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Backgrounder: China's sovereignty over Nansha Islands long recognized by int'l community

(Xinhua)    19:00, April 25, 2016

BEIJING, April 25 -- China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters surrounding them.

As a matter of fact, for quite a long period of time after World War II (WWII), no country had challenged China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and related rights in the South China Sea, long recognized by the international community, including the United States, Japan and France.


As China's ally during WWII, the United States itself had actively supported China in the latter's efforts to recover the Nansha Islands.

The warships sent by the then Kuomintang (KMT) government of China to recover the Nansha Islands in 1946 were actually provided by the United States.

In addition, books, periodicals and maps published in the United States indicate clearly that the Nansha Islands are part of Chinese territories.

For example, the Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World published in 1961, the Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations published in 1963 and the Encyclopedia of World Administration Division published in 1971 all recognize China's sovereignty over the islands.


After Japan's WWII surrender, the San Francisco Peace Treaty signed in 1951 stipulates that Japan give up all rights and claims regarding the Nansha Islands and the Xisha Islands.

In 1952, the Japanese government officially states that it renounces all "rights, title and claim to Taiwan, Penghu Islands as well as Nansha and Xisha islands."

China and Japan normalized their diplomatic ties in 1972. In the China-Japan Joint Communique, the Japanese government pledges that it would adhere to Article 8 of the Potsdam Proclamation that "the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out."

The Cairo Declaration states that Japan must return the territories that it had stolen from China.

The Nansha Islands are also recognized as China's territory in many authoritative books and maps published in Japan between 1960s and 1970s, such as the Yearbook of New China produced by Japan's Institute of China Affairs in 1966 and the Japanese Kyodo World Manual of 1979.


During the negotiation process of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, France, as a country that had once occupied some isles of the Nansha island groups, had made no claim at all over sovereignty or any rights on Nansha Islands.

The Atlas International Larousse Politique et Economique published by France in 1956 clearly marks Dongsha Islands, Nansha Islands and Zhongsha Islands as China's territory.

The General Map of the World published by Institut Geographique National Francais (1968) and the Atlas Larousse Modern published in Paris (1969) also mark the Nansha Islands as part of Chinese territory.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Yuan Can,Bianji)

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