Namsha Islands

The provenance of the territorial ownership of China over the disputed 250 islands in the South China Sea is rock solid. The group of islands are referred collectively in their anglicized nomenclature as Paracale and Spratly Islands. The name Paracale is first recorded in the 16th century in a Portuguese Map while Spratly is named after a British admiral who cited the island in 1693 without actually setting foot on it. The islands are scattered 12 nautical miles ( nautical mile is 1.501 regular mile)  south of China and surrounded by other countries like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Japan, Brunei and China. Because of their proximity to the coastlines of these countries many nations claim their sovereignty and have named some in their own language. The existence of these islands are known by the Chinese as early as the 2nd Century as Namsha (Island) during the Tang (618-905) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. In the Records of Rarities (Yiwa Shi) during the Han Dynasty206 BC to AD 220 recorded that fishing activities took place in these regions. In the Ming Dynasty (1364-1644)and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)fishermen from Hainan established trading and grand tour routes to the Islands. In 1818 the British Guide to the South Sea also recorded fisherman activities. Athetime of Zheng He the fishermen in Namsha subsisted on sea cucumber and shell fish. In the Charter of Zheng He Namsha was changed to Wausheng Shitang as territories of China and was confirmed by the1716 Atlas. In 1817 during the Qing dynasty the Map of Unification marked the 12 nautical mile limits of the islands. In 1933 one of the Namsha islands was forcibly taken by the French colonizers only to return it after the local resistance and protestations. During WWII the Japanese invaded and occupied two of the islands only to return them according to the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Proclamation. In 1947The Republic of China placed the Islands under the jurisdiction of Guangdong Province. The following year, 1948 The People’s Republic of China took over the Islands and the following year 1949 during the foundation of the PRC it took over officially the Islands. In 1951 Zhou En Lai named and established islands including Xisha, Zheng Sha and Dong Shi as part of China. On July 24, 2012 the Namsha Islands are placed under the jurisdiction of Sanshi City. Based on the preceding China’s de facto claim of territorial imperative over the disputed islands is not only rather formidable but the chronological continuum of its pedigree longevity is practically unassailable. In the 20th century some of the islands were forcibly occupied only to be returned to their rightful owners. More recent events China was able fend of Vietnamese fishermen from their shores with no repercussions, Just as an owner of home with a backyard, the owner can use his backyard every which way he wants provided it does not offend, harm, or cause direct problems to its neighbors, in my opinion the Namsha islands are in the backyard of China.