Tran Thang, a Vietnamese American, has presented the Socioeconomic Development Institute in Da Nang City with a collection of ninety maps published from 1626-1980 in China, England, Germany, France and the US, showing that the southernmost border of China ended at Hainan Island and the Truong Sa (Spratly) and Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands always belonged to Vietnam.
Tran Duc Anh Son with maps proving Truong Sa and Hoang Sa Islands as part of Vietnam
Dr. Son said that while implementing research work on Vietnam’s sovereignty of Hoang Sa Islands in Da Nang City, he asked Thang to go to libraries in the US like Princeton, Columbia and Astor to find maps relating to Vietnam’s sovereignty of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands.
Thang found such maps, photographed and sent them to Vietnam so that history experts who are studying the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands can assess their value and accuracy.
Thang later found more maps and spent his personal funds to purchase a total of 90 maps and two atlases and presented them to the Socioeconomic Development Institute in Da Nang City.
The institute plans to exhibit the map collection at the ‘Sea and Island Week’ exhibition in Nha Trang City at the beginning of next year. The collection will then be displayed in Da Nang and Hanoi as well.
According to Dr. Son, Thang purchased ninety maps published in England, German, Australia, Canada, the US and Hong Kong from 1626-1980, and 80 of these maps have already been assessed as genuine and accurate.
The 80 maps measure from 20cm x 25cm to 60cm x 75cm. They comprise of two groups. The first group of 69 maps of China shows the southernmost border of China to end at Hainan Island.
The second group includes 11 maps of Vietnam and Southeast Asia which clearly show that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands always belonged to Vietnam.
|An ancient map of Vietnam on display at the exhibition in Hue, which was printed by Prevost Bellin in Germany in 1747, and which clearly shows that Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) Islands belong to Vietnam|
Besides these maps, Thang also uncovered three China published atlases, proving that the Chinese territory ended at Hainan Island, with no connection to the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands. The atlases are very detailed, showing each province and area of China in great clarity.
The first one, ‘Atlas of the Chinese Empire’ was published in English in 1908 by The China Inland Mission with assistance from the Post General Directorate during the Qing Dynasty.
The second and thirds atlases are named ‘Postal Atlas of China’. These were published in Chinese, English and French by the Post General Directorate under the Ministry of Transport of China in 1919 and 1933.
Tran Duc Anh Son said that the maps uncovered by Thang are valuable because they will help researchers have a basis to prove the sovereignty of Vietnam over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands and reject unfounded sovereignty claims by China to these two islands.