TROPICAL GEOGRAPHY ›› 2017, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (5): 634-648.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.002981

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Safeguarding and Return of Sovereignty of the South China Sea Islands to China: The 70th Anniversary of Recovery of the South China Sea Islands(1)

ZHAO Huanting1,WANG Lirong2,YUAN Jiayi3   

  1. (1.CAS Key Laboratory of Ocean and Marginal Sea Geology//South China Sea Institute of Oceanology,Guangzhou 510301,China; 2.Marine Engineering Center,South China Sea Institute of Oceanology,CAS,Guangzhou 510301,China; 3.School of Earth Science and Geological Engineering,Sun Yat-sen University,Guangzhou 510275,China)
  • Online:2017-09-21 Published:2017-09-21

Abstract: The South China Sea Islands was first discovered, named, managed and exploited by Chinese people. During the Republic of China, the South China Sea Islands was sorted and named as Dongsha Islands, Xisha Islands, Zhongsha Islands and Nansha Islands. It was collectively called the South China Sea Islands in 1934. The South China Sea Islands was seized by Japan and French later on before the Second World War and was occupied by Japan during the Second World War. The Chinese government and people struggled against that. After the world’ anti-fascist war, the Chinese government sent civil and army officials under international law to retake the sovereignty of Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands in December, 1946 and Dongsha Islands in March, 1947. It has been over 70 years since the transfer of sovereignty of the whole South China Sea Islands. Since the 1970s, several neighboring countries, including South Vietnam, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, have illegally occupied parts of the South China Sea Islands, built airports and ports, separating Chinese coastal areas and territorial seas. They plundered fishing and hydrocarbon resources, created factions and even ignited local war. The situation has been more complicated and serious since the United States and Japan intervened into the South China Sea in this century. But China protects the sovereignty of the South China Sea Islands firmly and recovers parts of islands and reefs. In Jan., 1974, Chinese Navy won the battle of Yongle Atoll in Xisha Islands and recovered it. Then in Mar., 1988, Chinese Navy won the battle of Chigua Reef in Nansha Islands and have been garrisoned Chigua Reef, Huayang Reef, Yongshu Reef, Nanxun Reef, Dongmen Reef, Zhubi Reef and Meiji Reef. Sansha City was established in 2012, and the governance, development, and construction of the South China Sea Islands (excluding the Dongsha Islands under the jurisdiction of Taiwan) have begun. Three naval air bases on the artificial islands in Yongshu Reef, Zhubi Reef and Meiji Reef have been built recently, which stand like a tripod acting in cooperation with Yongxing Island and Hainan Island. Diplomatic activities are strengthened and the absurd verdict which was proposed by the Philippines and ruled by illegal arbitral court was smashed. The sovereignty of the South China Sea Islands is defended. The international environment of the South China Sea is improved, which changes the disadvantage in safeguarding of the South China Sea Islands.

Key words: the South China Sea Islands, Xisha Islands, Nansha Islands, the South China Sea, sovereignty