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3/9/2014 7:23:33 PM

But the committee didn't seem to understand this obscure English term because they translated "shoal" as " tan" - the Chinese word for beach or sandbank - a feature which is usually above water. The committee, never having visited the area, seems to have declared James Shoal/Zengmu Tan to be a piece of land and therefore a piece of China.

Apparently, Chinese leaders and cartographers claimed James Shoal as China’s southernmost territory even without seeing James Shoal. Certainly, no Chinese could have gone ashore to “visit” James Shoal. James Shoal is the only national border in the world that is fully submerged and beyond the territorial sea of the claimant state.

Today, when Chinese naval vessels visit James Shoal, they would occasionally drop to the bottom of James Shoal cement and steel markers to designate China’s southernmost territory. Of course, this is blatantly contrary to UNCLOS, which prohibits any state from appropriating submerged features beyond its territorial sea. Not even Malaysia, whose coastline is just 50 NM away, can claim James Shoal as its sovereign territory.

Bill Hayton’s account of how James Shoal became China’s southernmost territory gives us an idea how dubious are China’s “historical facts” under its so-called 9-dashed line claim. China’s official proclamation in 1980 that Nanhai island is in the Paracels also exposes China’s false claim to any historical link to Scarborough Shoal.

Indeed, all Chinese official maps during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties placed the southernmost border of China at Hainan Island. The famous 17th century Qing Dynasty Kangxi maps, prepared by the Jesuit missionaries who became advisers to Emperor Kangxi, placed Hainan Island as the southernmost border of China. None of the Chinese dynasty maps ever mentioned the Paracels, the Spratlys, Scarborough Shoal, the 9-dashed lines or the U-shaped lines.

Guangdong province of China first claimed the Paracels in 1909. China itself claimed the Paracels only in 1932 and the Spratlys only in 1946 after World War II. In the 1951 San Francisco Peace Conference that produced the Peace Treaty of San Francisco, the victorious allies rejected by a vote of 48 states to 3 states (only the Soviet Union, Poland and Czechoslovakia dissented) to turn over possession of the Paracels and Spratlys to China as demanded by the Soviet Union on behalf of China.

As late as in 1932, China has been telling the world that its southernmost border was Hainan Island. In a Note Verbale to the French Government on September 29, 1932 protesting the French occupation of the Paracels, the Chinese Government officially declared:

Note of 29 September 1932 from the Legation of the Chinese Republic in France to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Paris

On the instructions of its Government, the Legation of the Chinese Republic in France has the honor to transmit its Government’s reply to the Foreign Ministry’s Note of 4 January 1932 on the subject of the Paracel Islands.

The Si-Chao-Chuin-Tao Islands, also known as Tsi-Cheou-Yang and called the Paracel Islands in the foreign tongue, lie in the territorial sea of Kwangtung Province (South China Sea); the northeast are the Ton-Chao Islands; the Si-Chao-Chuin-Tao Islands form one group among all the islands in the South China Sea which are an integral part of the territorial sea of Kwangtung Province.

According to the reports on the Si-Chao-Chuin-Tao (Paracel) Islands drawn up in the Year XVII of the Chinese Republic (1926) by Mr. Shen-Pang-Fei, President of the Commission of Inquiry into these islands, and to the files of these islands compiled by the Department of Industry of Kwangtung Province, the islands lie between longitude 100°13’ and 112°47’ east. More than 20 in number, large and small, most of them are barren sandbanks, 10 or so are rocks and 8 are true islands. The eastern group is called the Amphitrites and the western group the Crescent. These groups lie 145 nautical miles from Hainan Island, and form the southernmost part of Chinese territory.

In short, in 1932 the Chinese Government officially declared to the world that the “southernmost part of Chinese territory” or border was Hainan Island, which for the first time according to the Chinese included the Paracels. This declaration categorically affirmed the previous official maps of the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties that showed Hainan Island as the southernmost territory or border of China. James Shoal, 800 NM away from the Paracels and 950 NW from Hainan Island, was never in Chinese history the southernmost territory or border of China.

The same is obviously true for Scarborough Shoal, which is 380 NM from the Paracels and 500 NM from Hainan Island. Since Hainan Island or even the Paracels are the southernmost territory or border of China as officially declared by China in its September 29, 1932 Note Verbale to the French Government, then Scarborough Shoal is not part of, and could never have been



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