China is fabricating and distorting historical documents about its sovereignty claims over the Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes of Vietnam.

Ass. Prof. Dr. Trinh Khac Manh, Director of the Institute of Han-Nom Studies, made the statement after China claimed to have a document dating back 2,000 years relating to its ownership of the archipelagoes.

“This document has never existed,” he said, adding that China’s maps printed in the contemporary period, as well as the early 20th century, show that China’s boundary stops at Hainan Island .

Meanwhile, from the 17th century, Vietnam asserted its sovereignty over Hoang Sa archipelago, Manh affirmed.

A newly-found book titled “Jiaozhou Geography” rewritten from the books of Zhangfu and Mucheng, two authors from the time of the Ming dynasty, also proves that Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Vietnam , he added.

The researcher recently found a primary school text book published by the Chinese government in 1912 in which China ’s southernmost border ended at Hainan Island .

Meanwhile, Vietnam ’s many documents on its sovereignty, law enforcement and resources mining in the two archipelagoes date back a long time ago, and they have been preserved until now.

The Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) on June 3 made public a book that contains 46 documents in Han (Chinese script) and Nom (Vietnamese ideographic script) testifying to Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

The book includes many copies of original historical documents made public for the first time. They contain valuable and important information asserting Vietnam ’s sovereignty and exercise of sovereignty in the area. The oldest Han-Nom map depicting Hoang Sa as belonging to Vietnam is “Thien Nam tu chi lo do thu” (Route Map from the Capital to the Four Directions) drawn by Do Ba in the 17 th century, in which Hoang Sa was called Bai Cat Vang.

The documents will serve as historical and legal evidence confirming Vietnam ’s sovereignty as well as its protection of sovereignty over the two archipelagoes and its maritime zones in the East Sea , said VASS President Nguyen Xuan Thang.

These documents will be published in English, he added.

Vietnam’s sovereignty over the two archipelagoes was also recorded in many history and geography books such as “Dai Viet su ky tuc bien” (Continuation of Historians’ Records of Great Viet) compiled by Lord Trinh Sam in 1775, “Phu bien tap luc” (Miscellaneous Records of Pacification in the Border Area), “Dai Nam thuc luc” (Veritable Records of Dai Nam) by Le Quy Don in 1776, and “Dai Nam nhat thong chi” (History of Unification of Dai Nam) by the National Historiographer’s Office of the Nguyen Dynasty.

The official documents of the Nguyen dynasty wrote that Nguyen Lords and Kings always paid attention to Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes, considering them the sacred territories of the country.-VNA