Chronology of Sovereignty over Paracels and Spratlys Islands

Paracel Islands: inhabitable except some scattered Chinese  garrisons

paracel spratly 88 Chronology of Sovereignty over Paracels and Spratlys Islands

Chinese cultural relics in the Paracel islands dating from the Tang and Song dynasty eras indicate there is some evidence of Chinese visited on the islands in these periods.


Ancient Vietnamese maps record B
ai Cát Vàng
(Golden Sandbanks, as claimed today byVietnam referring to both Paracel and Spratly Islands).

  • 1537: Portuguese sailor de Pinto names the islands the Ilhas dos Tavaquerro
  • 1664-1911:  China became a colony of the Great Empire of Manchus, the Qing Dynasty                                 
  • 1816 : Vietnam Empire’s flag planted in a formal  ceremony on the Paracels in the presence of Emperor Gia Long and occupied by Hoang Sa flotilla of Vietnam Empire                   
  • 1884: Vietnam Empire became a protectorate of French Empire; Vietnamese emperors reigned, but the French governed
  • 1885: Great Empire of Manchus restates its claim to the Southern Islands.
  • 1887: Claimed by France as part of French Indochina on behalf of Vietnam empire because it belonged to  Vietnam                                          
  • 1911: China became independent from Manchu Empire since 1644; Republic of China was founded.
  • 1932: China protests French sovereignty over the islands.
  • 21 Dec 1933 : Annexed to French Indochina, part of Ba Ria  province with the Vietnamese emperor's approval
  • 4 Apr 1939 : Japan declares the Paracel Islands a protectorate, but not occupied by  Japan
  • 1941: Annexed by Japan, part of Taiwan province.
  • November 22–26, 1943: Cairo Conference among Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shekFranklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill declared: “Japan be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914″, “all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as ManchuriaFormosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China”, and that “in due course Korea shall become free and independent”. Paracels and Spratlys were not mentioned to be given to China.
  • Cairo conference Chronology of Sovereignty over Paracels and Spratlys Islands

    "Japan be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914", "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China", and that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent".

  • Oct 1946:Claimed by Republic of China (Xisha Islands),part of Gugangdong province; but not occupied 
  • 1949: Claimed and occupied by State of Vietnam, independent from France within the French Union
  • 7 Jul 1951: Claimed by State of Vietnam.
  • 8 Sep 1951: Japan officially renounces sovereignty by PeaceTreaty of San Francisco. Claimed by State of Vietnam at the Treaty of San Francisco without  any       objections from 51 countries present.                                  
  • 24 Mar 1953 : China creates the 'Paracels, Spratlys, and Zhongsha Islands Authority'   established as a county-level administrative division on Woody Island   (named 4 Mar 1963 - 22 Oct 1981 Paracels, Spratlys, and Zhongsha Islands  Revolutionary Committee) withinGuangdong (from 1984 Hainan).                                                                           
  • April 27 1954: Geneva convention, French transferred all sovereignty of the  islands to  State of Vietnam (South Vietnam);People’s Republic  of China (PRC) was  a signatory country.                                                       
  • 15 Jun 1956: North Vietnam recognized the PRC’s declaration of its maritime borders
  • 22 Oct 1956: Formally annexed and occupied by South Vietnam, part of Phuoc Tuy  province.
  • 13 Jul 1961: Placed under Quang Nam province by South Vietnam.
  • 20 Jan 1974 :Invaded by the People's Republic of China and South Vietnamese forces were expelled. Then annexed to be part of Gugangdong province in 1988                 1 Jul 1976 : Vietnam reunified and claimed by Vietnam (Hoang Sa)   
  • 1982 : all claimants including China ratify UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION             ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS)     

Spratly Islands: Inhabitable except

  • China (about 450 soldiers); 
  • Malaysia (70-90); 
  • the Philippines  (about 100); and 
  • Vietnam (about 1,500); 
  • Brunei is a claimant but has no outposts.
map occupation Chronology of Sovereignty over Paracels and Spratlys Islands

current occupations by different claimants

 

conflict claims Chronology of Sovereignty over Paracels and Spratlys Islands

Water territory claimed by different parties

Ancient Vietnamese maps record Bai Cát Vàng (Golden Sandbanks, as claimed today by Vietnam referring to both Paracel and Spratly)

  • 1211: Island group is first shown on a Chinese map of the world
  • 1405:  Visited by China (Nansha Qundao [Southern Islands])     
  • 1530: Sighted by Portuguese explorer Alvarez de Diegoz.   
  • 1606: Claimed by Spain as part of the Philippines   
  • 1791: Visited by British Capt. Henry Spratly discovers Mischief Reef    
  • 1710: Manchu Qing dynasty claims two northern islands and builds a temple on North East Cay
  • 1798: British navy builds an iron observation tower on Itu Aba. 
  • 1802: Claimed and occupied by Hoang Sa Flotilla of Vietnam Empire (Truong  Sa [LongIslands])
  • 29 Mar 1843 :British whaler Richard Spratly spotted what is now known as Spratly Island and Ladd Reef.
  • 1885: Manchu Empire restates its claim to the Southern Islands after Vietnam  became a French protectorate                            
  • 1887 :Claimed by France as part of French Indochina on the behalf of Vietnam empire because it belonged to Vietnam
  • 1898: Specifically excluded from Philippine territory by Treaty of Paris. 
  • 1911: China became independent from Manchu Empire since 1644, Republic of China was founded.
  • 10 Apr 1930: France occupies Itu Aba Island and Amboyna Cay. 
  • 1932: Independent China protests French sovereignty over the islands 
  • 21 Dec 1933: Annexed to French Cochinchina (see Vietnam), part of Ba Ria  
  • 15 Jun 1938: Established as the administrative unit of Truong Sa within Thua Thien province by the Governor-general of French Indo-China .
  • 5 May 1939:Divided into 2 agencies- Croissant and dependencies and Amphirite and dependencies- by Governor-general of French Indo-China.
  • 4 Apr 1939: Japan declares the Spratly Islands a protectorate.
  • 1941: Annexed by Japan, renamed Shinnan Shoto (New Southern Islands),part of Taiwan province; Japan builds submarine base on Itu Aba island
  • November 22–26, 1943: Cairo Conference among Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shekFranklin D. Roosevelt, and Winston Churchill declared: "Japan be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914", "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as ManchuriaFormosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China", and that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent".Paracels and Spratlys were not mentioned to be given to China.
  • Oct 1946: Claimed by China, part of Gugangdong province
  • 1949: Claimed by State of Vietnam, independent within French Union
  • 8 Sep 1951 Japan officially renounces sovereignty by Peace Treaty of San Francisco. Claimed by State of Vietnam at the Treaty of San Francisco without  any objections from 51 countries  present.                                       
  • April 27 1954        Geneva convention, French transferred all sovereignty of the   islands to  State of Vietnam (South Vietnam); People’s  Republic  of China (PRC) was  a signatory country.
  • 15 May 1956: Claimed by Philippine citizen Tomas Cloma as the new state of Kalayaan (Freedom Land)
  • 15 Jun 1956: North Vietnam recognizes the PRC’s declaration of its maritime borders.
  • 22 Oct 1956: Formally annexed by South Vietnam, part of Phuoc Tuy province.
  • 8 Jun 1956 : Taiwan takes Itu Aba (Taiping) island from Philippines.
  • 13 Jul 1961: Placed under Quang Nam province by South Vietnam.
  • 1969 – 1971: U.S. radar station on Spratly Island.
  • 10 Jul 1971: Annexed by the Philippines (from Apr 1972 incorporated into Palawanprovince
  • 5/6 May 1975:’Liberated’ from Saigon regime by Provisional Republic of SouthVietnam. 
  • 1 Jul 1976: Claimed by reunified Vietnam (Truong Sa), part of Khanh  Hoa province                                              
  • 11 Jun 1978 : Philippines officially annexes the island
  • 21 Dec 1979 : Malaysia occupies Swallow Reef (Terumbu Layang); Malaysia publishesa map of its continental shelf that encompasses 12 Spratly  Island features aspart of Sabah state.   
  • 1982 :all claimants including China ratify UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION ON THE LAW OF THE SEA (UNCLOS)    
  • 1983: Malaysia claims Malaysia occupied Swallow Reef (Layang Layang),and Amboyna Cay as part of Sabah state. 
  • 1984: Brunei establishes an exclusive fishing zone that encompasses Louisa Reef.
  • 1988 : China occupies six atolls, taking them by force from Vietnam, part of Gugangdong province (from 13 Apr 1988, Hainan province)
  • 25 Feb 1992:Officially declared part of China by "Law on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone."
  • Feb 1995:  China occupies Mischief Reef, Chinese fishing crews later expelledby Philippine forces on 20-28 Mar 1995.
  • 4 Nov 2002: Claimants sign the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
  • 4 Sept 2011: ASEAN and China sign “Code of Conduct over South China Sea”

 

Territorial Disputes: All of the Spratly Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam;

 

  • China currently occupies 7 areas (Cuarteron, Fiery Cross, Gaven, Hughes, Johnson, Mischief, and Subi);
  • Taiwan occupies one (Itu Aba); and
  • Vietnam occupies 21 areas (Alison, Amboyan, Barque Canada, Central London, Cornwallis South, East London, Da Gri-san, Da Hi Gen, Great Discovery, Ladd, Landsdowne, Pearson, Petley, Sand, Sin Cowe, South Reef, South West Cay, Spratly, Tennent, and West London);
  • parts of them are claimed by Malaysia (which occupies 3- Ardasier, Mariveles and Swallow Reefs); and the Philippines (which occupies 8 areas- Loaita, Nanshan, West York, Lamkian Cay, Thitu, North East Cay, Flat, and Commodore Reef);
  • in 1984, Brunei established an exclusive fishing zone that encompasses Louisa Reef in the southern Spratly Islands but has not publicly claimed the island; claimants in Nov 2002 signed the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea”, a mechanism to ease tension but which fell short of a legally binding “code of conduct”;
  • in Mar 2005, the national oil companies of China, the Philippines, and Vietnam signed a joint accord to conduct marine seismic activities in the Spratly Islands.
  • 2010- 2011, China has been aggressive and assertive at sea.

                             
                             

                            

                             

                             
                                                      

                          

 







 


                            

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