Thư của trang Bauxite Việt Nam gửi đến Hội địa lý quốc gia Hoa Kỳ

Thư của trang Bauxite Việt Nam gửi đến Hội địa lý quốc gia Hoa Kỳ

Nguyễn Huệ Chi - Phạm Toàn - Nguyễn Thế Hùng

National Geographic Maps
The National Geographic Society
1145 17th St, NW
Washington, D.C 20036-4688

14 March 2010

Dear Sir/Madam,

We, a group of Vietnamese scholars, scientists and concerned people, would like to point out a serious error related to your product, the world maps posted on the official website of the National Geographic Society (NGS), http://www.natgeomap.com.

Those listed world maps show the Paracel Islands in Southeast Asia (SEA) with a name claimed by China – Xisha Qundao belonging to China [1]. This would stir up a dispute over the archipelago, whose legal status has not been arbitrated by any international legal body.

The Paracels (named as Hoang Sa in Vietnamese) [2] have been continuously under the sovereignty of Vietnam since the 15th century, a fact which is well documented in historical atlases such as the 15th century Hong Duc atlas as well as numerous other ancient books by Vietnamese and western authors [3-5]. Vietnamese sovereignty was interrupted by French rule in Vietnam from the second half of the 19th century until the first half of the 20th century, when the islands were under French control, according to the Sino-French treaty of 1887 [6]. However, with the end of colonial rule in 1954, the islands officially reverted to Vietnamese control and were administered by the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).

In 1974, taking advantage of the Vietnam War, China forcibly took the Paracels on January 19, 1974 [2]. This armed invasion was against all the rules of international law and, therefore, any major country has not recognized China’s sovereignty claim on the Paracels. Vietnam has never relinquished its rightful ownership of the islands and is pursuing all possible peaceful means to recover them.

Your representation of the Paracels under the official Chinese name of “Xisha” and the indication that they belong to China, are therefore considered to be inappropriate. This would also contradict the official position of the United States government, which takes a neutral attitude toward these disputes.

Recognizing the worldwide reputation of NGS as a major geographic institution, whose publications and maps are widely read and consulted all over the world, we kindly ask you to correct this inadvertent mistake at the earliest possible occasion.

Thank you for your consideration [8]

Yours faithfully,

Representatives of website Bauxite Vietnam:
Nguyen Hue Chi, Professor of Literature
Hanoi, Vietnam

Pham Toan, Writer
Ha Noi, Vietnam

Dr. Nguyen The Hung, Professor
The University of Da Nang, Vietnam

Website: www.boxitvn.net

[1] Labels of Paracel Islands belonging to China and their links on the National Geographic Map website
Map link
Xisha Qundao (Paracel Is)
Paracel Is
Xisha Qundao (Paracel Is)
Administered by China (claimed by Vietnam)
[2] Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cascon Case SPI: Spratly Islands 1974-. URL:http://web.mit.edu/cascon/cases/case_spi.html, accessed March 14, 2010.
[3] Nguyen Nha, Quá trình xác lập chủ quyền của Việt Nam tại quần đảo Hoàng Sa và Trường Sa (The Process of the Establishment of the Sovereignty of Vietnam over the Paracel and Spratly Islands), Ph.D thesis, University of Social Science and Humanities, Vietnam, 2002. Excerpts can be found at http://www.nguyenthaihocfoundation.org/lichsuVN/nguyennha1.htm, accessed March 14, 2010.
[4] Chemillier-Gendreau M, Sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly Islands (2000), The Hague: Kluwer Law International, pp. 35-37. Excertps can be found at http://books.google.com/books?id=58q1SMZbVG0C&pg=PA74&dq=Samuels+%2B+hai+luc#v=onepage&q=Samuels%20%2B%20hai%20luc&f=false
[5] Paracel & Spratly belong to Vietnam, http://www.paracelspratly.com/home/index.php?option=com_news_portal&Itemid=39, accessed March 14, 2010.
[6] Nordic Institute of Asian Study (NIAS), War or peace in the South China Sea? Edited by Timo Kivimäki , NIAS Press 2002.
[7] Brent E. Smith, China’s Maritime Claims in the South China Sea: The Threat to Regional Stability and U.S. Interests. Storming Media, Pentagon Report A736983, 2001.
[8] Sau khi lá thư này được đăng lên, Tiến sĩ và họa sĩ Nguyễn Đình Đăng đã góp ý chỉnh sửa một số chỗ, Nhóm soạn thảo ghi nhận sự đóng góp đó và xin trân trọng cám ơn ông.