Maps showing island sovereignty displayed in US

A collection of 40 ancient maps, indicating the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands belong to Vietnam, and two atlases were displayed for the first time at a recent conference in Connecticut, the US.

A map of Vietnam's sea on display for the first time in the US last week. (Source: Tran Thang/VNA)

The conference themed Conflict in the East Sea (internationally known as South China Sea) was held at Yale University on May 6 – 7 by the Council on Southeast Asia Studies and the Council on East Asian Studies of Yale University, along with the Institute for Vietnamese Culture and Education in New York.

The maps are part of a collection of 150 maps belonging to the president of the Institute for Vietnamese Culture and Education, Tran Thang, an American of Vietnamese origin. The institute is a non-profit organisation founded in New York in 2000.

Thang said by email on May 11 that it’s the first time that the ancient maps, which were published by Vietnam (1618-1859); England, America, France, Germany and Scotland (1826 and 1980), and China, were exhibited in the US.

He donated a 150-map collection to Da Nang City’s Institute for Socio-Economic Development in 2012, 40 of which are now being displayed in the US

Thang said 20 maps published by Vietnam and western countries (1618-1859) showed that the Hoang Sa Islands belongs to Vietnam.

Twenty maps published by western countries (1826 and 1980) indicated that the frontier of southern China is Hainan island.

The Vietnamese-American also said he found two Chinese atlases which were published by the Directorate General of Posts, Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of China in 1933 (29 maps) and one atlas of the Chinese Empire, published by the China Inland Mission in 1909 (23 maps). All of them also indicated that the frontier of southern China is Hainan Island.

According to the Institute for Socio-Economic Development of Da Nang, the collection of maps donated by Thang comprise 68 old maps of China showing that China did not have the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands; six maps that indicate those islands belonged to Vietnam; five maps of the Southeast Asian region that show the Paracel and Spratly archipelagos are under Vietnam’s sovereignty.


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