Dai seaport under Quang Nam province.
17. The Sa Vinh seaports is now called the Sa Huynh seaport under Quang Ngai province.
18 Bai Cat Vang has for long been known as an area with many dangerous submerged cays in the East Sea.
19. “Mountain”, please see Note (9).
20. In the Le Quy Don complete works published in 1977, the Social Science Publishing House printed .”to shelter.”
21. Chapter 2, Volume 122.
22. A kind of fishing boat of Vietnamese fishermen.
23. Small artillery.
24. Volume 50, Chapter 1.
25. Volume 52, Chapter 1.
26. Volume 104, Chapter 2.
27. Volume 122, Chapter 2.
28. Volume 54, Chapter 2.
29. Volume 165, Chapter 2.
30. Volume 104, Chapter 2.
31. Song Tu Tay (South West Cay) and Song Tu Dong (North East Cay).
32. Now Khanh Hoa province.
33. Now Thua Thien-Hue province.
34. Foreign Relations of the United States, Diplomatic Paper: The Conferences at Cairo and Teheran 1943, Washington D.C. United States, G.P.O, 1961, pp.448- 449; Lazar Focsaneanu: “Peace Treaties of Japan”, the 1960 International Law Yearbook of France, pp 256 and onwards.
35. Review of International Situation, China Publishing Co, Taipei 1956, pp 22023.
36. The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran 1943, The Foreign Relations of the United States, Washington D.C, 1961.
37. Monique Chemillier-Gendreau: Sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, National Politic Publishing House, Hanoi-1998, p.136.
38. Monique Chemillier-Gendreau: Sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagos, National Politic Publishing House, Hanoi-1998, p.137.
39. Conference for the Conclusion and Signature of the Peace Treaty with Japan, U.N. Treaty Series, Volume 136, p 46.
40. Monique Chemillier-Gendreau: op cit.