On January 4, the State Council of the People's Republic of China promulgated the Opinions on Promoting the Construction and Development of International Tourism Islands in Hainan, stressing that efforts be made to actively and steadily promote tourism in Xisha Qundao and orderly development of tourism on uninhabited islands.
On July 8, Indonesia sent a note to the United Nations Secretary-General regarding the diplomatic note submitted by China on May 7, 2009 concerning the proposal jointly submitted by Vietnam and Malaysia for delimitation of the outer limits of the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles in southwestern South China Sea, particularly raising doubts over the attached map, which highlighted the Chinese sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao and the adjoining waters, and the sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant seas and subsoil thereof.
On July 23, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton noted at the Meeting of Foreign Ministers in ASEAN Regional Forum that the United States was gravely concerned about the peaceful settlement of "disputes in the South China Sea," saying that territorial disputes in the South China Sea were related to US national interests.
On April 5, the Philippines challenged the United Nations on CML/17/2009 and CML/18/2009 submitted by China to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in 2009, challenging some of China's claims regarding the South China Sea.
On July 20, at a Senior Officials' Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC held in Bali, Indonesia, China and ASEAN member states reached an agreement on the guidelines for implementation of the DOC, and the guidelines were unanimously adopted at the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting held on July 21.
During the state visit of Philippine President Benigno Aquino to China from August 30 to September 3, China and the Philippines issued a joint statement. Leaders of the two countries exchanged views on maritime disputes and reaffirmed their commitment to respect and abide by DOC signed by China and ASEAN member states in 2002.
On October 11, Hu Jintao, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and Chinese President and Nguyen Phu Trung, the General Secretary of Vietnamese Communist Party Central Committee, signed the Agreement on the Basic Principles Guiding Settlement of Sea Issues between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The two sides agreed that "Disputes between China and Vietnam shall be settled through negotiation and friendly consultations" and that "Efforts shall be made to steadily push forward negotiations for delimitation of the sea off the Beibu Bay and actively discuss the issue of common development of the waters."
On November 19, Premier Wen Jiabao clarified China's position on the issue of the South China Sea at the Sixth East Asia Summit held in Bali, Indonesia. Premier Wen pointed out that China's basic position and proposition on the South China Sea issue were clear and consistent, that South China Sea disputes should be settled peacefully through friendly consultations and negotiations among directly interested sovereign states, that the South China Sea had been an important transport corridor for China, other countries in the region and even those around the world and that the Chinese government had made positive contributions to safeguarding navigation safety in the South China Sea.
On March 13, the spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry said in commenting the RTHK report of Vietnam about to send six monks to occupy some abandoned temples in Nansha Qundao that he hoped Vietnam would abide by the principles of the DOC and Agreement on the Basic Principles Guiding Settlement of Sea Issues between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and refrain from actions to complicate the situation.
On April 10, the Philippine Navy illegally embarked on Chinese fishing vessel operating in the waters of Huangyan Dao for inspection, and a China Marine Surveillance (CMS) detachment arrived in time to stop the Philippine side from seizing the fishermen, protecting their personal safety and property security.
On May 3, the Philippines illegally renamed Huangyan Dao to "Panatag Shoal."
On June 21, the Congress of Vietnam adopted the Marine Law, putting Chinese Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao under the scope of the so-called Vietnamese "sovereignty" and "jurisdiction." On the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China issued a statement, reiterating that Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao are Chinese territory, and that China had indisputable sovereignty over the islands and their adjacent waters. Territorial claims by any country for Nansha Qundao and Xisha Qundao, and any action taken thereof, should be illegal and invalid.
On June 21, the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China issued Notice of the Ministry of Civil Affairs on the Approval of the State Council for Establishing the County-level City of Sansha, announcing the revocation of the Administration Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao, and establishment of Sansha City for managing the islands, reefs and the adjacent waters of Xisha, Nansha and Zhongsha Qundao. The People's Government of Sansha City would be seated in Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao.
On June 25, China National Offshore Oil Corporation announced that nine marine blocks in the South China Sea were open to overseas company for cooperative exploration and development.
On July 20, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers reached six principles on the South China Sea issue: (1) to comprehensively implement the DOC and relevant declarations; (2) to implement the guidelines for follow-up actions of the DOC; (4) to comply fully with the norms of international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; (5) to continue to exercise restraint and to refrain from the use of force by all parties; (6) to pursue peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
On July 20, the spokesman of Chinese Foreign Ministry said that China would be willing to work with ASEAN member states to comprehensively and effectively implement the DOC and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea, that China is open to discussing a "Code of Conduct for the South China Sea" (COC) with ASEAN member states and expressed the hope that all parties will faithfully abide by the DOC and create the necessary conditions and atmosphere for the negotiation of a COC.
On July 23, the first People's Congress of Sansha City, Hainan Province was held on Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao, and the governmental agency of the city authority was elected.
On July 23, the Philippine President Aquino issued a State of the Union address, in which he requested that China respect the Philippines sovereignty over Huangyan Dao in commenting the Huangyan Dao Incident. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in commenting the matter that United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was not a legal basis for determining the territorial sovereignty of Huangyan Dao, and thus could not change the fact that its sovereignty belonged to China.
On July 31, the Philippines advertised bidding the mining rights for three oil and gas fields in the South China Sea, and two of them were located in waters disputed by China and the Philippines.
On August 3, Patrick Ventrell, Deputy Spokesman of the US State Department issue a statement on the issue of the South China Sea, groundless accusing China of further aggravating the tensions in the South China Sea. On April 4, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China clarified China's solemn stand on the issue and pointed out that "The so-called statement on the South China Sea issue by the US State Department blatantly ignored the facts and confounded right and wrong, sending a serious wrong signal and undermining the efforts by all parties to safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea and even the Asia-Pacific Region. China expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition to it."
On August 28, China National Offshore Oil Corporation announced the second batch of China's maritime areas to be opened in 2012. Of the 26 blocks opened for cooperation with foreign companies, 22 were located in the waters of the South China Sea.
On September 12, the Philippine government officially promulgated the "Executive Order No. 29" signed by the Philippine President Aquino on September 5. Titled "Naming of the West Philippine Sea by Republic of the Philippines", the order named the waters to the west of the Philippine islands, including "Luzon (i.e., part of the South China Sea), "Kalayaan Islands" (that is, part of the reefs in Chinese Nansha Qundao occupied by the Philippines), "Panatag Shoal" (i.e., Chinese Huangyan Dao) and the adjoining waters "West Philippine Sea" in an attempt to "determine the seas over which the Philippine owns sovereignty and jurisdiction."
On September 13, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in commenting the illegal renaming by the Philippine government of the South China Sea to "West Philippine Sea" that for a long time, the South China Sea had been the name recognized by the international community and widely accepted by countries around the world, the United Nations and other international organizations. Therefore, the move by the Philippine side could not change the fact that China had indisputable sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao and the adjacent waters, including Nansha Qundao and Huangyan Dao.
On January 1, the Vietnamese Law of the Sea came into force. The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in commenting the issue that China had indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and the adjacent waters. Any territorial claim of and any action taken by any State in respect of the said islands shall be illegal and invalid. We are deeply concerned about the adverse impacts of the law on the situation in the South China Sea and we urge the Vietnamese side to refrain from any action that might complicate and aggravate problems.
At the beginning of January, SinoMaps Press published the latest vertical version of China's topographic map, displaying for the first time Nanhai Zhudao with the same proportion and presenting a panoramic view of China's territorial land and seas.
On January 22, Del Rosario, the Philippine Foreign Minister, summoned Ma Keqing, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, to inform China that the Philippines had in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea submitted the sovereignty dispute over "West Philippine Sea" (the South China Sea) to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea for arbitration.
On February 19, the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines met with officials of the Philippine Foreign Ministry to return the notice of the Philippines regarding its submission of the China-Philippines dispute over the South China Sea for international arbitration.
On March 25, the Philippine Foreign Ministry said that as China refused to respond to the the arbitration requested by the Philippines, the Philippines would continue to unilaterally promote the arbitration proceedings, saying that Shunji Yanai the current president of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea had appointed on March 19 Stanislaw Pawlak, a Polish judge, to represent China at the arbitration of the dispute by the tribunal.
On March 26, the combat formation of the South China Sea Fleet patrolling and exercising in the South China Sea arrived in Zengmu Ansha (aka. James Shoal) in the southernmost tip of China, and held the oath-taking ceremony of "Take root in the South China Sea, Guard the South China Sea and Make a Difference in the South China Sea."
On April 5, China and Brunei issued the joint statement, during the visit of Hassanal the Brunei Sultan to China, agreeing to support the joint exploration and exploitation by relevant enterprises of offshore oil and gas resources on the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and saying that such cooperation would not affect their respective stands on maritime rights and interests.
On April 25, Shunji Yanai the current president of International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea appointed three arbitrators. Together with the Polish judge Mr. Stanislaw Pawlak (representing China), the German Judge Mr. Rüdiger Wolfrum (representing the Philippines) appointed in March, all five arbitrators were now appointed and the Court of Arbitration officially organized, to be chaired by Chris Pinto the Sri Lanka judge.
On April 26, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press conference regarding the efforts of the Philippines to push the establishment of an arbitration tribunal for the dispute between China and the Philippines over the South China Sea that the compulsory dispute settlement procedure regulated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea should not be applicable to the issue submitted for arbitration by the Philippines. Moreover, the Chinese Government had submitted in 2006 a declaration in accordance with Article 298 of the Convention, excluding disputes over maritime delimitation from arbitration and other compulsory dispute settlement procedures. Therefore, the arbitration claim of the Philippines could not be sustained. China was fully justified by international laws to refuse to accept the arbitration requirements of the Philippines.
On April 26, the spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in response to a reporter's question that since the 1970s, the Philippines had blatantly ignored the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international laws and illegally occupied some of the islands of China's Nansha Qundao, including Mahuan Dao, Feixin Dao, Zhongye Dao, Nanyao Dao, Beizi Dao, Xiyue Dao, Shuanghuang Sandbar and Siling Jiao. China has always firmly opposed to its occupation and solemnly reiterated that the Philippines withdraw all personnel and facilities from the Chinese reefs.
On April 28, the cruise ship "Princess Coconut" set sail from Sanya, Hainan Province, and embarked on inaugural activities for its trial operation to Xisha Qundao. The tourism route to Xisha Qundao became formally operational in October 2013.
On May 9, the Chinese Taiwan fishing vessels "Guang Da Xing No. 28" was fired upon by a Filipino Maritime Control Surveillance ship while operating about 160 nautical miles to the southeast of Eluanbi in Pingtung County and about 5 nautical miles within "the southern section of the tentative delimitation line for fishery protection" and one crew member was killed.
On May 22, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in commenting the protest of the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs against strengthened cruise by Chinese warships and marine surveillance vessels in the waters of Ren'ai Jiao in Nansha Qundao that the reef is a part of Nansha Qundao, the Chinese Nansha Qundao and its adjacent waters have no arguable sovereignty, and Chinese official ships in the waters of the normal cruise are beyond reproach.
At the 46th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting held on June 30, the Philippine Foreign Minister accused China of violating the DOC for ever increasing militarization trend in the South China Sea and that its series of destabilizing actions in the South China Sea had posed serious challenges to the region.
On July 1, Wang Yi the Chinese Foreign Minister unequivocally pointed in meeting with Kerry the US Secretary of State in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, that "the South China Sea issue is not a question between China and the US, and that the US side should understand and respect the efforts to maintain regional peace and stability by relevant states including China."
On July 11, Del Rosario the Philippine Foreign Minister blamed China for the South China Sea issue at a Belgian think-tank seminar and argued that the Philippines had exhausted all political and diplomatic means for a peaceful settlement of the dispute to no avail and had no choice but to seek a legal solution via international arbitration.
On July 12, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said at a regular press conference that the China had repeatedly expressed its position on the Philippines's submission of the South China Sea issue to international arbitration. China was fully justified by international laws to refuse the arbitration and the Philippines' claim of "exhausting all political and diplomatic means for peaceful settlement of disputes" was completely not true.
On July 15, Raul Hernandez the spokesman of the Philippine Foreign Ministry issued the so-called "eight facts" statement, claiming that in practice China's tough stance had made negotiations impossible, that the Philippines had to submit the dispute for international arbitration, and that it was impossible for the Philippines to continue bilateral negotiations with China on the dispute over the South China Sea.
On July 27, Shinzo Abe the Japanese Prime Minister, held talks with Philippine President Aquino in his visit to the Philippines. The two sides agreed to further strengthen maritime cooperation between the two countries.
On July 29, the US Senate passed a non-legally binding Resolution No. 167 on the South China Sea and the East China Sea. China expressed strong opposition to the resolution and made solemn representations to the US, urging relevant US senators to respect the facts and correct the mistakes."
On August 1, China submitted a note to the Permanent Court of Arbitration and reiterating its position of refusing to accept the arbitration instituted by the Philippines.
On August 5, Wang Yi the Chinese Foreign Minister proposed in Hanoi, Vietnam the four propositions of "reasonable expectations, negotiation for consensus building, elimination of interference, and advance in regular order" and suggested the roadmap for developing the DOC through negotiations.
On August 30, "2013 Tabletop Exercise of Joint Search and Rescue in the South China Sea" was held in Hainan, the channels for communication and collaboration in search and research further smoothed, and the mutual emergency response mechanism for marine emergencies established and improved.
On September 15, China and ASEAN member states held the 6th Senior Officials' Meeting on the implementation of the DOC.
On September 20, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung that the South China Sea issue was not the whole of Sino-Vietnamese relations, but improper handling would affect the overall situation of bilateral relations. The leaders of the two countries had reached important consensuses on the issue of the South China Sea, which should be conscientiously implemented. That was also crucial for promoting bilateral pragmatic cooperation in various fields.
On October 3, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an address delivered in the Indonesian Parliament that Southeast Asia had always been an important hub of the Maritime Silk Road since ancient times and that China would be willing to strengthen maritime cooperation with ASEAN member states and develop maritime cooperative partnership to jointly build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
From October 3 to 5, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Malaysia. The two sides issued the Joint Press Release of the People's Republic of China and Malaysia, pointing out in the seventh point that "The two countries agree to dedicate to regional peace and stability, and advocate settling disputes through peaceful and friendly dialogues and consultations."
On October 6, the foreign ministers of the United States, Japan and Australia held the Fifth Ministerial Meeting on Strategic Dialogue between the US, Japan and Australia at the interval of the APEC Ministerial Meeting in Bali and issued a joint statement on the issue of the East China Sea and the South China Sea. The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China pointed out in response that "The fact that the United States, Japan and Australia are allies should not be an excuse for intervening in territorial sovereignty disputes; otherwise, issues will only be complicated, at the cost of the interests of all parties." The three countries are urged to "respect the facts, distinguish right from wrong, exert caution, stop any words and deeds that are not conducive to proper handling of questions and detrimental to the stability of the region."
During his official visit to Brunei from October 9 to 10, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang attended the signing ceremony for Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of Brunei Darussalam on Maritime Cooperation, Agreement of CNOOC and Petroleum Brunei on Establishment a Joint Venture in Oilfield Services, and other documents of bilateral cooperation, together with the Brunei leader. The two sides issued Joint Statement of the People's Republic of China and Negara Brunei Darussalam.
On October 9, China and ASEAN issued in Brunei Joint Declaration in Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership, reaffirming the landmark significance of the DOC in that it embodied common commitment of ASEAN member states and China, that is, promoting peace, stability and mutual trust, and resolving the South China Sea dispute peacefully in accordance with the principles of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other generally recognized international laws.
On October 11, the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang delivered a speech at the eighth East Asia Summit and pointed out that "Regarding the issue of the South China Sea, there are two points of focus. One is the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, which has never seen any problems and will never see any in the future... The other is territorial disputes over some islands and reefs. More than 10 years ago, China and ASEAN member states signed the DOC, which stipulates that the relevant disputes should be resolved peacefully through consultations and negotiations between the countries directly concerned. The unilateral action of submitting bilateral dispute to international arbitration is against both the principle and spirit of the DOC. China will continue to work with ASEAN member states to fully and effectively implement the DOC and will work for positive and steady progress in the consultations on a COC on the basis of consensus building."
From October 13 to 14, Premier Li Keqiang made a visit to Vietnam and reached an important consensus with the Vietnamese leader on comprehensive development of China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic partnership after in-depth exchanged views. The two sides agreed that efforts should be continued to promote political trust, expand consensus and control and reduce the divergences between the two countries so as to maintain the peace and stability in the South China Sea. The two sides agreed to actively promote joint maritime development and establish a working group of consultation toward this end. At the same time, efforts of the Working Group for the Beibu Bay should be redoubled for real progress in the joint maritime development, so as to accumulate experience for exploring joint maritime development over a wider range.
On November 19, the 2nd meeting of the China-Malaysia Joint Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee was held in Kuala Lumpur. Chen Lianzeng, deputy administrator of the State Oceanic Administration of China, attended the meeting. The two sides reached five consensuses on promoting practical cooperation in marine science and technology.
On November 26, China's first aircraft carrier "Liaoning" set sail from a military harbor in Qingdao for the South China Sea, under the escort of the naval missile destroyers of Shenyang and Shijiazhuang and missile frigates of Yantai and Weifang. It was scheduled to carry out scientific research and military training activities in the adjoining waters.
On December 6, Liu Zhenmin, head of the Chinese government delegation and Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ho Xuan Son, leader of the Vietnamese government delegation and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, held in Hanoi a plenary session of border negotiating delegations from the two countries.
On December 17, John Kerry the US Secretary of State announced that the United States would provide the Philippines with USD 40 million over the next three years to strengthen its "maritime security" and enhance its early warning capabilities.
On January 1, Amended Measures of Hainan Province on the Implementation of the Fisheries Law of People's Republic of China became effective, stipulating that foreign nationals and fishing vessels entering the waters under the jurisdiction of Hainan Province for fishing operations and fishery resource investigation shall abide by the relevant laws, regulations and provisions of China concerning fishery, environmental protection and exit and entry management, as well as relevant regulations of Hainan Province.
On February 5, Daniel Russell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the US State Department said in a congressional hearing that the declaration of China on its rights and interests in the South China Sea based on "the nine-dotted line" was inconsistent with the principles of international law and that it should clarify its statement or adjust its position.
On February 19, the fifth round of negotiation of the China-Vietnam Experts' Working Group for Maritime Cooperation in Low Sensitive Areas was held in Hanoi. The two sides reached an agreement on comprehensive cooperative study of the oceanic and Dao environment in the Beibu Bay between China and Vietnam, and negotiations for the implementation plan of comparative studies of the depositional evolution of the Yangtze River Delta and Honghe River Delta during the Holocene.
On March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in Malaysia lost contact with air traffic control at the radar coverage border between Malaysia and Vietnam. Search and rescue efforts were launched by China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, Australia, Britain, New Zealand and other countries over the course of several months in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters.
On March 19, Charles José, the new spokesman of the Philippine Foreign Ministry, said that Ren'ai Jiao was located within the 200 nautical-mile exclusive economic zone of the Philippines according to stipulations of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and only 100 miles (about 161 kilometers) from the Palawan coastline, and therefore, the Philippines had exclusive sovereignty over it.
On March 24, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed in meeting with US President Barack Obama in the Hague that the United States should take an objective and fair position on the issue of the East China Sea and the South China Sea issue should, distinguish between right and wrong, and make greater efforts to help solve the problem properly and ease the tension.
On March 30, the Philippines formally filed a petition to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, requesting it to exercise arbitration on "Chinese infringement of Philippine territorial sovereignty."
On March 31, warships from Russia, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, Australia and the Philippines started the large-scale multinational exercise codenamed "COMODO" in the South China Sea, including maritime search and rescue and evacuation of tsunami victims.
On April 21, the 7th Senior Official Meeting on the implementation of the DOC was held in Bangkok, Thailand. The attending parties exchanged views on how to further enhance the efficiency of implementing the DOC and expand pragmatic maritime cooperation, and explored ways to promote the implementation of maritime cooperation projects and the establishment of technical committees for "navigation safety and rescue", "combating transnational maritime crimes" and "marine scientific research and environmental protection." Regarding negotiations on the DOC, the meeting offered guiding opinions for the work of the Joint Working Group, believing that it should be actively and steadily promoted in a gradual and progressive manner.
On April 28, the United States and the Philippines signed a 10-year Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, according to which the Philippines would allow the US military to build new military facilities or upgrade existing infrastructure in the designated areas, and to deploy preparatory weapons and equipment, supplies and humanitarian relief supplies in the Philippines.
From May 2 to July 15, the Chinese rig platform "Ocean Oil 981" launched oil and gas exploration activities in the waters of Xisha Qundao. During this period, Vietnam unscrupulously interfered with its operations, dispatching a large number of ships, including armed vessels, to attack Chinese vessels, and "frogman" and other underwater agents to place fishing nets, floating and other obstacles.
On May 3, the Philippine Air Force airdropped supplies to marines on a shabby landing craft on Ren'ai Jiao.
From May 5 to 16, more than 3,000 Philippine officers and soldiers and 2,500 US officers and soldiers staged a large-scale exercise code-named "Balikatan" (meaning "shoulder to shoulder") on the land and in the seas near the South China Sea.
On May 6, the Philippine Coast Guard intercepted and seized a Chinese fishing vessel with 11 Chinese fishermen in waters near Banyue Jiao in Nansha Qundao and escorted it to the port city of Puerto Princesa of Palawan Province in southern Philippines.
On May 22, China sent a note to the UN secretary-general regarding the illegal interference with the normal drilling operations of Chinese enterprises in the waters of Xisha Qundao and submitted a position paper.
On May 23, the Philippines and Indonesia signed a delimitation agreement for exclusive economic zones in the Mindanao Sea and the Celebes Sea after negotiations over 20 years.
On May 26, Reuters reported that Taiwan was spending USD 100 million in building a port on Taiping Dao.
On June 4, the website of the British journal Jane's Defense Weekly reported that the Vietnamese Congress approved a plan of 16 trillion Vietnamese Dong (about USD 747 million) for improving its maritime surveillance and defense capabilities.
On June, 9 Wang Min, Chargé d'affaires ad interim of the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations once again sent a note to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Vietnam's illegal and forceful interference with its Zhongjiannan Project, and submitted its position paper The Operation of the HYSY 981 Drilling Rig: Vietnam's Provocation and China's Position and requested the Secretary-General to distribute China's position paper to all UN members as a UN General Assembly document.
On June 13, the 24th meeting of the Assembly of States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea was held at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Wang Min, head of the Chinese delegation and permanent representative of China to the United Nations, made clear the facts and refuted the Vietnamese and Philippine officials' unjustified accusations on the South China Sea issue.
On June 18, State Councilor of China Yang Jiechi visited Vietnam and met respectively with Nguyễn Phú Trọng, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and Nguyen Tan Dung, the Vietnamese Prime Minister, and held talks with Phạm Bình Minh, the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.
On June 19, Manila Standard Today the Philippines newspaper carried a report saying that the Philippines were stepping up maintenance of sovereignty claims over disputed territory in "Kalayaan Islands", with plans to build a road leading to the airport runway on Pagasa Dao (Editor's Note: Zhongye Dao of China).
On June 19-21, Trương Tấn Sang the Vietnamese President paid a state visit to China, issued China-Vietnam Joint Statement, and proposed that regular communication and dialogue be maintained between leaders of the two countries and the two parties for maritime issues, to promote and guide their proper settlement, from strategic height and with consideration for the overall situation of bilateral relations.
On June 24, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with the Philippine President Aquino in Tokyo. The two sides agreed to strengthen security cooperation in the South China Sea issue and Shinzo Abe decided to provide 10 new maritime patrol vessels to the Philippines.
From July 9 to 10, the sixth round of consultation of the Sino-Vietnam Experts' Working Group for Maritime Cooperation in Low Sensitive Areas was held in Beijing. China and Vietnam agreed to implement the consensus of the leaders of the two countries and the spirit of Agreement on Basic Principles Concerning Guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues and continue to actively promote cooperation in low-sensitive areas.
On August 1, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida announced in Hanoi that Japan had decide to provide Vietnam with six fishing vessels, with an aggregated value of 500 million yen (about RMB 30 million yuan) after talks with Phạm Bình Minh, the Vietnamese Vice Premier and Foreign Minister, so as to promote cooperation in maritime security between the two countries.
On August 4, the Office of Beacons for Xisha Qundao, Navigation Security Center, Ministry of Transport of China conducted a field survey and site selection for construction of lighthouses (bases) on Beijiao Jiao, Lingyang Jiao (Kuangzai Sandbank), Jinqing Dao, Nansha Sandbank, and Gaojian Rock.
On August 8, the series of foreign ministers' meeting of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) were held in Naypyidaw, capital of Myanmar. The Philippines put forward the "three-step" action plan for solving the issue of the South China Sea: First, all activities that tend to intensify tension in the South China Sea should be suspended in the short run; Second, the DOC should be comprehensively and effectively implemented and a COC be formulated as soon as possible in the middle run; Third, all disputes shall be finally settled via the settlement mechanism in accordance with international laws.
On August 9, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the press conference after attending the China-ASEAN (10+1) Foreign Ministers' Meeting that China favored and advocated a "dual-track approach" to tackle the South China Sea issue, that is, peaceful settlement of disputes between countries through friendly consultations and negotiations, and joint efforts for maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea by China and ASEAN member states.
On August 10, the ASEAN foreign ministers expressed their concern over the rising tensions in the South China Sea and called for stepped-up dialogues with China.
On August 18, US P-8A "Poseidon" maritime patrol reconnaissance aircraft entered the exclusive economic zone of China in the South China Sea, and China immediately dispatched J-11 fighter jets for interception.
On August 26, Lê Hồng Anh, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and Executive Secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Party of Vietnam, visited China as Special Envoy of Nguyễn Phú Trọng, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, reaching a three-point consensus with China on party-state relations, management of maritime disputes and deepening bilateral exchanges and cooperation.
On September 3, Singapore and Indonesia signed an agreement for delimitation of the seas to the east of the Singapore Strait.
On September 7, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop held the second round of China-Australia diplomatic and strategic dialogue in Sydney. Wang Yi said that in handling the South China Sea issue, emphasis should be placed on "four respects": First, respect the historical facts; second, respect international laws and regulations; third, respect the direct dialogue and consultation among all the parties; fourth, respect the jointly efforts of China and ASEAN in maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea.
On September 15, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visited Vietnam and co-chaired the signing of seven agreements together with Vietnamese President Trương Tấn Sang, including one for expanding oil exploitation cooperation in the South China Sea, and outsourcing of another two oil and gas fields in the South China Sea to Indian companies.
On September 30, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a Joint Statement between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India after meeting with US President Obama at the White House, saying that "leaders of the two countries had expressed concerns for intensified tensions in the disputes over territorial seas and reiterated the importance of maintaining maritime security and guaranteeing freedom of navigation at sea and in the air, especially in the South China Sea."
On October 2, the US government announced that it would partially lift the ban on sale of weapons of mass destruction to Vietnam, to help it strengthen maritime security, indicating that the United States was about to export weapons of mass destruction to Vietnam nearly 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War.
From October 9 to October 10, the Sino-Vietnamese Working Group for Negotiations on Joint Maritime Development held the third round of consultations in Nanning, Guangxi. The two sides agreed to follow the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and continue to join hands to promote joint maritime development.
From October 13 to 15, Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Vietnam at the invitation of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The two sides issued the Joint Statement on Comprehensively Deepening Strategic Cooperation in the New Era in Hanoi. With regard to maritime cooperation, the two sides agreed to abide by the consensus reached by the leaders of the two parties and the two countries, conscientiously implement the Agreement on Basic Principles Concerning Guidance for the Resolution of Sino-Vietnamese South China Sea Issues, and step up the work of the Working Group for Offshore Areas beyond the Beibu Bay and the Sino-Vietnam Experts' Working Group for Maritime Cooperation in Low Sensitive Areas, effectively control the maritime differences and refrain from actions that might aggravate and complicate the disputes, so as to maintain the overall situation of China-Vietnamese relations, as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.
On October 27, the Seventh Meeting of the Sino-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation was held in Hanoi. The two sides agreed to properly handle maritime issues in accordance with the relevant bilateral agreements and consensus and make good use of the China-Vietnamese inter-governmental boundary negotiation mechanism to seek for fundamental and lasting solutions acceptable to both sides, and control maritime divergences and refrain from actions that might aggravate and complicate the disputes, so as to maintain the overall situation of China-Vietnamese relations, as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.
On October 27, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung held talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his visit to India. India promised to provide Vietnam with 100 million US dollars in military procurement loans to help it purchase four patrol boats from India.
From October 28 to 29, the eighth meeting of senior officials for the implementation of the DOC was held in Bangkok, Thailand. At the meeting, the attending parties confirmed the "dual-track approach" for handling the South China Sea issue, and the negotiation mode of "seeking consensus", "in an order of difficulty" and "agreement via negotiations" for an earlier agreement on a COC. The parties reached an initial consensus on the content of "early harvest."
On November 13, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at the Ninth East Asia Summit that China and ASEAN member states had clarified the "dual-track approach" for addressing the issue of the South China Sea, agreed to actively carry out consultations for earlier agreement on a COC on the basis of consensus-building negotiations, and achieved initial success. The Chinese side proposed that all countries concerned actively explore joint development and effectively manage differences.
On November 13, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said at the 17th China-ASEAN Meeting that conscientious efforts should be made to create new highlights for China-ASEAN maritime cooperation and proposed a number of marine cooperation projects.
On November 24, the Palawan District Court of the Philippines judged the 9 illegally detained Chinese fishermen guilty, requesting each to pay over USD 100,000 for "violation of Philippine fishery law", and 12 million pesos (USD 2,666) for capture of wild animals. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that China had indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and its adjacent waters, including Banyue reefs, and that any actions taken by the Philippines against Chinese fishermen were illegal and invalid.
On December 5, the US State Department released the report China: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea, saying that China's marine claims in the South China Sea was neither clear nor consistent. In this regard, Hong Lei, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, said that China enjoys indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea and the adjacent waters. China's sovereignty and relevant claims of rights in the South China Sea had been gradually formed in the long historical course and upheld by successive Chinese governments.
On December 7, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China was authorized to issue the Position Paper of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines, reiterating China's solemn position of not accepting or recognizing it.
From December 10 to 12, the sixth round of consultation of the China-Vietnam Working Group for Sea Waters out of the Mouth of the Beibu Bay was held in Beijing. The two sides reaffirmed that efforts will be made to earnestly implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries on steadily advancing the delimitation negotiations on the maritime boundary outside the mouth of the Beibu Bay and actively promote cooperation for joint development in this area.
On December 11, "Đinh Tiên Hoàng" the Vietnamese frigate confronted a 053-type frigate of China while cruising in the vicinity of China's Chigua Jiao.
On January 1, "Offshore Oil 981" the Chinese rig arrived in Singapore from Sanya, and was scheduled to arrive in the Indian Ocean for operations in mid-January.
On March 20, Hong Lei the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in commenting the rallying call of the commander of the United States Seventh Fleet for ASEAN member states to jointly patrol the South China Sea that the statement of the US side was no help to the peace and stability of the South China Sea, and that China hoped the United States could abide by its promise of no stand on territorial sovereignty issues and stop the publication of irresponsible remarks.
On May 4, Hua Chunying the spokeswoman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in commenting the Philippine accusation of Chinese civil engineering activities on islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao constituting violation of the DOC that Chinese requested the Philippines to immediately stop the malicious speculation and provocation, and stop going against China and the majority of ASEAN member states, so as to safeguard the peace and stability in the South China Sea.
On May 11, Catapang, the Chief of Staff of Philippine Armed Forces, landed with hordes of journalists on Zhongye Dao, a Dao occupied by the Philippines in Nansha Qundao.
On May 22, Hong Lei the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said in commenting on reconnaissance operations by the US anti-submarine spy craft near the islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao that the move constituted a potential threat to the security of the Chinese reefs, and might easily lead to miscalculation. The Chinese side hereby expressed strong dissatisfaction and requested the United States to refrain from taking any risky and provocative actions.
On May 26, Ma Ying-jeou, leader of the Taiwan region put forward the "South China Sea Peace Initiative" at the opening ceremony of the "2015 ILA-ASIL Asia-Pacific Research Forum", hoping that the relevant countries could jointly safeguard the freedom and safety of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea region, and that codes of conduct for marine and resource cooperation mechanisms be established for comprehensive planning and gradual development of the resources of the South China Sea.
On May 30, US Defense Secretary Carter said that the unprecedented scale and speed of China's reclamation in the South China Sea constituted violation of international standards. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China opposed the inappropriate remarks of the United States intending to fomenting dissension and criticized China's normal and justified construction activities on islands and reefs.
On June 4, the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held talks with the Philippine President Aquino. The two sides expressed serious concern over China's attempt to unilaterally change the status quo in the South China Sea and requested China to exercise restraint and launch negotiations for consensus-building on strengthening security dialogues and signing agreements for defense equipment and technology transfer. After the talks, the two heads of state issued a joint declaration containing the above-mentioned content.
On June 16,the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China announced that China's reclamation would be completed in the near future for construction work on some of the islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao, and that after reclamation, necessary facilities for military defense and various civil needs would be constructed in the following phase.
On October 9, China's Ministry of Transport held an illumination ceremony for the lighthouses on Huayang Jiao and Chigua Jiao in the South China Sea, announcing that the two large-scale multi-functional lighthouses were officially put into use.
On October 27, the U.S. Navy sent a destroyer within 12 nautical miles of artificial islands built by China in the South China Sea, causing strong protests from China.
On October 29, the Arbitral Tribunal adjudicated the jurisdiction and admissibility of the arbitration initiated by the Philippines for disputes in the South China Sea, saying that hearing would be held later on.
On November 22, Premier of China Li Keqiang proposed the "five-point initiative" at the East Asia Summit for settling the issue of the South China Sea.
On December 10, two US B-52 strategic bombers entered the airspace of the relevant islands and reefs of Chinese Nansha Qundao and the adjacent islands and reefs without authorization, and the Chinese defensive troops kept a close watch and expulsed them.
On December 12, the South China Sea was first mentioned in the joint statement issued by India and Japan.
On December 26, 47 Philippine youths landed on Zhongye Dao in the so-called "Sailing to the South China Sea," incurring serious protests from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
On January 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China spokesman pointed out at a press conference regarding the recent expulsion of six Chinese fishing boats by the Philippine military in the adjacent waters of Huangyan Dao that Huangyan Dao was part of the Chinese territory, that the Chinese fishermen had been engaged in normal fishing operations in its vicinity for a long time, and that the action of the Philippine side seriously disturbed their peaceful production activities, which sparked the grave concern of China.
On January 28, the government of Chinese Taiwan Province set up the "Coast Guard Administration." Under the leadership of the Executive Yuan, it would be charged with patrolling the ports, coastal areas, islands, territorial waters, adjacent areas and exclusive economic zones. On February 1, the Coast Guard Administration announced the establishment of "Nansha Headquarters", which formally took over the defense of Taiping Dao.
In May, the Chinese fishing vessel "Qionghai 01068" drifted to the waters near the Philippine Palawan Dao, because of engine failure while fishing in the South China Sea. The vessel was besieged and fired upon by the Philippine Coast Guard. The captain was immediately shot dead, and seven crew members were detained. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made solemn representations to the Philippines, which released the Chinese fishermen but refused to compensate.
On September 26, Chinese President Jiang Zemin expressed the hope in meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Phan Van Khai in Beijing that China and Vietnam would continue to cherish the overall interests in handling border issues and reach an agreement as soon as possible, so as to resolve the delimitation issue at the Beibu Bay within the year.
On December 25, China and Vietnam signed the Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the Delimitation of the Territorial Sea, the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf of the Beibu Bay and Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Fishing Cooperation in the Beibu Bay.
On December15, Vietnam issued licenses to foreign companies for the Kunshan Gas Field Project and Gas Pipeline Project in the southern section of the South China Sea, in defiance of China's representations and objections.
The Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping compiled The Standard Samples for the Drawing of National Boundaries of China (1:1000000), according to which, the area of waters within the dotted line of the South China Sea approximates two million square kilometers.
On April 1, one US Navy EP-3 spy craft was discovered in reconnaissance operations over the waters near the Chinese Hainan Dao, and two J-8II fighter jets were dispatched by PLA Naval Air Force to monitor and intercept it. One of J-8II fighter jet collided with the US aircraft over the exclusive economic zone of China about 70 nautical miles (110 km) to the southeast of Hainan, and crashed. Its pilot Wang Wei was missing after parachuting, and later was reported to have died a heroic death. The US military reconnaissance plane made an emergency landing at Lingshui Airport in Hainan.
In May, the 24th meeting of the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning System adopted the Chinese proposal of "establishing a tsunami warning and mitigation system for the South China Sea region". In June, the proposal was formally adopted at the 26th Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission in the form of a resolution.
In July, a joint communiqué was issued at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting held in Hanoi, welcoming the establishment of codes of conduct by consultation between China and ASEAN for easing tensions in the South China Sea and encouraging the parties to continue to exercise self-restraint and confidence-building measures in the region.
On December 2, China and Vietnam issued a joint statement, pointing out that the determination of land boundaries between the two countries, the delimitation agreement for the Beibu Bay and the fishing cooperation agreement there were events of great significance, and saying that the two countries would accelerate the follow-up negotiations for the fishery cooperation agreement at the Beibu Bay, so that the two agreements could enter into force as soon as possible.
On September 14, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China and the Philippine House of Representatives issued a joint press communiqué on the South China Sea issue. The two countries reiterated that efforts would be continued to seek a peaceful and friendly solution to the divergences over the South China Sea between them and other countries concerned.
On November 4, Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) was signed by China and ASEAN member states countries at the 8th ASEAN Summit held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
In June, China made representations against the agreement between Vietnam and Indonesia on the delimitation of the continental shelf, encroaching on about 35,000 square kilometers of waters under Chinese jurisdiction.
On June 28, a decision was adopted at the Third Session of the Standing Committee of the Tenth National People's Congress of China to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia and its two amended protocols. In October, China formally joined the treaty at the 7th China-ASEAN (10+1) Summit held in Bali, Indonesia, and signed with ASEAN the Joint Declaration on ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership, in a bid to establish with it "a strategic partnership aimed at peace and prosperity."
In June, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China and the Vietnamese National Assembly successively ratified the Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam on Delimitation of Territorial Waters, Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelves in the Beibu Bay and Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Fishing Cooperation in the Beibu Bay, which took effect on June 30 simultaneously.
On September 1, China National Offshore Oil Corporation and the Philippine National Oil Company signed Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in Certain Areas in the South China Sea, for joint exploration of oil and gas resources in the disputed areas. In March 2005, Vietnam agreed to join the agreement.
In October, the Maritime Safety Administration of China and the Philippine Coast Guard in Manila held the first Sino-Philippine sand-table exercise of joint search and rescues.
On November 29, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, saying that China would be willing to explore ways and means of joint development in disputed waters of the South China Sea on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Badawi noted that he recognized the principles proposed by Wen Jiabao for the joint development of the disputed waters of the South China Sea and that Malaysia was willing to work with China to explore cooperation in this regard.
Vietnam incorporated China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao into the territory of the Vietnamese Khánh Hòa Province as two counties in its administrative layout adjustment.
On March 14, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, Philippine National Oil Corporation and Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation signed the three-year Agreement for Tripartite Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking in Certain Areas in the South China Sea.
In March, Taiwan Province launched the airport construction in Taiping Dao, and shifted garrisons to Taiping Dao in October and November 2006 respectively. In addition, its engineering corps widened and consolidated the original central road of Taiping Dao, turning it into a large military airport runway 1,150 meters long and 30 meters wide.
On August 25, pursuant to Article 298 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, China submitted a written declaration to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, stating that the Chinese Government shall not accept any international judicial or arbitral jurisdiction provided for in Part II, Section 15 of the Convention for any dispute included in paragraph 1 (a), (b) and (c) Article 298 (that is, disputes concerning maritime delimitation, territorial disputes, military activities, etc.)
On December 25, the Work Committee of Xisha Qundao held a meeting of residents and fishermen of Yongxing Dao and elected three directors of the village committee, for managing the Neighborhood Committee of Yongxing Dao.
On January 19, "Ministry of the Interior" of Taiwan officially announced "The Plan for Dongsha Atoll National Park", and Dongsha Atoll National Park became the first marine national park of Taiwan.
In April, Vietnam further delineated Nansha oil and gas blocks for tendering, and said that it would work with British Petroleum (BP) to build natural gas transmission pipelines in Nansha Qundao, amid solemn protests by China. In June, BP announced a halt to the oil exploration plan in the coastal areas of Vietnam in view of the territorial dispute between China and Vietnam.
On May 18, China and Vietnam issued a Sino-Vietnamese Joint Press Communiqué, in which both sides agreed to continue implementing the Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Delimitation of Territorial Waters, Exclusive Economic Zones and Continental Shelves in the Beibu Bay and Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Fishing Cooperation in the Beibu Bay, to speed up the implementation of the Framework Agreement on Oil and Gas Cooperation in the Agreement Area in the Beibu Bay, to steadily advance the delimitation negotiations on the waters off the Beibu Bay and actively promote negotiations on their joint development.
On February 2, the airport expansion project of Taiping Dao was completed, and Chen Shuibian the leader of Chinese Taiwan arrived at the Dao by plane, hosted the commissioning ceremony, and put forward four points of "Nansha Initiative."
On July 20, Vietnam and the US Exxon-Mobil Corporation reached a preliminary agreement on cooperation in oil and gas exploration, in disputed waters between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea. On July 22, the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said the move constituted a violation of China's sovereignty and requested Exxon-Mobil to terminate the agreement.
On February 17, the Congress of the Philippines adopted the Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines, including China's Huangyan Dao and some of the islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao as Philippine territory.
On February 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China issued a statement on the adoption of the Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines by the Congress of the Philippines, saying that "The Chinese Government hereby reaffirms that Huangyan Dao and Nansha Qundao have always been part of Chinese territory, and that the People's Republic of China has an indisputable sovereignty over those Dao and their adjacent waters. Claims by any other country for territorial sovereignty over Huangyan Dao and any island and reef of Nansha Qundao shall be illegal and void."
On March 10, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed the No. 9552 Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines.
On May 6, Vietnam and Malaysia jointly submitted to the United Nations a proposal for joint delimitation of the outer boundary of the continental shelf 200 nautical miles beyond the southern part of the South China Sea.
On May 7, Vietnam submitted to the United Nations a proposal for delimitation of the continental shelf 200 nautical miles beyond the northern South China Sea.
On May 7, the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations submitted a note to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon regarding the delimitation proposal jointly by Malaysia and Vietnam for the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles on May 6 and the delimitation proposal submitted by Vietnam for the continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles on May 7, unequivocally stating the solemn position of the Chinese Government and solemnly requested the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf do not consider the two proposals in accordance with relevant provisions.
On May 12, the "Ministry of Foreign Affairs" of Chinese Taiwan issued the so-called Declaration of the Republic of China on the Outer Limits of Its Continental Shelf, stressing that in terms of history, geography and international law, Diaoyu Dao, Nansha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao, Dongsha Qundao and the surrounding waters were the inherent territory and territorial waters of the "Republic of China".
On June 3, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao pointed out in talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak that the DOC should be effectively observed. China and Malaysia should strengthen dialogue and cooperation to properly handle relevant issues, and jointly safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. Najib said that the Malaysia would be willing to solve the South China Sea issue through friendly consultation under the guidance of international law.
On November 8, villagers' meeting of Yongxing Dao and Zhaoshu Dao were held, and their respective villagers' committee was elected, under the Administrative Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao.
From January 22 to 25, the Department of Research and Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia, convened the first informal seminar on "the potential conflicts on the South China Sea" as a convener.
On December 13, while talking about the Nansha issues during his visit to Malaysia, Premier Li Peng pointed out that "the Nansha Qundao is China's territory. This is an indisputable fact."
In April, the construction for the airport on the Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao was completed.
On May 11, the monument for the construction projects on Nanhai Zhudao of China was established on the Yongxing Dao. The front side of the monument was engraved with the inscription as follow: "Nanhai Zhudao has witnessed the vicissitudes of history for thousands of years, and the descendants of Yan and Yellow Emperors are embarking on a new cause today". It had recorded the indisputable fact that Nanhai Zhudao had always been parts of China's territory, and had given an account of the great achievements of building the oceanographic station on the Yongshu Jiao and other projects on Nanhai Zhudao accomplished by the Chinese military and civilian people together. And the back of the monument was inlaid with a general map of Nanhai Zhudao made of colored porcelain tiles.
From May 29 to June 17, Hainan Province carried out a comprehensive survey on the resources on the Xisha Qundao for the first time.
On June 6, archaeologist Wang Hengjie found some reddish brown coarse pottery shards, pottery net weights and zax dated to the Neolithic Age and some debris of stamped pottery wares dated to the Qin and Han Dynasties. This was the first time to discover relics dated to the Neolithic and the Han Dynasty.
On June 7, 1991, in an interview with some journalists from Indonesia, Chinese President Yang Shangkun said, "China has indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao as well as their adjacent waters. It is China's consistent position to solve the international disputes by peaceful means, and we propose joint-development which is in line with the interests of all parties concerned."
On January 15, "the visiting and inspecting delegation of Hainan Provincial People's Government to Nansha Qundao" held a ceremony on the Zengmu Ansha, placing 7 sovereignty monuments engraved with "Hainan Provincial People's Government, January 1992" to the reef plates of the Zengmu Ansha.
On February 5, the Philippine Ambassador to Germany Bienvenido A. Tan, Jr. stated in a letter to German HAM radio amateur Dieter that Huangyan Dao does not fall within the territorial sovereignty of the Philippines.
On February 25, the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone was officially published and implemented. The 2nd article of this law provides that, "the land territory of the People's Republic of China includes the mainland of the People's Republic of China and its coastal islands; Taiwan and all islands appertaining thereto including Diaoyu Islands; Penghu Islands; Dongsha Qundao; Xisha Qundao; Zhongsha Qundao and Nansha Qundao; as well as all the other islands belonging to the People's Republic of China".
On May 8, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and the US Crestone Energy Corporation signed in Beijing a contract on joint exploration and exploitation of petroleum within the about 25,255 square kilometers scope of the "North Wan-An No. 21 Contract Zone" on the western sea area of Nansha Qundao. This contract was approved by the Chinese government on May 22, and came into effect on June 1.
On June 5, Malaysia and Vietnam signed in Kuala Lumpur a Memorandum of Understanding for the Exploration and Exploitation of Petroleum in a Defined Area of the Continental Shelf Involving the Two Countries", reaching a temporary arrangement for carrying out underwater exploration and exploitation of petroleum in the so-called overlapped zone for both sides.
On July 16, in reply to a journalist's question about the tense situation in the region of the Nansha Qundao, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said, "Nansha Qundao has always been parts of China's territory. In order to maintain the peace and stability of this region, we have over and over again made it clear that we are willing to resolve the disputes through negotiation with all parties concerned, and put forward the proposal of shelving differences and seeking joint development". We "oppose to internationalize the issue."
On July 22, China became a "consultation partner" of the ASEAN. The 25 ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting passed the ASEAN Declaration on the South China Sea, calling for all parties concerned to "exercise restraint" and to resolve the disputes pertaining to the South China Sea "by peaceful means, without resorting to force".
On April 19, Secretary General of the Chinese Communist Party, State President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Jiang Zemin inspected the Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao.
In April, in order to execute the contract with CNOOC which was signed in May 1992, the US Crestone Energy Corporation rented the Chinese Survey Ship "Experiment No. 2" and entered the "North Wan-An No. 21 Contract Zone" for seismic survey and oil & gas exploration. Vietnam sent armed vessels to desperately stand in its way. In order to avoid the escalation of the conflicts, the Chinese survey ship had to sail back without performing its job.
From May 27 to June 7, Vietnam took the liberty to build two light towers on the Riji Jiao and the West Jiao of Nansha Qundao without China's permission.
On June 16, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China made a statement on Vietnam's sending vessels to enter the area of the Wan-An Bank of China's Nansha Qundao for geophysical exploration, pointing out that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands as well as the adjacent sea area. And the Wan-An Bank is part of Nansha Qundao.
On June 25, the 8-person Expedition Team of China Radio Amateur headed by Chen Ping landed on Huangyan Dao.
On July 7, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China made a statement on the Resolution on the Ratification of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (1982) passed by the National Assembly of Vietnam on June 23, reaffirming China's position on the issue of Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao and pointing out that in the Resolution, "the Vietnamese side once again laid sovereignty claims over China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao. China's position on this issue is consistent and explicit. China has indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao as well as the adjacent sea area. The Chinese government absolutely cannot accept the above-mentioned sovereignty claims laid by the Vietnamese side."
From November 19 to 22, the Chinese President Jiang Zemin paid an official visit to Vietnam. The two states published a communiqué clarifying that China and Vietnam shared common positions on the issue of peaceful solution of maritime conflicts. And for the long term resolution of the Issue of Nansha Qundao, both sides agreed to set up a maritime expert group to carry out dialogues and consultations.
China constructed fishing shelter facilities on the Meiji Jiao of Nansha Qundao, which was garrisoned by the Administration of Fishery and Fishing Harbor Supervision of the South China Sea Area under the Ministry of Agriculture.
On May 10, the State Department of the US made a policy statement on Nansha Qundao and the South China Sea Issue, expressing that the US would not air its opinion about the legal basis of the sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea. Yet it also stressed that maintaining the freedom of navigation and allowing all ships and airplanes to sail on/fly over the South China Sea without hindrance concerned the fundamental interests of the US. The US urged all parties concerned to stay restrained, and avoid taking actions that would damage stability.
On May 13, the Philippine Military schemed and organized a formation consist of two warships and a tourist ship carrying both Philippine and foreign journalists to sail to the Meiji Jiao of China's Nansha Qundao for "news gathering". Before, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China had already lodged solemn representations to the Philippine side for many times, requesting the Philippine side to cancel this act of provocation. However, the Philippine side still went its own way. So the Chinese government lodged a strong protest to the Philippine government with regard to this.
On June 14, the President of the Philippines Ramos confirmed that the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Information Resources of the Philippines had begun to carry out prospecting, surveying and mapping activities on Nansha Qundao. Besides, the Philippine government would allocate 178.8 million pesos to construct 3 light houses on Nansha Qundao. These light houses, after being completed, would be used as the legal basis for the determination of new baseline.
In April, Vietnam and Continental Oil Corporation, a subsidiary of the US DuPont Company, signed an oil-exploration and exploitation contract which covered an area of about 12,000 square kilometers. And its location covered the "North Wan-An No. 21 Contract Zone".
On May 15, the Chinese government published the Statement of the People's Republic of China on the Baseline of the Territorial Sea of the People's Republic of China, declaring parts of the baseline of the territorial sea of Chinese Mainland and the baseline of the territorial sea of Xisha Qundao. And it was made clear in the statement that the remaining baseline of the territorial sea will be further declared.
On May 15, the 8th National People's Congress made the decision on the Ratification of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea. This decision at the meantime made a statement of four points including the reiteration of China's sovereignty over the archipelago and islands as described in the Law of the People's Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone enacted on February 25, 1992.
On May 20, the No. 62098 Fishing Boat of Taishan, Guangdong, together with 21 fishermen was illegally seized by the No. 70 Warship of the Philippine Navy during their fishing activity around the waters around Huangyan Dao. The Chinese government lodged strong protest against the Philippines' unreasonable conduct of seizing the Chinese fishermen, and requested for the release of all fishermen immediately.
In July, Eliodoro Ubiyatas, Judge of the Court of Olongapo City of the Philippines rejected the Philippine government's accusation of 21 Chinese fishermen's illegal intrusion into the sea area of the Philippines. Ubiyatas said he made the verdict according to a martial law promulgated by the former president Marcos in the 1970s, which defined the boundaries of the Philippines and clarified that the issue of the area with sovereign disputes in the 200 nautical-mile exclusive economic zone shall be solved through a resolution passed by all parties concerned. He said, for there is no treaty determining the sovereignty of Huangyan Dao signed between China and the Philippines, "I think the accusation of illegal intrusion is insufficient."
In December, on the informal summit of ASEAN, China, Korea and Japan, China and the ASEAN member states published a joint statement indicating that with regard to the issue of the sovereignty of Nanhai Zhudao, all parties concerned promised to seek peaceful resolution of disputes without resorting to the threat of force or use of force.
China constructed four 3-story buildings of reinforced concrete structure on the Meiji Jiao, making this reef a permanent outpost of the People's Republic of China.
On March 5, the Ministry of Agriculture of China issued the Notice on the Implementation of New System for Summer Moratorium of Marine Fishing on the Sea Area of the South China Sea. It decided that starting from the year of 1999, every year from zero o'clock of June 1 to the 24 o'clock of July 31, the new system for summer moratorium will be implemented, all trawling (including trawling of shrimps or shellfishes), purse seining and beam trawling operations on the sea area of the South China Sea (including the Beibu Bay) north of 12°N shall be forbidden. This was the first time for China to implement summer moratorium of marine fishing on the South China Sea.
In March, the Philippines publicly declared that it will carry out the extension of airport runway on Zhongye Dao, and build up military installations. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China lodged strong protest against it.
In March, the first China-Philippines Experts Group Meeting on Confidence-Building Measure on the South China Sea was held in Manila, capital city of the Philippines. Both sides promised to solve the disputes through friendly consultation according to the principles of international law, rather than resort to the use of force of the threat of force.
On May 9, a beat-up tank landing ship of the Philippines Navy sailed for the Ren'ai Jiao of Nansha Qundao. Claiming a leakage on the hull bottom, it "graveled" on the northwestern reef flat of the Ren'ai Jiao. Later, the Chinese side had been lodging representations to the Philippine side and requesting the Philippine side to tow away the ship as soon as possible. Yet taking "lack of parts" for excuses, the Philippine side did not tow the ship away, attempting to strengthen the illegal existence and illegally invade and occupy the Ren'ai Jiao.
In mid May, Malaysia invaded China's Investigator Shoal and Boji Jiao.
On May 18, China officially presented a diplomatic note to Malaysia, requesting the later to "right the error" and stop "invading" China's territorial sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and adjacent waters.
On November 3, taking "seawater flooding engine room" for excuses, a tank landing ship of the Philippines graveled on the northwestern side of the ingress of the lagoon of Huangyan Dao, attempting to invade and occupy Huangyan Dao by this means. After repeated representations made by the Chinese side, the Philippines towed the graveled warship away on November 29.
On January 30, with regard to Vietnam's intrusion and occupation of islands and reefs of China's Nansha Qundao as well as the white paper published in September 1979, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China published a document titled China's Sovereignty over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao Are Indisputable, demonstrating China's sovereignty over the islands.
On May 15, the Malaysian government unilaterally declared having sovereignty and jurisdiction over the exclusive economic zone within 200 nautical miles measuring from the baseline, including Zengmu Basin as well as the 11 Islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao into its territory.
On July 3, Vietnam and the Soviet Union signed a cooperation agreement on carrying out geological prospecting and exploiting for oil and natural gas on the southern continental shelf of Vietnam.
On July 21, spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China pointed out in a statement that, any country carrying out prospecting and exploiting and other activities on the sea area of China's South China Sea without permission of the People's Republic of China was illegal, and "any treaty or contract on carrying out prospecting, exploiting and other activities on the above-mentioned area signed between any countries was null and void".
In August, the Philippines sent troops to invade and occupy China's Siling Jiao.
On November 8, 2 B-6 bombers of the Chinese Navy Air Arm carried out long-distance aerial reconnaissance over Nansha Qundao for the first time.
In June, the CPC Corporation of China Taiwan sent survey crew to Taiping Dao and set up the "Oil Well No. 1 of Taiping Dao".
On November 6, under the approval of the Chinese State Council, the Revolutionary Committee for Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao was renamed as "the Administration Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao of Guangdong Province" (county-level), as a dispatched office of the Guangdong Provincial People's Government and directly under the leadership of the Office of the Hainan Administrative Region of Guangdong Province.
On January 18, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam published the White Paper on the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, Vietnam's Territory, laying unlawful territorial claims over China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao once again.
On February 2, Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, Yang Dezhi and the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, Yang Yong inspected Xisha Qundao.
On November 12, the Vietnamese Government published the Statement on the Territorial Sea Baseline of Vietnam, asserting that the maritime border of the Beibu Bay was "provided" in the China-France Boundary Treaty of 1887. At the same time, it deemed China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao as islands belonging to Vietnam, and asserted that it would define territorial sea baseline for them.
On November 28, in reply to the Statement on the Territorial Sea Baseline of Vietnam published by the Vietnamese Government, the Chinese Government made a statement pointing that "the so-called Beibu Bay border line alleged by the Vietnamese Government was null and invalid. This is a willful misinterpretation of the Historical Boundary Treaty between China and Vietnam, and a severe violation against China's territorial sovereignty. The Special Treaty of Further Discussion on Border Affairs signed by China and France in 1887 had never make and delimitation on the sea area of the Beibu Bay. Therefore, there wasn't any sea border line at the sea area of the Beibu Bay. And it reiterated that Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao were inseparable and sacred parts of China's territory.
On April 24, the China Council for the Place Names was authorized to publish Parts of the Standard Names for China's Nanhai Zhudao. 287 different place names in total were included.
From May to June, the naval formation of the Chinese Navy South China Sea Fleet went to the South China Sea for ocean navigation drills. The formation arrived at the Zengmu Ansha on May 22. This was the first time for the Chinese naval vessels to reach the sea area of Nansha Qundao.
On August 20, Malaysia sent troops to invade and occupy China's Danwan Jiao.
On September 14, the Chinese Government made a statement on Malaysia's illegal intrusion and occupation of the Danwan Jiao of China's Nansha Qundao, reiterating that "all the islands on the South China Sea, Nansha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao have always been parts of China's territory. China has the legitimate sovereignty over Nansha Qundao, which would never allow any country to violate on whatever excuses and by whatever means.
On May 31, China decided to establish the Hainan Administrative Region, and put Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao as well as Zhongsha Qundao under the jurisdiction of the Hainan Administrative Region.
In July, the South China Sea Institute of Oceanography of the Chinese Academy of Sciences began to carry out "comprehensive oceanographic surveys on Nansha Qundao and the adjacent sea area", which lasted for 24 days with a voyage of about 2,172 nautical miles. And the southernmost point of the sea area being surveyed was China's Zengmu Ansha.
On October 10, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia announced that it had reached an agreement with the Vietnam side on discussing about the "disputes" over Anbo Shoal of Nansha Qundao together. And it alleged that Anbo Shoal was Malaysia's "territory", taking the Map of the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf which was newly published in 1980 as evidence.
On June 12, the Chinese Government presented a letter to the UN Secretary General, pointing out that the so-called "Kalayaan Islands" proposed by the Philippines were parts of Nansha Qundao which were China's territory. And China had indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and the adjacent waters.
On January 1, Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CPC Hu Yaobang, the Chinese Navy Commander Liu Huaqing and the Political Commissar of the Guangzhou Military Area Command Zhang Zhongxian inspected Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao. Secretary General Hu Yaobang wrote an inscription at the Xisha Museum and the meeting room of Xisha Qundao Working Committee respectively. The first one was "for the sake of the security of the State, dare to fight against the fierce wind and the sinister waves!" And the second one was "developing Qizhouyang and defending the border land of the South China Sea!"
From November to December, Malaysia sent troops to invade and occupy Guangxingzai Jiao, Nanhai Jiao and Andu Bank of China's Nansha Qundao.
In February, Vietnam invaded and occupied the Barque Canada Jiao of China's Nansha Qundao.
In March, the 14th session of the Intergovernmental oceanographic commission of the UNESCO which was held in Paris, France, reviewed the implementation plan for the Global Sea-level Observing System, and passed the resolution to build 200 Maritime Meteorological Observatories across the world. Among them, 5 will be built by the Chinese Government including the Oceanographic Station of Nansha Qundao whose number was No. 74 and the Oceanographic Station of Xisha Qundao whose number was No. 76. At that time, neither the Vietnamese Delegation nor the Philippine Delegation present at the conference expressed any objections.
From April to June, in order to construct the Oceanographic Station of Nansha Qundao, the Chinese Government organized several relevant governmental departments to the sea area of Nansha Qundao, conducting surveys on the dozens of islands as well as the adjacent sea area, and eventually decided to build the oceanographic station on Yongshu Jiao.
From January to March, the Chinese Navy entered and garrisoned 6 islands and reefs including Yongshu Jiao, Huayang Jiao, Nanxun Jiao, Dongmen Jiao, Chigua Jiao and Chubi Jiao of Nansha Qundao successively.
From January 15 to June 28, Vietnam sent troops to invade and occupy the Xijiao Jiao, Riji Jiao, Daxian Jiao, Wuye Jiao, Dongjiao Jiao, Liumen Jiao, Nanhua Jiao, Nailuo Jiao, Bolan Jiao, Guihan Jiao and Qiong Jiao of China's Nanhai Zhudao successively.
From January to February, The Chinese construction troops and convoy hoisted the first five-starred red flag on Yongshu Jiao, officially starting the construction of oceanographic station. In order to impede the construction of the station, the Vietnamese army tried to snatch the reef, but was intercepted by the Chinese Navy convoy fleet responsible for the vigilance task. Under the pressure, the Vietnamese navy had to abandon the operation of snatching Yongshu Jiao.
On March 14, the Vietnamese Navy sent armed personnel to land on Chigua Jiao guarded by the Chinese personnel forcibly and started to shoot first. The Vietnamese ships began to fire with shipboard artillery at the Chinese naval vessels anchored nearby. The Chinese naval vessels were forced to fire back in self-defense, sinking or damaging 3 Vietnamese warships to take the initiative. The victory of the naval battle of Chigua Jiao had guaranteed the smooth proceeding of the oceanographic station-construction project on Yongshu Jiao.
On April 13, the 1st session of the 7th National People's Congress of China passed the Resolution on Setting up the Hainan Province. Upon the establishment of Hainan Province, Nanhai Zhudao was put under the jurisdiction of Hainan Province, and its administrative unit was renamed as Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao Working Committee of Hainan Province, directly under the leadership of the People's Government of Hainan Province.
On April 16, in speaking of the Nansha Issue during his meeting with the visiting Philippine President Aquino, Comrade Deng Xiaoping said that "starting from the friendly relationship between the two states, this issue can be laid aside for a while and the approach of joint-development can be adopted".
On April 25, China's permanent representative to the UN, Li Luye submitted a statement about China's sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao to the Secretary General of the UN, condemning Vietnam's intrusion into Nansha Qundao, and stating that China reserves its right to retake its lost territory at an appropriate time.
On April 25, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam published a document titled The Hoang Sa and the Truong Sa Islands and the International Laws, airing the standpoints of the Vietnam authorities' attempting to hold China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao in possession permanently.
On May 12, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released the Memorandum on Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao, refuting the viewpoints of the Vietnam authorities based on historical facts and the International Laws, and reiterating China's indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao.
On August 2, the first oceanographic station that China built on Nansha Qundao, the Oceanographic Station of Yongshu Jiao was completed. And it began to send monthly average water level data to the "Global Sea-level Observing System" of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UNESCO.
On September 19, "the Administration Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao" was officially renamed as "the Administration Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao of Hainan Province".
On October 1, according to the notice of the Central Military Commission and the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, the Hainan provincial Post and Telecommunications Bureau set up a post office in Nansha Qundao. On November 1 of the same year, the Nansha Post Office began to operate officially, becoming the southernmost post office in China.
In November, Vietnam and British Petroleum Company (BP) signed the product sharing contract of the No. 115, No. 117. No. 118, No. 119 and No. 120 blocks which were respectively located at Yinggehai Basin, Xisha Qundao, and West Zhongjian Basin.
In March, China established "the Nansha Front Line Command", responsible for the overall planning of fortifications, construction, patrol, defense, transporting of supplies and survey of Nansha Qundao.
In June, Vietnam sent troops to invade and occupy China's Wan-an Bank, Guangya Bank and Pengbo Castle.
In July, the fifth session of the eighth national assembly of Vietnam passed a resolution, illegally including China's Nansha Qundao into the Khanh Hoa Province of Vietnam.
On August 2, the sovereignty monuments for Yongshu Jiao, Chigua Jiao, Huayang Jiao, Nanxun Jiao, Zhubi Jiao and Dongmen Jiao of China's Nansha Qundao were completed.
The Philippine Navy invaded and occupied China's Feixin Dao and Mahuan Dao, illegally named them and garrisoned troops thereon.
Both the Physical Geography of Vietnam published by Vietnam Education Publishing House and the Physical Geographical Division of Vietnamese Territory published by the Vietnam Science and Technology Publishing House explicitly pointed out that the easternmost point of the Vietnamese territory was 109º21'E, not including Nansha Qundao into its territorial scope.
In the Encyclopedia of Administrative Divisions of World Nations published by the United States, it was written in the entry for "the People's Republic of China" that "the People's Republic includes several island…other island include some reefs and island on the South China Sea, with the farthest stretching to 4ºN. These reefs and islands include Dongsha Qundao (Pratas), Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Nansha Qundao."
From April 14 to 18, the Philippine Navy invaded and occupied Nanyao Dao and Zhongye Dao of China successively, and named and garrisoned troops on the islands belonging to us illegally.
On July 10, the government of the Philippines alleged that a warship of China Taiwan authorities "fired" to an unarmed naval vessel of the Philippines in the sea area of Nansha Qundao. The Philippine President Marcos convened a National Security Conference to discuss about the status of Nansha Qundao, and made a statement claiming that because the Taiping Dao is very close to the Philippines, so the appearance of Taiwan army or any other army will pose "severe threat" to the "national security" of the Philippines. Nansha Qundao is under the actual custody of our allied country. Therefore, without the consent and approval of the allied country, no country should dispatch troops to the islands. Except for Nansha Qundao, all the other 53 islands within the "freedom land" belong to the Philippines. It was for the first time that the Philippines brazenly claimed sovereignty over Nansha Qundao on a public occasion.
On July 11, the Philippine President Marcos declared that the Philippines had occupied three islands (namely, Zhongye Dao, Mahuan Dao and Feixin Dao) of Nansha Qundao. On a press conference, Marcos publicly announced that "the occupation (of these islands) is the deciding factor, occupation means control", and revealed that the Philippines had granted a right to exploit oil on Nansha Qundao, and at the meantime had received several applications.
On July 12, China Taiwan authorities made a protest, refusing to withdraw troops from the Taiping Dao, and denying having fired to any vessel of the Philippines.
On July 16, PLA Chief of General Staff, during a banquet hosted by Hyon Jun Guk, the DPRK's ambassador to China, made a protest against the act of aggression of the Philippines, pointing out that the Philippines's invasion of China's Nansha Qundao was "a requirement for the US to carry out its aggressive policy". He reiterated China's sovereignty over Nansha Qundao, and requested the government of the Philippines immediately stop violating China's territorial integrity and retreat all its personnel from Nansha Qundao.
On July 30, the Philippine Army invaded and occupied Xiyue Dao and Beizi Dao of China disregarding China's protest.
In October, the Philippine seized 6 islands and reefs within Nansha Qundao of China by taking the opportunity that the UN Assembly was discussing about whether or not to restore China's legal seat in the United Nations.
In May, the World Atlas printed by the Bureau of Survey and Cartography under the Office of the Premier of Vietnam designated Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao by their Chinese names.
In September, the government of the South Vietnam published a new national map, including China's Xisha Qundao into its territory, and putting 11 islands including Nanwei Dao and Taiping Dao of Nansha Qundao under the jurisdiction of Phuoc Tuy Province.
On December 26, the government of Vietnam officially expressed to the government of China that "the sea area of both countries in the Beibu Bay has not been demarcated yet because Vietnam has been at war". It demonstrated that the government of Vietnam deemed that China and Vietnam had never demarcated the Beibu Bay ever.
Since 1974, the Guangdong Provincial Museum and the Cultural Bureau of Hainan Administrative Region as well as other institutions in China had been carrying out archaeological investigations at Xisha Qundao, and had made archaeological excavation to Ganquan Dao and Jinyin Dao (Money Dao). On the Ganquan Dao, a settlement dated to the Tang and Song Dynasties was found with a lot of unearthed relics including green-yellow-glaze jars with four hangers of the Tang Dynasty, greenish white porcelain and green-yellow-glaze porcelain of Song Dynasty as well as iron knives, iron chisels and other instruments of production. Also, debris of iron pots, coins of Song Dynasty and Ming Dynasty as well as other relics were collected.
The geography textbook for ninth graders published by Vietnam's Educational Press carried in it a lesson entitled "The People's Republic of China". It reads, "The chain of islands from Nansha and Xisha Qundao to Hainan Dao, Taiwan Dao, Penghu Islands and Zhoushan Islands ... are shaped like a bow and constitute a "Great Wall" defending the Chinese mainland."
On January 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China made a statement as follows, "the government of the People's Republic of China reiterates that Nansha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao are part of China's territory. The People's Republic of China has indisputable sovereignty over these islands. The resources in the adjacent sea areas of these islands belong to China as well. The Saigon authorities' decision of including Nanwei Dao, Taiping Dao and other islands of Nansha Qundao into the territory of South Vietnam was illegal and invalid. The Chinese government absolutely will not allow infringement of any kind to China's territorial sovereignty by the Saigon authorities".
From January 15 to 20, the Saigon regime of Vietnam flagrantly sent naval and air forces to invade Yongle Islands of China's Xisha Qundao regardless of China's stern warning. Warships were dispatched to crack up the fishing ships of China, and troops were sent to invade and occupy Ganquan Dao and Jinyin Dao (the Money Dao) belonging to China. The Chinese Army troops, with the cooperation of navy, militia and fishermen, reoccupy Ganquan Dao, Shanhu Dao and Jinyin Dao as well as other islands and reefs of Xisha Qundao seized by the South Vietnam at one stroke, winning victory of the Xisha Strikes Back.
On January 20, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China made a statement concerning the sovereignty of the South China Sea, highlighting that "in order to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty, the Chinese government and the Chinese people have every right to take any necessary actions in self-defense. The Saigon authorities should immediately stop any military provocations against China, and stop the illegal invasion and occupation of China's territory; otherwise, they have to take all the consequences arising there-from."
From February 1 to 20, the Saigon regime of the South Vietnam dispatched its navy to invade and occupy Nanzi Dao, Dunqian Shoal (Sand Dao), Jinghong Dao, Hongxiu Dao, Nanwei Dao, as well as Anbo Shoal of China's Nansha Qundao. They even named and garrisoned troops on these islands illegally.
On February 4, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China once again made a statement. And it said that after being hit with a heavy blow by our soldiers and civilians as they intruded and occupied Xisha Qundao of China, the Saigon authorities of the South Vietnam actually dispatched its warships once again on February 1 to invade and occupy Nanzi Dao and other islands of China's Nansha Qundao, and established the so-called "sovereignty monument" illegally on the Dao. This is the Saigon authorities' willful infringement against China's territorial sovereignty, and a new military provocation against the Chinese people. The Chinese government and the Chinese people strongly condemn and protest against this. The Chinese government has made it clear for many times that Nansha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao are parts of China's territory. The People's Republic of China has indisputable sovereignty over these islands and the adjacent sea areas. This stance of the People's Republic of China is unswerving.
In May, on the 56th session of the UN ECOSOC, the Chinese representative made a statement on the scope for the hydrographic survey plan of the Hydrographic Committee of the South China Sea. The statement said that "any country, or group of countries and international organization which carry out hydrographic survey, investigation or other activities at Nanhai Zhudao as well as their adjacent sea areas without the consent of the People's Republic of China, is an infringement against China's territorial sovereignty and is illegal." It pointed out that "Nansha Qundao, just like Xisha Qundao, Dongsha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao, have always been parts of China's territory. The People's Republic of China has indisputable sovereignty over these islands as well as their adjacent sea areas. The Chinese representative requested the relevant authorities to take measures, stop the so-called Hydrographic Committee of the South China Sea's hydrographic survey plan, and be aware to ensure that no such situation will occur ever again."
On July 2, at the second phase of the UNCLOSI conference, head of the Chinese delegation Chai Shufan criticized the statement on Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao made by the Vietnamese representatives "were completely shameless babblings that call black white", reiterating China's sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao.
On August 15, China and Vietnam held the first round of negotiation on the demarcation of the sea areas of the Beibu Bay in Beijing. Yet the negotiation ended up with nothing because the stances of both sides were a far cry from each other.
On February 14, the foreign ministry of the Saigon regime of the South Vietnam published the White Paper on the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands, unjustifiably asserting that the Republic of Vietnam has territorial and sovereignty claims over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao.
From April 14 to the end of April, Vietnam sent warships to attack and occupy the islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao invaded and occupied by the troops of the South Vietnam, and continued to invade and occupy with armed forces over 20 islands and reefs including Anbo Shoal, Ranqing Shoal, Barque Canada Reef, Alison Reef and Daxian Reef.
On May 15, both the party newspaper and the military newspaper of Vietnam published a full-page National Map the Vietnam, forcibly including China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao into its territory, and illegally naming them as "Hoang Sa" and "Truong Sa" respectively.
From September 22 to 28, General Secretary of Vietnamese Communist Party, Le Duan headed a delegation of Vietnamese Party and Government to visit China, officially requesting sovereignty claims over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao from China for the first time. The disputes over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao between China and Vietnam had been brought into the public ever since. Vice Premier of the State Council of China, Deng Xiaoping made it clear to Le Duan that "our stance is that we have enough evidences to prove that Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao are belonging to China since the ancient times."
On November 24, Guangming Daily published a signed article titled "Nanhai Zhudao Has Been Parts of Our Territory since the Ancient Times" to expound on the sovereignty of Nanhai Zhudao. It proved with a large amount of historical data that Nanhai Zhudao has been parts of China's territory long ago. The Chinese people found and developed Nanhai Zhudao in the earliest manner. And the Chinese government was the earliest to exercise jurisdiction and sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao. This was the first time for China to comprehensively and systematically collect relevant documents to prove its historical rights over Nanhai Zhudao.
On March 8, Vietnam arbitrarily designated China's Nansha Qundao as parts of the Dong Nai Province.
On March 19 and May 28 respectively, the Taiwan authorities announced to the public that Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao were inherent territory of the "Republic of China".
On June 12, the Philippines asserted that the Philippine Oil Company and Sweden Salen Oil Company had drilled the first oil well called as "Well No.1 of Sampaguita" in the sea area of Liyue Bank (Reed Bank) of Nansha Qundao.
On June 14, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China made a statement on the Philippines' announcement of carrying out drilling and petroleum operations at Liyue Bank (Reed Bank) of China's Nansha Qundao, pointing out that China has indisputable sovereignty over Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao as well as their adjacent sea areas. And the resources within these areas are belonging to China.
In August, the South Sea Fleet of China established the Xisha Maritime Garrison Command, assuming the routine garrison duties of Xisha Qundao.
On May 12, Vietnam released the Statement of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on its Territorial Sea, Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone and Continental Shelf, publicly claiming Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao into its territorial limits as "territorial island and islands outside the territorial sea that belong to Vietnam".
On July 10, when the Vice Premier of the State Council of China Li Xiannian was meeting with the prime minister of Vietnam Pham Van Dong, he urged the Vietnamese side to take measures to ease the tensions between the two countries including the disputes over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao. He pointed out that "these islands have been parts of China's territory, which was backed by a lot of historical documents", "in the past, the comrades in Vietnam had always been admitted that these islands are parts of China's territory", "due to the change of mind of the Vietnamese side, Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao issues which were not an issue at all before, have turned into the main obstacle impeding the sound development of the relationship between the two countries."
From October 7 to 21, Malaysia intruded into China's Danwan Jiao, Guangxingzai Jiao, Andu Jiao, Huanglu Jiao, Anbo Shoal, Qiongtai Jiao (Lukang Jiao), Nanping Jiao, Nan'an Jiao, Nantong Jiao and Tanmen Jiao (Limen Jiao) successively to conduct surveying and mapping work, and erected a so-called "sovereignty monument".
From March to May, the surveying and mapping division of the Chinese Navy conducted bathymetric survey on the adjacent sea area of Xisha Qundao, getting a relatively complete data about the underwater topographic and geomorphic features of the adjacent sea area of Xisha Qundao, and thus filling in the gaps left behind by the old sea charts for a long time.
On March 3, the Philippines invaded and occupied the Shuanghuang Shoal of China's Nansha Qundao, illegally renamed it to "Panata Dao", and garrisoned troops thereon.
From March to April, Vietnam invaded and occupied China's Ranqing Shoal (Grierson Jiao), Nailuo Jiao, Zhongjiao Jiao and Bisheng Jiao successively, and intruded into Zhubi Jiao, Changxian Jiao, Barque Canada Jiao to insert a flag and erect a "sovereignty monument".
On June 11, the Philippines issued the No. 1596 Presidential Order, publicly announced that the main body of China's Nansha Qundao was the "Kalayaan Dao" of the Philippines, and were put into the jurisdiction of the Palawan Province. On July 15, the Philippines once again issued the No. 1599 Presidential Order, announcing the "Kalayaan Islands" were located within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines, and any foreign ships were not allowed to enter.
On December 26, the steamship line between China's Hainan Dao and Xisha Qundao was officially opened.
On December 29, the Foreign Ministry of the Philippines alleged that China's Reed Bank was located within the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China made a statement once again pointing out that "Nansha Qundao, just as Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao, have always been parts of China's territory."
On April 26, head of the Chinese Governmental Delegation Han Nianlong pointed out on the second session of the deputy ministerial negotiations between China and Vietnam that "Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao have always been inseparable parts of China's territory. The Vietnamese side should get back to its original stance of acknowledging this very fact, respect China's sovereignty over these two islands, and retreat all the personnel from the islands of Nansha Qundao it occupied".
In September, the Chinese Navy began to construct two permanent light houses on Langhua Jiao and Beijiao Jiao of Xisha Qundao.
On September 14, President of the Philippines Marcos alleged that the Philippines had already "exercised effective control" over 7 islands of China's Nansha Qundao since long ago.
On September 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China made a statement to reiterate that Nansha Qundao had always been parts of China's territory. The full text of the statement was as follows: the government of the People's Republic of China has made several statements on the sovereignty of Nansha Qundao. As early as August 15, 1951, Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, in his Statement on the United States-British Draft Peace Treaty with Japan and the San Francisco Conference, had already solemnly pointed out that Nansha Qundao "had always been China's territory. Though they had been occupied by Japan for some time during the war of aggression waged by Japanese imperialism, they were all taken over by the then Chinese Government following Japan's surrender". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China hereby reiterates that Nansha Qundao, just like Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao, have always been parts of China's territory. The People's Republic of China has indisputable sovereignty over these islands as well as their adjacent waters. The resources within these areas are belonging to China. We will never allow any country to infringe China's legitimate sovereignty over Nansha Qundao on any excuses or by any means. Any foreign country that invades and occupies the islands of Nansha Qundao, as well as the exploitation and any other activities it carried out in these areas are illegal and shall never be allowed.
On September 28, the Foreign Ministry of Vietnam published the White Paper on the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and the Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands. It pieced together and made up a few self-contradicting and untenable historical materials, and alleged that it has sovereignty over China's Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao.
In October, Malaysia invaded and occupied the Barque Canada Jiao, Boji Jiao, Nanhai Jiao and Yuya shoal successively.
On December 21, Malaysia's newly-published map of territory including its territorial sea and continental shelf territory, brazenly included China's Nansha Qundao area (including 12 islands and reefs) to the south of the line linking Siling Jiao, Polang Jiao, Nanhai Jiao, Anbo Shoal, Nanyue shoal and Xiaowei Shoal into the territory of Malaysia, laying claims to Nansha Qundao.
In the World Atlas compiled and drew by the cartographic division of General Staff Department of the Vietnamese People's Army, there was such annotation written in Vietnamese as "Xisha Qundao (China)", and "Nansha Qundao (China)", indicating that they are belonging to China.
On September 9, the postal service administration of China Taiwan authorities set up a postal agency on Taiping Dao of Nansha Qundao, under the jurisdiction of Kaohsiung Post Office, and later of Taipei Post Office.
In the Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World published by the United States, it was written that Nansha Qundao was "China's territory located on the South China Sea, part of the Guangdong Province."
On July 13, the South Vietnam regime issued an order to include Xisha Qundao into the Quang Nam Province, and a new administrative organization named "Định Hải Society" shall be established to take in charge of the jurisdiction of the whole Xisha Qundao.
In the New World Atlas published with the recommendation of Ohira Masayoshi, the Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs, it was clearly indicated that Nansha Qundao was belonging to China.
The Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations published by the United States explicitly pointed out that the islands of the People's Republic of China "also includes the islands and cays on the South China Sea to the extent of 4ºN. These islands and cays include Dongsha Qundao (Pratas), Xisha Qundao (Paracel), Zhongsha Qundao and Nansha Qundao."
In the 5th map of the Atlas of Vietnam published by the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping of Vietnam, the map of "Vietnam and South east Asia", there were annotations such as Dongsha Qundao (QUANDAODONG-SA), Xisha Qundao (QUANDAOTAY-SA) and Nansha Qundao (QUANDAONAM-SA) spelt in both Chinese and Vietnamese. And all the names therein used the transliteration of Chinese. In the 16th map, the "Map of Vietnam", the color of Xisha Qundao on the map is different from that of Vietnam. Instead, it was of the same color as China on the map.
In the 1:10000000 Asia Political Map (single wall map for teaching purpose) published by the Hanoi State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping of Vietnam, there was such annotation as "Q. D. TAY-SA (TRUNGQUCC)" for Xisha Qundao, which meant "Xisha Qundao (China)", indicating it was belonging to China.
On May 9, the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam made a statement on the US Government's determination of the "combat zone" for the US army in Vietnam, pointing out that "US President Johnson has determined the whole Vietnam and the nearby sea area with a width of about 100 nautical miles beyond the Vietnamese coast, as well as a part of the territorial sea in Xisha Qundao belonging to the People's Republic of China as the combat zone for the US armed forces", "posing a direct threat to the security of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and its neighboring country". The Vietnamese Government hereby once again explicitly recognized that Xisha Qundao was China's territory.
On page 311 of World Gazetteer published by Tokyo Bookstore of Japan, it was stated that Xisha Qundao was returned to China after the Second World War.
Taiwan authorities dispatched a detached squadron navy to Nanxi Jiao (Nanzi Dao), Beidong Jiao (Beizi Dao), Didu Dao (Zhongye Dao) and Nanyi Dao (Hongxiu Dao) to reestablish the boundary monument of China.
On July 28, Malaysia released the Continental Shelf Act, declaring its outer continental shelf to be the 200 meter isobaths or the exploitation depth allowed. And "diggings" were established in both eastern and western sea area of Malaysia, and rented to foreign companies for prospecting and developing.
In the map of "Asia" on page 102-103 of the World Atlas published by the Soviet Union, Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao and Nanwei Dao were all spelt and written in Chinese. On page 105-106, there were annotations for Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao written in Chinese, which demonstrated that, Nanhai Zhudao was belonging to China.
Malaysia designated a digging of over 80 thousand square kilometers in the sea area of the South China Sea, including Nankang Ansha, Haining Jiao, Beikang Ansha and Zengmu Ansha of China's Nansha Qundao in it. And it was rented to the Sarawak Shell Company, a subsidiary of the US Shell Corporation for oil drilling.
On March 4, "the Administration Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao" was renamed "the Revolutionary Committee of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao of Guangdong Province."
On October 27, Malaysia and Indonesia signed the Agreement between Indonesia and Malaysia on the Demarcation of the Two Countries' Continental Shelves in Kuala Lumpur.
The People's Republic of China (1949-)
In May, the Chinese People's Liberation Army liberated Hainan Dao. The remains of the Kuomintang army retreated to Taiwan Dao. For Nansha Qundao and Xisha Qundao were a little bit far away from Taiwan Dao and was difficult to get supplies, and therefore, the Taiwan authorities decided to withdraw the garrison troops on Taiping Dao of Nansha Qundao and Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao back to Taiwan. As such, for a period of time, there was no one garrisoned on Taiping Dao and other Islands.
On May 15, the Chinese People's Liberation Army landed on Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao.
On May 17, the Philippine President Quirino alleged that Nansha Qundao "should belong to the nearest country; and the country nearest to the Tuansha Islands (editor's note: i.e. Nansha Qundao) is the Philippines".
On May 20, the Chinese Government issued a statement pointing out: the Philippines as a provocateur as well as its supporter—the US, should abandon their risky plan, otherwise, the results would be very serious. The People's Republic of China will never allow Nansha Qundao as well as any other islands belonging to China in the South China Sea to be invaded by any foreign country.
On August 15, before the convening of the San Francisco Conference, Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, in his Statement on the United States-British Draft Peace Treaty with Japan and the San Francisco Conference, solemnly pointed out that "as a matter of fact, just like all Nansha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao (the Paracel Islands) and Nanwei Dao (Spratly Dao) have always been China's territory. Though they had been occupied by Japan for some time during the war of aggression waged by Japanese imperialism, they were all taken over by the then Chinese Government following Japan's surrender. The central government of the People's Republic of China do hereby declare that, whether or not the United States-British Draft Treaty contains provisions on this subject and no matter how these provisions are worded, the inviolable sovereignty of the People's Republic of China over Nanwei Dao (Spratly Dao) and Xisha Qundao (the Paracel Islands) will not be in any way affected."
On September 4, the Peace Conference with Japan which was manipulated and presided by the United States opened in San Francisco with 52 participating countries. China, which had played the most important and decisive roles in the battles against Japan, however, was excluded from the peace conference. On September 5, Gromyko, Head of the Soviet Union Delegation made a statement on the conference, supporting Nansha Qundao, Xisha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao as well as other islands concerned being returned to China.
On September 8, with the ignorance of the Chinese government, the 48 victorious countries and the vanquished country, Japan, signed the Peace Treaty with Japan in San Francisco, the U.S. The second clause of the treaty provided that, "Japan shall relinquish all rights, grounds of rights or claims of rights".
On September 18, Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister made a solemn statement on behalf of the Chinese Government as follows: "as the San Francisco Peace Treaty with Japan was not participated in, prepared, drafted or signed by the People's Republic of China, the Central Government of the People's Republic of China deems it as null and void, and therefore it absolutely will not be admitted."
On April 28, the Taiwan authorities of China and Japan signed the Peace Treaty between the Republic of China and Japan, which provided in its second clause that "according to the second clause of the Peace Treaty with Japan (i.e. the San Francisco Peace Treaty) signed in San Francisco of the United States of America on September 8, 1951, Japan officially renounced all rights, title and claim to Taiwan and Penghu Islands as well as Nansha Qundao and Xisha Qundao".
On May 5, Zhou Enlai, the Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister made a solemn statement on behalf of the Chinese government pointing out that "the Japanese government on one hand accepted the one-sided San Francisco Peace Treaty at the expense of the national interests of Japan, on the other hand, it took orders from the United States, colluded with the Komintang reactionaries to enter into the illegitimate Peace Treaty between Japan and Taiwan, which was hostile to the New China. And it claimed that the peace treaty applied to ‘all territories which are currently under the rule as well as will become under the rule of the Republic of China'. This is completely unbelievable and ridiculous...both the Chinese people and the Chinese Government will not admit the illegitimate ‘Peace Treaty between Japan and Taiwan'".
In the 15th map of the Standard World Atlas published by the Japanese State Education and Books Joint-stock Company, the map of "South east Asia", the drawing of Nanhai Zhudao is the same as that of the map published in China. Both mark the People's Republic of China within the dotted line, and use Chinese to spell Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Nansha Qundao. On the title page of this atlas, there is signature of the then Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuo Okazaki.
In the 168th and 169th map of the Macropaedia of the Soviet Union published by the Soviet Union, the map of "China", there was such annotation as "Xisha Qundao (Paracel) (China)" and "Nansha Qundao (China)", which indicated that both Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao belong to China.
On June 30, France sent five warships and a transport ship carrying about one hundred navy personnel and workers to land on Chenhang Dao, Jinqing Dao, Ganquan Dao and the Antelope Jiao, and set up navigation marks illegally.
In the 9th map of the World Atlas Magnus published by the Munich Iiro Publishing House of the West Germany, there were such annotations as "the Paracel Islands (Xinnan-HIRATA, China)" and "the Spratly Islands (i.e. the storm islands) (China)", which indicated that both Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao belong to China.
In January, the Public Cartographic Publishing House published the Administrative Map of the People's Republic of China, making partial adjustment to the dotted line of the South China Sea: removing two sections between the Hainan Dao and the Vietnamese coast, and adding one more section between Taiwan Dao and Ryukyu Islands, thus forming the basic pattern of the nine-dotted line in the South China Sea and one-dotted line on the east coast of Taiwan Dao.
On March 7, the Philippines presented a note to the UN Secretary General as per the draft provisions of the Law of the Sea proposed by the International Law Commission, declaring the islands status of the Philippines. In the note, it was proposed that the water area within the straight baselines connecting each and all outermost points of the Philippines be the internal waters of the Philippines. And the sea area within the range line of the Philippines as provided by the Paris Peace Treaty between the United States and Spain in 1898, the Washington Complementary Treaty between the United States and Spain in 1900 as well as the United States-British Treaty in 1930.
From May to June, the Hainan Administrative Region set up a team of survey and prospecting of Xisha Qundao to carry out prospecting and survey work on Xisha Qundao.
On June 11, the French Warship L9006 arrived in Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao, alleging the Dao being the territory of France, and forcing the Chinese fishermen stationed on the Dao to leave. And before they left the Dao, the French army even destroyed the monument symbolizing the Chinese sovereignty on the Dao.
On October 27, the first ICAO Conference on the Flights in the Pacific Region was held in Manila. Representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines, the South Vietnam and the Taiwan authorities of China attended the conference. In the 24th resolution passed on the conference, it was requested that the Taiwan authorities of China should enhance meteorological observation over Nansha Qundao (4 times each day). And none of the participants attending the conference made any objections or reservations about it.
In the 2A map of the Altas International Larousse Politiqueet Economique published by France, there was such annotation as "Xisha Qundao (China)". And in the 13B map, the map of "Southeast Asia", there were such annotations as "Dongsha Qundao (Pratas) (China)", "Xisha Qundao (the Paracel Islands) (China)" and "Nansha Qundao (Spratly Islands) (China)", which indicated that the above-mentioned Islands all belong to China.
From March to August, on the excuse of taking over the French sovereignty, the South Vietnam army occupied Chenhang Dao, Ganquan Dao and other islands of Xisha Qundao in batches.
In April, Guangdong Province and Hainan Administrative Region organized a Team for the Survey of Aquatic Resources on Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao, and set up a central station on Yongxing Dao. More than 200 people were stationed on the Dao, and grocery, public health center, club as well as power station were set up on the Dao.
On May 15, the president of the Philippine Maritime School Thomas Cloma published the so-called A Declaration to the World, claiming that since March 1, he had led the students of the maritime school to "explore" on the sea area of Nansha Qundao. And they "discovered and occupied" 33 islands, reefs, shoals and cays and fishing areas, and landed on 9 islands and reefs including Taiping Dao, Nanwei Dao, Zhongye Dao, Hongxiu Dao, Nanyao Dao, Xiyue Dao, Nanzi Jiao, Beizi Jiao as well as Dunqian Shoal. And he had named this area as "freedom land" (Kalayan in Tagalog). And the headquarters of the "freedom land" were located in the maritime school. On 17, Cloma wrote a letter to Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, requesting the admittance of his ownership of the "freedom land".
On May 19, the Vice President and Foreign Minister of the Philippines Garcia, made a preoccupied sovereignty statement, publicly announcing that the Philippines had discovered islands "belonging to nobody and having no residents" in the South China Sea, and that the islands in the South China Sea including Taiping Dao and Nanwei Dao, "should" belong to the Philippines.
On May 29, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement with regard to the Philippine Government's attempting to infringe China's sovereignty over Taiping Dao and Nanwei Dao of Nansha Qundao, pointing out that "the above-mentioned Taiping Dao and Nanwei Dao in the South China Sea, together with some nearby islets are collectively called as Nansha Qundao. These islands have been part of China's territory. And the People's Republic of China has indisputable and legitimate sovereignty over these islands."
On June 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Saigon regime of South Vietnam published a communiqué, asserting its sovereign rights over Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao, and specially emphasizing that the right of jurisdiction over these two islands of France had never aroused any controversy, and Vietnam had taken over the right of jurisdiction following its independence.
From June 2 to 14, the navy of China Taiwan authorities carried out "Liwei Cruising" over 27 islands and reefs on the South China Sea, and landed on Taiping Dao, Nanwei Dao as well as Xiyue Dao and found no foreigners residing thereon. Upon its landing, it smeared the inscriptions left by the invaders and re-erected a monument declaring sovereignty. A solemn flat-raising ceremony was held to declare China's sovereignty mightily.
On June 9, the Charge d'Affaires ad interim of French Embassy in Manila presented a note to the vice-president of the Philippines Garcia, alleging that France had never hand over Nansha Qundao to the Republic of Vietnam. So Nansha Qundao should be part of the territory of France.
On June 15, during a meeting with chargé d'affaires ad interim Li Zhimin of the Chinese Embassy to Vietnam, Vice Foreign Minister of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam Ung Van Khiem solemnly stated that, "according to Vietnamese data, Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao are historically part of Chinese territory." Le Loc, Acting Director of the Asian Department of the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry, who was present, specifically cited Vietnamese data and pointed out that, "judging from history, these islands were already part of China at the time of the Song Dynasty."
From July 6 to 26, the navy of China's Taiwan authorities carried out "Weiyuan Cruising", transporting troops back to garrison on Taiping Dao, and landing on 9 islands and reefs including Zhongye Dao to clear away the signs illegally left by other countries. On July 11, more than 100 officers and soldiers of the Taiwan's military got on and garrisoned Taiping Dao of Nansha Qundao once again.
On July 7, upon the notice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Thomas Cloma led 3 students of his maritime school to return a banner of China Taiwan he removed from Taiping Dao to the China Taiwan authorities' "Embassy" in the Philippines and made apologies.
On August 30, the People's Daily published the article titled "A Warning to Ngo Dinh Diem and His Administration", sending a solemn warning to the South Vietnam authorities as per its establishing emblems of sovereignty on China's Nansha Qundao.
From September 24 to October 5, the navy of China Taiwan carried out "Ningyuan Cruising" over 21 islands and reefs on the South China Sea, intercepting and examining a ship of the Cloma Maritime School of the Philippines. During the interrogation, they confessed that their ship's entering the sea area of Nansha Qundao was "individual behavior", a "personal visit" to the Taiping Dao.
On October 22, with the "NV Presidential Order No. 143", the South Vietnam Regime illegally included Nansha Qundao into the jurisdiction of Phuoc Tuy Province of Vietnam.
In the book Geography of Vietnam published by Vietnam, in referring to the geographical scope of Vietnam it pointed out that "Vietnam is located in the south east Asia, to the east of the Indochina Peninsula. It covers an area from 8°35'N to 23°24'N, and from 102°8'E to 109°30'E". Nanhai Zhudao including Nansha Qundao was not included in the territorial scope of Vietnam as described therein.
In May, on the excuse of carrying out so-called "navigation works", the US Army occupied three islands of China's Nansha Qundao, and set up radar stations thereon.
On May 13, Thomas Cloma and others intruded into Nanzi Jiao of China's Nansha Qundao once again.
On June 3, Chen Zhimai, the China Taiwan authorities' "Ambassador" to the Philippines sent a diplomatic note to the Foreign Ministry of the Philippines, protesting against the action of Thomas Cloma's leading others to land on and attempting to migrate to Nanzi Jiao of Nansha Qundao.
On July 1, the Xisha Meteorological Station of Guangdong Province was established and the station was located at the Xuande Road, Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao. Later, this Meteorological Station changed its name to the Southwest Zhongsha Qundao Meteorological Observatory of Guangdong Province in February 1975.
On September 4, the Standing Committee of National People's Congress of China passed the "Declaration of The Government of The People's Republic of China on China's Territorial Sea", in which it is stated that "the breadth of the territorial waters of the People's Republic of China shall be 12 nautical miles. This provision applies to all the territories of the People's Republic of China including Taiwan and its surrounding islands, Penghu Islands, Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao, Nansha Qundao as well as other islands belonging to China."
On September 9, the government of the Soviet Union presented a note to the Chinese government, stating that the former complete respected China's decision about its territorial sea.
On September 14, Premier Pham Van Dong of the government of Vietnam sent a diplomatic note to Premier Zhou Enlai of the State Council of China, solemnly stating that "the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam recognizes and supports the declaration of the government of the People's Republic of China on its decision concerning China's territorial sea made on September 4, 1958. And the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam respects this decision and has instructed the responsible government agencies to strictly follow the provision that the breadth of the territorial waters of China shall be 12 nautical miles whenever and whatever happens on the sea in relation to the People's Republic of China." This diplomatic note was at the meantime published on Nhân Dân, the official newspaper of the Central Committee of Vietnamese Communist Party, on September 22.
On February 22, the Vietnamese Navy once again intruded the Chenhang Dao of China's Xisha Qundao, unreasonably tearing up and humiliating the national flag of China, plundering and maltreating the Chinese fishermen.
On February 25, the China Taiwan authorities published A Position Paper on Xisha Qundao, elaborating on the historical, legal and other facts about Xisha Qundao's being part of China's territory.
On February 27, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement that "the South Vietnam authorities should immediately release and compensate for all the losses of the Chinese fishermen being captured by them, and stop any activity violating China's territorial sovereignty right away!"
On March 17, the Nanning Frigate (Frigate No. 172) and the Luzhou Submarine Chaser (Subchaser No. 153) of the PLA Navy South Sea Fleet carried out patrol mission over sea area of Xisha Qundao for the first time.
On March 24, the Hainan Administrative Region set up, on Yongxing Dao of Xisha Qundao, "the Administration Office of Xisha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao".
On June 27, China and Vietnam signed the Protocol on China and Vietnam's Cooperation in Carrying out Comprehensive Marine Survey on Beibu Gulf. According to this protocol, the China-Vietnam Team of Marine Survey on Beibu Gulf co-funded by China and Vietnam, carried out comprehensive marine survey on the Beibu Gulf from September 1959 to the end of 1960, which played an important role in promoting the development of the fishery, shipping and marine scientific research causes for both countries.
The Period of the Republic of China (1911-1949)
After the Revolution of 1911, Guangdong Provincial Government declared that Xisha Qundao be put under the jurisdiction of Yaxian County (today's Sanya City) of Hainan Island.
In December 1914, in the chart of the New Geographical Charts of the Republic of China published by Shanghai Yadong Library, the Chart of China's Territory before the Reign of Emperor Qianlong and Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty, the peripheries of Dongsha Qundao and Xisha Qundao within the South China Sea Area were marked with scope lines, including Dongsha Qundao and Xisha Qundao into the scope of China's territory.
In 1917, some Chinese businessmen filed an application for collecting phosphorus and marine products in Xisha Qundao to the governor's office of Guangdong Province, a sketch was attached.
In 1921, the Ministry of the Interior of the government of the Republic of China approved He Ruinian, a businessman from Guangdong Province, to set up industries such as fishery, aquaculture and mining on Xisha Qundao. Later it was found out that He Ruinian had gone so far as transferring his right of operation to some Japanese businessmen, thus his right of operation was canceled.
On August 22, 1921, Aristide Briand, French prime minister and foreign minister said, "since the Chinese government had asserted its sovereignty in 1909 (refers to Li Zhun's inspection tour over Xisha Qundao), it is impossible for us to assert claims over these islands (Xisha Qundao)".
In November 1927, the Surveying Bureau of Guangdong Army of the Republic of China drew the maps of Xisha Qundao.
In May 1928, the Guangdong Provincial Government of the Republic of China dispatched a survey team consisting of military officer, government officials and technological experts to carry out field surveys of Xisha Qundao by taking the "Hai Rui" ship. And the team was required to submit a detailed survey report.
In the year of 1929, the French colonial authority instructed its officials to collect various materials, attempting to cobble up some so-called historical evidences to invade China's Xisha Qundao and got nothing. Therefore, the acting viceroy of France in Indochina had to admit that, "according to reports from various sources, the Paracel Islands (i.e. Xisha Qundao) shall be deemed as belonging to China."
On January 2, 1930, the UK and the US signed the Treaty on the Demarcation of border between the British North Borneo and US Philippines (i.e. the US-UK Treaty). The North Borneo was located on the northeast of Borneo Island, i.e. today's Sabah of eastern Malaysia, and Nansha Qundao was to the north of it. So, this treaty has nothing to do with the ownership of Nansha Qundao.
In April 1930, the Meteorological Conference of the Far East, which was held in Hong Kong and participated by representatives from China, France, the Philippines and the China's Hong Kong Authorities, had passed a resolution requesting the Chinese Government to set up a meteorological observatory on Xisha Qundao. None of the participating representatives raised any objection.
On April 13, 1930, the French invaders sent the Mauricio gunboat to invade China's Nanwei Dao.
On December 4, 1931, taking advantage of the occasion when Japan was invading the northeast of China, the French government sent a note to the Chinese legation in France, claiming that Annam (old name for Vietnam) had the so-called "Vorhabe right" over Xisha Qundao, brazenly raising territorial claims over these islands.
On July 26, 1932, the Chinese Government presented a note to the Foreign Ministry of France and rejecting the French Government's territorial claims over Xisha Qundao by pointing out that Xisha Qundao had long been under the jurisdiction of China.
On November 30, 1932, Zhu Zhaoshen, an inspection commissioner of Foreign Ministry of the Chinese Government had solemnly pointed out in his official letter to the consul of French Consulate in Guangzhou that, "it is indeed without a doubt that Xisha Qundao is part of China's territory".
In April 1933, France occupied the islets near the Nanwei Dao of the China's Nansha Qundao. Yet at that time, France did not announce the news of its occupying of Nansha Qundao and Reefs immediately.
On June 7, 1933, The National Committee for the Examination of the Land and Sea Maps, which was composed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of the Navy and other institutions of the Republic of China, reviewed and approved the names of individual islands, reefs, shoals and cays of China's Nanhai Zhudao.
On July 25, 1933, France announced its occupation of the 9 islands of Nansha Qundao (including Nanwei Dao, Taiping Dao, Zhongye Dao, Nanyao Dao, Beizi Dao, Nanzi Dao, Hongxiu Dao, Anbo Shazhou and Yangxin Shazhou) taking "they were ownerless lands" as an excuse. This is the "Incident of France's Occupation of the Nine Islets". However, when the French ships landed on the Dao, there were already Chinese fishermen living on the Dao and Chinese slogans could be found on the Dao.
On July 26, 1933, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China made a statement, "on the coral Islands between the Philippines and Annam, there were just Chinese fishermen living there. Thus they are regarded as China's territory in the international community. Yet we are so surprised to know from some official reports of the French side just now, that France has officially announced its occupation of them. What kind of basis do they have to make such an announcement? The French government hasn't published its reason. So the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called our Embassy in France to inquire about the actual situation. Besides, currently, both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Navy are proactively working on ways of coping with this situation, and have lodged a strong protest against such act of the French government."
In January 1935, The National Committee for the Examination of the Land and Sea Maps, which was composed of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of the Navy and other institutions of the Republic of China, reviewed, approved, and published the Chinese and English Places Names Table of the Islands in the South China Sea, which included names for 132 Islands and reefs (among them, 29 were in Xisha Qundao, 96 were in Nansha Qundao).
In April 1935, the Navy Hydrographic Bureau of the Republic of China completed the field surveying of Nanhai Zhudao, and The National Committee for the Examination of the Land and Sea Maps reviewed and published Zhong Guo Nan Hai Ge Dao Yu Tu (Map of the South China Sea Islands of China), clearly indicating the specific names and locations of the 135 islands and reefs of Nanhai Zhudao including Nansha Qundao.
In September 1937, the Japanese invaded China's Dongsha Qundao.
From November 1938 to March 1939, the Japanese invaded China's Xisha Qundao.
On March 30, 1939, the Japanese expelled the stay-behind personnel of France, and occupied Tuansha Qundao (i.e. Nansha Qundao).
On April 9, 1939, Japan announced its occupation of 3 Islands including the Tuansha Qundao, and changed the name of Tuansha Qundao into "Xinnan Qundao". The Office of Governor-general of Taiwan declared with the No.122 official notice that it had jurisdiction over the "Xinnan Qundao", together with Xisha Qundao and Dongsha Qundao. And it was incorporated into Gaoxiong City.
In December 1943, China, the US and the UK issued the Cairo Declaration. It was provided that Japan should return the Chinese territory including Nanhai Zhudao and the provision went as follow, "all the Islands that Japan acquired or occupied in the Pacific since the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 be restored to the countries that originally own them, and all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchu, Taiwan, and Penghu Islands shall be restored to China". Nanhai Zhudao was occupied by Japan during the Japanese War of Aggression against China. According to the provision of Cairo Declaration, they should of course be returned to China.
On July 26, 1945, China, the United States and the United Kingdom issued the Potsdam Proclamation that urged Japan to surrender. That Proclamation emphasized that "the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out. And the sovereignty of Japan shall be limited to Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and other islets determined by the three of us".
On November 24, 1946, the two warships to take over Xisha Qundao, namely Yongxing Ship and Zhongjian Ship, which were led by Yao Ruyu, arrived at the Wude Dao. The name of this Dao was changed to Yongxing Dao in memory of the taking-over warship, the Yongxing Ship. And a monument engraved with Nan Hai Ping Fan (The barrier of the South Sea) was erected to commemorate the Navy's taking over of Xisha Qundao.
On December 12, 1946, the Taiping Destroyer and the Zhongye Tank Landing Ship to take over Nansha Qundao, which were led by the Commander-in-chief Lin Zun, arrived at Changdao Dao, the main Dao of Nansha Qundao. And the name of this Dao was changed to Taiping Dao in memory of the taking-over ship, the Taiping Destroyer. And a stone monument engraved with "Taiping Dao of Nansha Qundao" was erected there. On December 14, a flag-raising ceremony was carried out by the Navy officers and soldiers who had entered and would be stationed on the Dao as well as representatives of different ministries and Guangdong Provincial Government.
On December 1, 1947, the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of China officially published the Table of Old and New Names of Nanhai Zhudao. In this table, "Nan Hai Ge Dao Yu" was changed to "Nanhai Zhudao". One of the two "Dong Sha Dao" was changed to "Dong Sha Qun Dao (Dongsha Qundao)". Tuan Sha Qun Dao was changed to Nan Sha Qun Dao (Nansha Qundao), and Nan Sha Qun Dao was changed to Zhong Sha Qun Dao (Zhongsha Qundao). 172 place names of Nanhai Zhudao were reviewed and re-approved.
In December 1947, the Nan Hai Zhu Dao Wei Zhi Tu (the Location Map of Nanhai Zhudao) was drew by the Department of Administrative Regions & Borders of the Ministry of Interior, and published by the Survey Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China.
In February 1948, the Department of Administrative Regions & Borders of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of China published the Zhong Hua Min Guo Xing Zheng Qu Yu Tu (the Maps of Administrative Regions of the Republic of China) and the Nan Hai Zhu Dao Wei Zhi Tu (the Location Map of Nanhai Zhudao) was attached. In this attached map, the South China Sea dotted line consisting of 11 sections of line was marked out starting from the Beilun Estuary of the China-Vietnam Border in the west, to the northeast of Taiwan in the east. Within the line, Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Nansha Qundao were all marked out, so did the names of Zengmu Ansha (James Shoal) and the majority of the Islands and reefs. The southernmost of the dotted line was marked at about 4ºN.
On January 21, 1949, the Republic of China officially set up Hainan Special Administrative Region directly under the Executive Yuan. This Special Administrative Region included Hainan Dao, Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, and Zhongsha Qundao, Nansha Qundao as well as their affiliated Islands and the sea area.
On April 13, 1949, with the No. 2973 official letter, Chen Zhi-ping, the Chinese Minister to the Philippines made representations to the Foreign Ministry of the Philippines on the cabinet council of the Philippine government's decision of dispatching Rear-admiral Jose V. Andrada to "inspect" Taiping Dao of Nansha Qundao and plotting to relocate immigrants there. It was stated that Taiping Dao was China's territory. The Vice Foreign Minister of the Philippines Felino Neri replied by a letter claiming that "the cabinet was just discussing that more protection should be given to the Philippine fishermen who were reportedly conducting activities (editor's note: fishing) in the nearby water areas of the Itu Aba Dao (editor's note: i.e. Taiping Dao)". It was confirmed that the Philippines did not have sovereignty claims over Taiping Dao.
The book Zhi Nan Zheng Fa (the Orthodox Principles about How to Use a Compass) compiled in the early Qing Dynasty had records about the "Wanli Changsha" and the "Wanli Shitang". Herein, the "Wanli Changsha" refers to Nansha Qundao, while the "Wanli Shitang" refers to Xisha Qundao.
In 1678AD (the 17th year of Emperor Kangxi's reign of the Qing Dynasty), the Wan Zhou Zhi (Chorography of Wanzhou) compiled by Li Yan recorded that "in Wanzhou, there are Qianli Shitang and Wanli Changsha". It demonstrated that at that time Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao were under the jurisdiction of Wanzhou, Qiongzhou Prefecture, Guangdong Province (in today's Wanning County and Lingshui County of Hainan Province).
1710AD-1712AD (From the 49th year to the 51st year of Emperor Kangxi's reign of the Qing Dynasty): The Chorography of Quanzhou Prefecture during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty recorded that Wu Sheng, deputy governor of Guangdong Naval Forces once headed the naval forces to patrol the sea territory. "From Qiongya, via Tonggu, to Qizhouyang and Sigengsha, of all the surrounding three thousand li, he made the inspection tour in person". Herein, the so-called "Qizhouyang" is today's sea area around Xisha Qundao, the patrol task of which was undertaken by the Naval Forces of Guangdong.
1724AD-1817AD (from the 2nd year of Emperor Yongzheng's reign to the 22nd year of Emperor Jiaqing's reign of the Qing Dynasty): The government of the Qing Dynasty had drew Nanhai Zhudao in authoritative maps, and exercised jurisdiction over Nanhai Zhudao. Many maps such as Tian Xia Zong Yu Tu (General Map of Geography of the All-under-heaven) of Qing Zhi Sheng Fen Tu (Map of the Provinces Directly under the Imperial Qing Authority) in the year of 1724 (the 2nd year of Emperor Yongzheng's reign), the Tian Xia Zong Yu Tu (General Map of Geography of the All-under-heaven) of Huang Qing Ge Zhi Sheng Fen Tu (Map of the Provinces Directly under the Imperial Qing Authority) in the year of 1755 (the 20th year of Emperor Qianlong's reign), the Da Qing Wan Nian Yi Tong Tian Xia Quan Tu (Map of the Eternally Unified All-under-heaven of the Great Qing Empire) in the year of 1767 (the 32nd year of the Emperor Qianlong's reign), the Da Qing Wan Nian Yi Tong Di Li Quan Tu (Map of the Unified All-under-heaven of the Great Qing Empire) in the year of 1810 (the 15th year of Emperor Jiaqing's reign) and the Da Qing Yi Tong Tian Xia Quan Tu (Map of the Unified All-under-heaven of the Great Qing Empire) had universally included Nanhai Zhudao into the territory of China.
In the year of 1730 (the 8th year of Emperor Yongzheng's reign of the Qing Dynasty), the book Hai Guo Wen Jian Lu (Records of Things Seen and Heard about the Coastal Regions) by Chen Lunjiong recorded that, "to Wanzhou of Qionghai, it is called as Wanli Changsha". And in its attached map Si Hai Zong Tu (the General Map of the Four Seas), place names such as "Qi", "Shatou", "Changsha", "Qizhouyang" and "Shitang" were marked out. Herein, "Qi" and "Shatou" refers to Dongsha Qundao, "Changsha" refers to Zhongsha Qundao, "Qizhouyang" refers to Xisha Qundao, and "Shitang" refers to Nansha Qundao.
In the year 1838 (the 18th year of Emperor Daoguang's reign of the Qing Dynasty), in the book Yang Fang Ji Yao (A Summary of Coastal Defense), Nanhai Zhudao was drew and indicated in the Zhi Sheng Hai Yang Zong Tu (the General Chart of the Sea of Different Provinces). And "Jiuru Luozhou" and "Shuang Fan Shi" which referred to Xisha Qundao, were explicitly drew and indicated in Guang Dong Yang Tu (Map of the Sea of Guangdong Province) as part of China's coastal defense area.
In the year of 1841 (the 21st year of Emperor Daoguang's reign of the Qing Dynasty), in the Chorography of Qiongzhou Prefecture which was compiled by Zhang Yuesong entrusted by the magistrate of Qiongzhou Prefecture Ming Yi, it was clearly recorded that, "in Wanzhou, there are ten hundred li's Shitang and ten thousand li's Changsha, where are the most dangerous places in the ocean of Qiongzhou." The book also recorded that barracks of the assisting naval forces of Yazhou was established in the southern part of Hainan Dao. The sea areas over which they patrolled had gone as far as the ocean of Siam and Champa (the central part of today's Vietnam).
In the year of 1842 (the 22nd year of Emperor Daoguang's reign of the Qing Dynasty), entrusted by Lin Zexu, Wei Yuan compiled the book Hai Guo Tu Zhi (the Atlas and Annals of Overseas Countries). In the Yuan Tu (Circle Chart) in volume II of the above-mentioned book, it marked out place names such as "Wanli Changsha", "Qianli Shitang" and "Qizhouyang", which referred to Zhongsha Qundao, Nansha Qundao and Xisha Qundao of Nanhai Zhudao respectively.
In the year of 1868 (the 7th year of Emperor Tongzhi's reign of the Qing Dynasty), the book A Guidebook on China Sea compiled by the Sea Chart Bureau of British Admiralty had documented the Chinese fishermen's activities on Nansha Qundao. At Zhenghe Qunjiao (Tizard Banks) there were "fishermen of Hainan Province living by catching sea cucumbers and conches. Their footprints can be found on each and every island. Some even reside among the reefs for a long time. Every year, there will be small boats from Hainan sailing towards the island. Grains and other necessities of life will be brought in exchange for sea cucumbers and conches with the fishermen. The boat leaves Hainan every December or January, and returns as the occurrence of the first southwest wind. The spring water on the island of Itu Aba (Taiping Dao) is better than that of elsewhere."
In the year of 1876 (the 2nd year of Emperor Guangxu's reign of the Qing Dynasty), in the book Shi Xi Ji Cheng (Memoir of a Mission to the West) written by Guo Songtao, minister of the Qing Government to Britain, it recorded that "on the high noon of 24, we have travelled for 831 li (1 li =0.5 kilometer). We are now at 17º30'N of the equator, I supposed about 200 or 300 li to the south of Qiongzhou. The boatman called it Qinaxi (China Sea), which seems to mean the ocean of China...nearby it is Paracel Dao (i.e. Xisha Qundao), where corals are with poor quality. It is an island belonging to China."
Around 1880 (during the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty), the General Chart of the Coast of Eight Provinces-the Chart of Shitang Reefs had given a description of "Shitang reefs of Badasi Dao, Hainan, Chaozhou, Guangdong Province" (today's Dongsha Qundao). Herein, "Badasi" is the transliteration of Pratas. In the chart, there is an annotation goes as "therefore, it had been under discussion that a light beacon be established in both the southeast and northeast corner of Shitang, and a light tower be built on the island, so that ships coming here would be aware of keeping off." Planning to build a light tower showed that the Government of the Qing Dynasty had exercised jurisdiction over the Shitang Reefs.
On June 26, 1887 (the 13th year of Emperor Guangxu's reign of the Qing Dynasty), the Chinese government and the French government (representing Vietnam) signed the China-France Special Treaty of Further Discussion on Border Affairs.
On December 10, 1898, the US and Spain signed the Treaty of Peace between the US and Spain (abbr. US-Spain Paris Treaty) in Paris. The third clause of this treaty provided that, Spain shall cede all the islands generally known as the Philippine Islands to the US. According to this treaty, the western border of the Philippine territory was as follow: starting from the intersection of 4°45'N and 119°35'E and goes northwards until 7°40'N. And then move westwards along this line of latitude to the intersection with 118°E. Then move northwards along the meridian line of 118°E to the intersection with 20°N. China's Huangyan Dao (Scarborough Shoal) and all the islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao were not included in the ceded islands described in this treaty.
On November 7, 1900, the US and Spain signed the Treaty between Spain and the US for the Cession of the Outlying Philippine Islands (i.e. the US-Spain Washington Treaty of 1900) in Washington. It provided that Spain will cede to the US all the ownership and other rights over any and all islands which were parts of the Philippine islands but beyond the border line as described in the third clause of the Paris Treaty that Spain might have at the time when the said Treaty was being signed. It shows that Nansha Qundao and Huangyan Dao were not included as parts of the Philippine islands for they are not included in the scope of islands as described in this treaty.
In April 1909 (the 1st year of Emperor Xuantong's reign of the Qing Dynasty), Zhang Renjun, the governor of Guangdong and Guangxi ordered Li Zhun, the commander-in-chief of Guangdong Naval Forces to head naval officers and soldiers, about 170 people, to cruise and inspect over Xisha Qundao, boarding three warships namely, the Fubo ship, the Guangjin Ship and the Chenhang Ship respectively. He found out 15 islands, named them and engraved stones to record this. He also hoisted flag and fired a salvo on the Yongxing Dao to declare sovereignty.
According to historical records, as early as the 2nd century BC, during the reign of Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, the Chinese people had already conducted navigation on the South China Sea. And they had discovered Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao in their long-time navigation and production practices.
In the early 2nd century, Yi Wu Zhi (Annals of Unusual Things) by Yang Fu, recorded that "around the Qitou of Zhanghai (literally means the sea of rising tides), the water is shallow, and it is abundant in lodestones". Therein, Zhanghai was how the Chinese people called the South China Sea back then. It was so named because of the frequent occurrence of rising tides there. And Qitou referred to the islands, reefs, cays and shoals of Nanhai Zhudao including Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao.
The Period of the Three Kingdoms（AD220-280）
In Nan Zhou Yi Wu Zhi (Annals of Unusual Things from the Southern Regions) by Wan Zhen, the prefecture chief of Danyang in the State of Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period, and it gave an account of the navigation routes from Malaya to Chinese mainland in the Han Dynasty. And the narration went as "...to the northeast, a very huge Qitou emerges from Zhanghai, wherein the water is shallow and abundant in lodestones." Herein, the lodestones refer to the then-still-submerged shoals and reefs in Nanhai Zhudao. They were called as lodestones because ships that ran into these submerged reefs would be stranded, unable to move away.
In the early 3rd century, Kang Tai and Zhu Ying, generals of the State of Wu were dispatched to neighboring kingdoms such as Funan (today's Cambodia and its surrounding area). In Fu Nan Zhuan (An Account of Funan) written by them, it gave a very accurate description on the form of Nanhai Zhudao as well as its causes of formation as follows: "in Zhanghai, to the corals shoal, there is Pangaea at the bottom of the shoal, upon which the corals grow".
789AD (the 5th year of Emperor Zhenyuan's reign of the Tang Dynasty): according to what Zhao Rushi, supervisor of Maritime Trade Bureau of Quanzhou, Fujian in the Southern Song Dynasty recorded in his book Zhu Fan Zhi (Annals of Foreign Countries) written in the year 1225, "...in the 5th year of Emperor Zhenyuan's reign of Tang Dynasty, Qiongzhou was established as Du Fu (a commandery), and today this practice carries on as befo...to Jiyang (today's Sanya City), it is the border of the sea, neither lands nor intertidal zones can be found here. [Beyond the port of Quanzhou,] there are two islands, one called Wuli and the other Sujilang. To the south, there lies Champa; to the west, Chân Lạp. To the east, there are thousands of li's Changsha and Shichuang where the sea and the sky merge." It recorded that today's Hainan was set up as a Commandery in the Tang Dynasty, and a description on Nanhai Zhudao was given therein.
1044AD (the 4th year of Emperor Qingli's reign of the Song Dynasty): in Wu Jing Zong Yao (Outline Record of Military Affairs) with an introduction by Emperor Renzong of Northern Song Dynasty, it records that the imperial court of Northern Song Dynasty "ordered the imperial army to garrison the border, and established barracks for the sea-patrolling naval forces" in Guangnan (today's Lingnan area), "stored salted fishes in the naval ships", "moved towards southwest from Tunmen Mountain using the east wind, and arrived Jiuru Luozhou (today's Xisha Qundao) within seven days". It demonstrated that the imperial court of the Northern Song Dynasty had included Xisha Qundao into its jurisdiction, and sent naval "battle ships" to patrol there.
1225AD (the 1st year of Emperor Baoqing's reign of the Song Dynasty): in the forewords of Zhu Fan Zhi (Annals of Foreign Countries) written by Zhao Rushi, supervisor of Maritime Trade Bureau of Quanzhou, Fujian of the Southern Song Dynasty, it mentioned about a chart marking out Nanhai Zhudao, Zhu Fan Tu (A Map of Foreign Countries), and said that this map "has marked out the strategically important places such as the so-called Shichuang/tang (rocky reefs) and Changsha (long sand cays)".
1293AD (the 30th year of Emperor Zhiyuan's reign of the Yuan Dynasty): according to the records of History of Yuan Dynasty-the Biography of Shi Bi, in the early 30th year of Zhiyuan reign, Shi Bi, a general of the Yuan Dynasty led ten hundreds of naval ships, "starting from Quanzhou...across Qizhouyang, Wanli (ten thousand li) Shitang, and passed by the boundary of Jiaozhi and Champa". It documented the naval forces of Yuan Dynasty had carried out patrol mission and exercised jurisdiction over Nanhai Zhudao.
1349AD (the 9th year of Emperor Zhizheng's reign of the Yuan Dynasty): in Dao Yi Zhi Lüe (Brief Annals of Foreign Islands) written by Wang Dayuan, a navigator of the Yuan Dynasty, it recorded that "The skeleton of Shitang originated from Chaozhou. Meandering like a serpent across the vast sea, and passing many a maritime country, it is commonly called Wanli Shitang (ten thousand-li rocky reefs)... the geographical position is readily intelligible. In one direction, it spreads to Java. In a second one, it spreads to Borneo and Timor. In a third one, it spreads to the land of Kunlun (refers to China) region beyond the Western Ocean." Herein, the "Wanli Shitang" refers to Nanhai Zhudao including Nansha Qundao.
In 1402AD, in the Hun Yi Jiang Li Li Dai Guo Du Zhi Tu (A Universal Map Marked with the Capitals of Different Times) drew by a Korean named Li Hui based on the maps of the Yuan Dynasty of China, it marked the names of Shitang, Changsha and Shitang successively in the South China Sea from northeast to the southwest. Judging by the locations marked in the map, the first Shitang refers to Dongsha Qundao, Changsha refers to Xisha Qundao, and the second Shitang refers to Nansha Qundao.
In 1403AD (the 1st year of Emperor Yongle's reign of the Ming Dynasty), a book titled Shun Feng Xiang Song (Bon Voyage with a Tail Wind) has records about China's maritime navigation activities as well as the islands en route, which goes as "when the ship approaches the Wailuo Port, heads towards it, and continues to sail eastwards for 7 Jing (14 hours), and you will arrive at the Wanli Shitang. Within it, there is a red rock islet, which is not high." The "Wanli Shitang" herein refers to Xisha Qundao.
1405AD～1433AD (from the 3rd year of Emperor Yongle’s reign to the 8th year of Emperor Xuande's reign of the Ming Dynasty): Zheng He went to the west ocean for 7 times. In the famous Zheng He Navigation Chart, originally called as The Map of Treasure-ship Fleet Sailing to Barbarian Countries from Longjiangguan Pass, more than 500 difference place names were explicitly marked out. Among them, about 200 places belong to part of China’s territory. And it marked The South China Sea Islands respectively as "Shitang", "Wansheng Shitangyu" and "Shixing Shitang".
Around 1511AD (the 6th year of Emperor Zhengde's reign of the Ming Dynasty), the book Qiong Tai Wai Ji (An Apocryphal Chorography of Qiongtai, today’s Hainan) recorded that, "the Changsha and Shitang to the east of (Wan) Zhou are lands encompassed by the sea. Every time when the strong typhoon strikes, the tides rise, the houses will be flooded over and the farmlands be inundated. Either gains or losses are for the people to get or suffer." It demonstrated that at that time, the fishermen in China not only had used Nanhai Zhudao as a base for fishery production, but also had built houses and reclaimed farmlands on the island to carry out agricultural production there.
1521AD (the 16th year of Emperor Zhengde's reign of the Ming Dynasty): in the entry of "territory" in the book Zheng De Qiong Tai Zhi (Chorography of Qiongtai during the Emperor Zhengde's Reign) compiled by Tang Zou, it recorded that "and to the east of Qiongtai, surrounded by the sea, there are Qianli Changsha (ten hundred li's long sand cays) and Wanli Shitang (ten thousand li's rocky reefs)". It was clearly stated that Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao were within the territorial scope of China.
1617AD (the 45th year of Emperor Wanli's reign of the Ming Dynasty): in the book Dong Xi Yang Kao (Studies on the Ocean East and West) compiled by Zhang Xie, it recorded that "it is extremely dangerous for ships to pass through this place. Moving slightly eastwards, there is the Wanli Shitang". The "Wanli Shitang" herein refers to Xisha Qundao.
In 1637AD (the 10th year of Emperor Chongzhen of the Ming Dynasty), the Wu Bei Mi Shu Di Li Fu Tu (Attached Maps of Favorable Geographical Positions for Armaments and Military Secretary) compiled by Shi Yongtu had explicitly included Nanhai Zhudao into China's territory.
The Hai Nan Wei Zhi Hui Qian Shi Chai Gong Mu Zhi Ming (Epitaph of General Chai, Military Commander of Hainan Wei) of the Ming Dynasty recorded that, "Guangdong is close to the sea, all the neighboring kingdoms overseas are our affiliated kingdoms", "His Honor commands more than ten thousand soldiers, and 50 large ships", to patrol "tens of thousands li's seaway". It revealed that in the Ming Dynasty, the Hainan Wei had already carried out patrolling mission and exercised jurisdiction over Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao as well as Nansha Qundao.
The book Jing Lu Bu (Book of Seaways) is a navigation guidebook used by the Chinese fishermen while carrying out fishery production since the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It recorded the compass bearing and number of Jing (1 jing equals to 2 hours) of the fishermen's navigation among the different islands and reefs of Xisha Qundao and Nansha Qundao. In this book, it gave an account of more than 70 place names of Nansha Qundao habitually used by fishermen of Hainan as well as their specific locations. And it had recorded more than 100 different Jing Lu (seaways) among different islands and reefs of Nansha Qundao.