VietNamNet Bridge – Published by the Chinese states in 1908, 1919 and 1933, the three atlases that are displayed at an exhibition in Hanoi do not mention Hoang Sa and Truong Sa though China still claims “historic sovereignty” with the two islands.
The three atlases are a small part of the exhibition of almost 150 maps and documents, artifacts and publications as the historical evidence and legal proofs of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the islands Hoang Sa and Truong Sa in the East Sea. The exhibition – held by the Ministry of Information and Communications – opened on July 9 at the Museum of Military History in Hanoi.
Specifically, the exhibits include 95 maps proving Vietnam’s sovereignty to the Truong Sa (Paracel) and Hoang Sa (Spratly) Islands, published by Vietnam, the West and China from the sixteenth century to the present.
There are three atlas (official maps) by the Chinese government published in 1908, 1919 and 1933, including Chinese geographic map (published in 1908, in English); Chinese postal map published by the General Department of Post, Ministry of Transport of the Republic of China in Nanjing in 1919, in the three languages of Chinese, English and French; China postal map re-published by the General Department of Post of the Ministry Transport of the Republic of China in Nanjing in 1933, in the three languages of Chinese, English and French.
The atlases are the products of the program to set up postal maps launched by the Qing Dynasty in 1906 and pursued by the Republic of China government in the following year. The maps are detailed the roads for document and letter delivery in each province of China. The places that do not belong to China’s territory do not appear in the maps. Therefore, the southernmost point of China in the atlases is always the island of Hainan. The atlases do not mention Hoang Sa and Truong Sa of Vietnam.
This proves that until the Qing Dynasty released the atlases in 1908 and later the Republic of China government republished them in 1919 and 1933, the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa of Vietnam were still outside the so-called irrational “historic rights” of China.