by Unorthodox Black Sheep VN for The Saker Blog

(Credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-pacific-13748349 ) I use the image for title

By Unorthodox Black Sheep VN

Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands are the most controversial in the Asia. What I will say here, if my prediction is correct, will causes many Vietnamese and possible Chinese readers angry so much, and I’m not so surprise that Vietnamese readers will call me traitor. The truth, Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands is not belong to Vietnam or China, and Spratly Islands is possible belong to Philippine historically because Philippine have recent document to prove that not the so-called ancient document from Vietnam and China. In conclusion Paracel Islands And Spratly Islands are disputed territories, not sovereign territories, that the fact.

Who discovered Paracel Islands And Spratly Islands?

Paracel Islands, according to CIA Library, it said:

The Paracel Islands are surrounded by productive fishing grounds and by potential oil and gas reserves. In 1932, French Indochina annexed the islands and set up a weather station on Pattle Island; maintenance was continued by its successor, Vietnam. China

So French was the one discovered the Paracel Island and controlled the islands until they left Vietnam. Let me correct little bit here, after Vietnam won the war again France, French stilled control the South Vietnam and we already know that France gave South Vietnam, and it was also mean that Paracel Islands was given to United States after French left Vietnam.

Spratly Islands has a very vague history and there is almost no recorded. However, according to the recent years news, “Spratly Islands long part of Filipino-Muslim’s ancestral domain:”

Manila: The Sultan of Sulu in the southern Philippines has claimed that the contested Spratly Island in the South China Sea was part of the ancestral domain of Filipino-Muslims prior to the arrival of the Spanish colonials in the 16th century, a local paper said.

“China has no right over the Spratly Islands in what it calls the South China Sea because that is part of our ancestral domain,” Majaraj Julmuner Jannaral, Sultanate information officer, told the Philippine Star.

The Sultanate of Sulu has had proprietary rights over the Spratlys because Sabah (now part of Malaysia), the Sulu archipelago in the southern Philippines, and Palawan in southwestern Philippines belonged to the Sultanate of Sulu even before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines in 1521, explained Jannaral, a representative of Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, the reigning Sultan of Sulu and Sabah (Malaysia’s North Borneo).

In 1658, the Sultan of Brunei gave Sabah, Borneo’s eastern and northern part of Borneo to the Sultan of Sulu who helped the former win a civil war. Sabah was recognized as part of the Sultan of Sulu’s sovereignty (in the Philippines).

On June 22, 1878 (during the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines, Baron Von Overbeck, an Austrian, and Alfred Dent, a Briton, who represented the British East India Co (which became North Borneo Co), forged a lease agreement with Sri Paduka Maulana Al Sultan Mohammad Jamalul Alan (representative of Sulu’s Sultanate), to lease Sabah for 5,000 Malaysian ringgits annually.

The company provided arms to the Sultan of Brunei to resist the Spanish colonials in the Philippines.

“Without the Sultan’s consent, the Spaniards (at the end of their colonial rule) illegally transferred the Philippines, including the Sulu archipelago, Sabah, and Guam to the US when Spain and the US signed the Treaty of Paris in 1898,” said Jannaral. It paved the way for the US colonial era in the Philippines.

From the information above, we can understand and conclude that Spratly Islands historically belong to Philippine, uncontrollable by Spanish, and USA took control it after USA colonized Philippines until 1975. After that, we can make the conclusion that USA owned Paracel and Spartly Islands until the 1975.

Why do I say that islands are not belong to Vietnam and China?

Let begin about South Vietnam first. After USA build the South Vietnamese Government, USA had given the island to South Vietnam during 60s until 1975 so the islands belong to South Vietnam legally. In 1974, Chinese Navy invaded Paracel Islands successfully and control them until now. After 1975, Taiwan wanted to take control Spratly Island but Vietnam took first (This is what I heard from 60s and 70s Vietnamese Veteran). In conclusion, Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands were not belong to Vietnam historically.

Let me being brutal honest here, if the islands are belong to Vietnam since the ancient times or since the 10th century at least, then why Vietnam did not have Navy army until 20th century? In common sense, Vietnam dynasties must build and develop very powerful navy army to protect the island but the dynasties did not. Vietnam historically had ZERO navy army experience until the 50s of 20th century. The proof I present here is good enough to prove that the islands is not belong to Vietnam, and the so-called ancient records are hoax to me. By the way, many 50s, 60s, and 70s Vietnamese generation told me that when they were student, they never heard their history teacher mention Hoàng Sa (Paracel Islands) and Trường Sa (Spratly Islands) in the Vietnamese History classes or books any single time.

Next to China, despite the fact that Chinese so-called ancient records are hoax like Vietnamese ones, their navy power and experience can be used prove that the islands belong to China despite the fact that two islands are not belong to China historically because Chinese navy evidences are more sense and reasonable than Vietnamese evidences. By the way, the dash line thing just appeared between 1975 and 1979 or 1980s. I will not discuss more about this because I really don’t know about the China claim about the islands.

Why everyone want to take control Paracel Islands And Spratly Islands?

Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands had many natural resources like gas, oil, coal and etc. to mine. The islands are also important military strategy so control the island is equal to control the South China Sea. To help you guys understand more about natural resources, I decide use my lazy method, quote from UN data:

Exclusive Economic Zone

The exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is one of the most revolutionary features of the Convention, and one which already has had a profound impact on the management and conservation of the resources of the oceans. Simply put, it recognizes the right of coastal States to jurisdiction over the resources of some 38 million square nautical miles of ocean space. To the coastal State falls the right to exploit, develop, manage and conserve all resources – fish or oil, gas or gravel, nodules or sulphur – to be found in the waters, on the ocean floor and in the subsoil of an area extending 200 miles from its shore.

The EEZs are a generous endowment indeed. About 87 per cent of all known and estimated hydrocarbon reserves under the sea fall under some national jurisdiction as a result. So too will almost all known and potential offshore mineral resources, excluding the mineral resources (mainly manganese nodules and metallic crusts) of the deep ocean floor beyond national limits. And whatever the value of the nodules, it is the other non-living resources, such as hydrocarbons, that represent the presently attainable and readily exploitable wealth.

The most lucrative fishing grounds too are predominantly the coastal waters. This is because the richest phytoplankton pastures lie within 200 miles of the continental masses. Phytoplankton, the basic food of fish, is brought up from the deep by currents and ocean streams at their strongest near land, and by the upwelling of cold waters where there are strong offshore winds.

The desire of coastal States to control the fish harvest in adjacent waters was a major driving force behind the creation of the EEZs. Fishing, the prototypical cottage industry before the Second World War, had grown tremendously by the 1950s and 1960s. Fifteen million tons in 1938, the world fish catch stood at 86 million tons in 1989. No longer the domain of a lone fisherman plying the sea in a wooden dhow, fishing, to be competitive in world markets, now requires armadas of factory-fishing vessels, able to stay months at sea far from their native shores, and carrying sophisticated equipment for tracking their prey.

The special interest of coastal States in the conservation and management of fisheries in adjacent waters was first recognized in the 1958 Convention on Fishing and Conservation of the Living Resources of the High Seas. That Convention allowed coastal States to take “unilateral measures” of conservation on what was then the high seas adjacent to their territorial waters. It required that if six months of prior negotiations with foreign fishing nations had failed to find a formula for sharing, the coastal State could impose terms. But still the rules were disorderly, procedures undefined, and rights and obligations a web of confusion. On the whole, these rules were never implemented.

The claim for 200-mile offshore sovereignty made by Peru, Chile and Ecuador in the late 1940s and early 1950s was sparked by their desire to protect from foreign fishermen the rich waters of the Humboldt Current (more or less coinciding with the 200-mile offshore belt. This limit was incorporated in the Santiago Declaration of 1952 and reaffirmed by other Latin American States joining the three in the Montevideo and Lima Declarations of 1970. The idea of sovereignty over coastal-area resources continued to gain ground.

As long-utilized fishing grounds began to show signs of depletion, as long-distance ships came to fish waters local fishermen claimed by tradition, as competition increased, so too did conflict. Between 1974 and 1979 alone there were some 20 disputes over cod, anchovies or tuna and other species between, for example, the United Kingdom and Iceland, Morocco and Spain, and the United States and Peru.

And then there was the offshore oil.

The Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea was launched shortly after the October 1973 Arab-Israeli war. The subsequent oil embargo and skyrocketing of prices only helped to heighten concern over control of offshore oil reserves. Already, significant amounts of oil were coming from offshore facilities: 376 million of the 483 million tons produced in the Middle East in 1973; 431 million barrels a day in Nigeria, 141 million barrels in Malaysia, 246 million barrels in Indonesia. And all of this with barely 2 per cent of the continental shelf explored. Clearly, there was hope all around for a fortunate discovery and a potential to be protected.

Today, the benefits brought by the EEZs are more clearly evident. Already 86 coastal States have economic jurisdiction up to the 200-mile limit. As a result, almost 99 per cent of the world’s fisheries now fall under some nation’s jurisdiction. Also, a large percentage of world oil and gas production is offshore. Many other marine resources also fall within coastal-State control. This provides a long-needed opportunity for rational, well-managed exploitation under an assured authority.

Figures on known offshore oil reserves now range from 240 to 300 billion tons. Production from these reserves amounted to a little more than 25 per cent of total world production in 1996. Experts estimate that of the 150 countries with offshore jurisdiction, over 100, many of them developing countries, have medium to excellent prospects of finding and developing new oil and natural gas fields.

It is evident that it is archipelagic States and large nations endowed with long coastlines that naturally acquire the greatest areas under the EEZ regime. Among the major beneficiaries of the EEZ regime are the United States, France, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and the Russian Federation.

But with exclusive rights come responsibilities and obligations For example, the Convention encourages optimum use of fish stocks without risking depletion through overfishing. Each coastal State is to determine the total allowable catch for each fish species within its economic zone and is also to estimate its harvest capacity and what it can and cannot itself catch. Coastal States are obliged to give access to others, particularly neighbouring States and land-locked countries, to the surplus of the allowable catch. Such access must be done in accordance with the conservation measures established in the laws and regulations of the coastal State.

Coastal States have certain other obligations, including the adoption of measures to prevent and limit pollution and to facilitate marine scientific research in their EEZs.

About the military strategy in South China Sea, I will quote from “The South China Sea in Strategic Terms”:

“NATIONAL INTERESTS

U.S. interests in the South China Sea fall into three broad categories including: (1) Economic interests tied to the sea-lanes; (2) Defense ties with allies and other security partners; and (3) Implications for the global balance of power and influence. In each of these arenas, a successful Chinese effort to seize control of the South China Sea will have a profound impact – and each is worth elaboration.

Sea-Lanes

The sea-lanes that pass through the South China Sea are the busiest, most important, maritime waterways in the world. In 2016, they carried fully one-third of global shipping with an estimated value of $3.4 trillion. That included nearly 40 percent of China’s total trade and 90 percent of petroleum imports by China, Japan, and South Korea – and nearly 6 percent of total U.S. trade. These same sea-lanes are a vital military artery as the U.S. Seventh Fleet transits regularly between the Pacific and Indian Oceans (including the Bay of Bengal).

Defense Ties

America has formal defense/security alliances with five Asian countries: Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, and Australia. In addition, the United States has affirmed some responsibility for the defense of Taiwan and has close security ties with Singapore and New Zealand. Beyond that, there are a variety of formal security cooperation agreements with Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Cobra Gold, hosted by Thailand and led by the United States, is the largest annual multilateral military exercise in Asia. In sum, the United States has built and maintained a dense network of security links and obligations throughout East and Southeast Asia – all sustained by regular contact with the Seventh Fleet as it transits the region via the South China Sea.

Balance of Power

The most important and least tangible stake in the South China Sea concerns the preservation (or not) of a regional “rules-based” order supported by U.S. power. This order embodies certain foundational political principles – respect for international law, preservation of the real sovereign independence of regional states, a refusal to legitimate unilateral territorial expansion, and the unconditional acceptance of the sea-lanes as a global commons. Conservation values – protection of marine habitat against wanton, unnecessary despoliation – are also essential. This concept of regional order links tightly to a broader set of interests, values, and institutions embodied in the post-World War II international system – a system that reflects U.S. values, U.S. leadership and is consonant with U.S. interests.”

I suggest you guy should watch “Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Rejects United States, Obama For China and Russia (REACTION)” from Anthony Brian Logan to understand more about the true nature of the Island:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DG5kets_OIA

The reason I write the article because I want people to aware what is going in the South China Sea right now. I want people, especially Vietnamese and Chinese, view and discuss the Paracel Islands and Spratly Island with the ACTUAL RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE, not from the fantasy records. I also suspect that World War III may begin in the South China Sea because I heard some rumors in my country, Vietnam, that Chinese Navy and Vietnamese Navy are ramming at each other in the sea now (not shooting at each other), both Vietnamese and Chinese Government hide the information about this.

I afraid I cannot give you guys the answer in the comment section because the topic is really pretty hard to me to answer. However, I will try to answer you guy as much as I can. I encourage you guys give me feedback and discusses about the matter at the comment section because I also want to learn and understand more about the Paracel Islands and Spratly Island, especially viewpoint fromVietnamese, Chinese and Philppines.

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