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Analyses and Commentaries

International law and sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes (Part 5)

South China Sea

Part 5: The differences of history in China’s White Paper

To understand the story, reference can be made to the White Paper of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in 1980 and the White Books of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1979, 1981 and 1988. To prove that China has exercised its management over the disputed islands for thousands of years, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs can introduce only three facts as follows:

The first fact: From the Song dynasty (960 – 1127), Chinese navy had patrolled the waters of the Xisha Islands. This assertion is based on an excerpt from Wujing Zongyao (General Programme of Military Affairs) with preface written by Emperor Renzong of the Northern Song. The citation from China’s official document reads:

“The court of the Northern Song orders that imperial troops be dispatched to…

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