On August 15, 1951, Zhou Enlai, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, pointed out in his Statement on the US-British Draft Peace Treaty with Japan and the San Francisco Conference that "as a matter of fact, just like the entire Nansha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao and Nanwei Dao have always been China's territory. Occupied by Japan for some time during the war of aggression waged by Japanese imperialism, they were taken over by the then Chinese Government, following Japan's surrender. The Government of the People's Republic of China hereby declares that whether or not the US-British Draft Treaty contains provisions on this subject, the inviolable sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over Nanwei Dao and Xisha Qundao will not be affected in any way."
On September 4, 1958, the Chinese government promulgated the Declaration of the Government of the People's Republic of China on China's Territorial Sea, explicitly providing that the breadth of China's territorial sea shall be twelve nautical miles, that the straight baselines method shall be employed to determine the baselines of territorial sea and that such provisions shall apply to all territories of the People's Republic of China, including "Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and all the other islands belonging to China."
On February 25, 1992, Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone was officially implemented. It is regulated in Article 2 of the law that "The land territory of the People's Republic of China includes the Chinese Mainland and the coastal islands, Taiwan and the affiliated islands including Diaoyu Island, Penghu Islands, Dongsha Qundao; Xisha Qundao; Zhongsha Qundao; Nansha Qundao, as well as all the other islands belonging to the People's Republic of China."
In May 1996, the Chinese government announced the baselines of part of the territorial seas adjacent to the Chinese Mainland, as consisting of all the straight lines joining the 49 adjacent base points from Gaojiao of Shandong to Junbijiao of Hainan Island, as well as those of the territorial seas adjacent to Xisha Qundao inclusive of all the straight lines joining the 28 adjacent base points. It declared that the remaining baselines of the territorial seas would be announced separately.
In June 1998, China promulgated the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Exclusive Economic Zones and the Continental Shelves, establishing its basic system of exclusive economic zones and continental shelves. It is explicitly regulated in the law that "The provisions in this Law shall not affect the historic rights entitled to the People's Republic of China."