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Some Basic Facts on China's soverignty over Huangyan Island
(2012/04/13)

1. It is China That first discovered Huangyan Island, gave it the name, incorporated it into its territory, and exercised juristiction over it.

 

Huangyan Island was first discovered and drew into China's map in China's Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368AD). In 1279, Chinese astronomer Guo Shoujing performed surveying of the seas around China for Kublai Khan, and Huangyan Island was chosen as the point in the South China Sea.

 

In January 1935, Map Verification Committee of China, which consisted of representatives from Ministry of Interior Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education, and Navy, declared sovereignty over 132 islands reefs and shoals, Huangyan Island was included as a part of Zhongsha Islands into Chinese territory as the name of Scarborough Shoal. In October 1947, Chinese government announced the new namelist of South China Sea Islands, in which Scarborough Shoal was included and renamed as Democratic Reef as a part of Zhongsha Islands. In 1983, China Board on Geograpic Names released Geographic Names of Some of South China Sea Islands, which decided to use Huangyan Island as the standard name of the island and Democratic Reef as alternative name. All the official maps published by Chinese governments of different periods marked Huanyan Island as Chinese territory. Huangyan Island has been consistently under administration of China's Guangdong Province first and Hainan Province later. China's sovereignty over Huangyan Island have been declared in all the government announcements and statements on South China Sea. All of these happened long before the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) came into force in 1994.

 

2. China has long been developing and exploiting Huangyan Island.

 

Huangyan Island and its surrounding waters are traditional fisheries for Chinese fishermen. Since ancient time, the Chinese fishermen have been fishing in Huangyan Island and its surrounding waters. Many scientific expedition activities organized by China's State Bureau of Surveying, National Earthquake Bureau and National Bureau o