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Học tiếng Anh qua báo chí: Part 10: Chinese scholars rejects China’s U-shaped line

Chinese scholars rejects China’s U-shaped line

VietNam Bridge – To help the Chinese public and the Chinese people understand the truth, Chinese scholar Li Linghua has published evidence about the origin of islands in the East Sea and the wrong and dangerous U-shaped line of China.

China is expanding its monopoly in the East Sea and infringing upon Vietnam’s sovereignty. Domestically, the Chinese state has provided its people with fabricated, false information such as "Vietnam violated the sovereignty of China" and "Vietnam bullies China", etc…

However, not all of the Chinese people believe in that wrong information.

From Buddhist monk Sheng Dai Shi to scholar Li Linghua


Chinese scholars, Li Linghua, U-shaped line, nine-dotted line, East Sea, China

Chinese scholar Li Linghua.


In the 17th century, Zen master Sheng Dai Shi went to Vietnam and recorded fully and truthfully about the sovereignty over Van Ly Truong Sa (Hoang Sa and Truong Sa) of the Nguyen Dynasty.

At that time, the Chinese dynasties "turned the back at the sea" and they were only interested in the continent. The notes by Sheng Dai Shi show the world and the Chinese an angle of truth in the East Sea and the two archipelagoes of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.

In the early 20th century, China began eyeing and used force to occupy Hoang Sa Archipelago and some islands of Truong Sa Archipelago of Vietnam.

But its ambition does not end here. The "U-shaped line" that covers almost the entire East Sea, which was drawn at an extraordinary moment of an officer of the Republic of China has become the expansionist policy of the Chinese government since the mid-20th century.

However, right in China, there are brave people who dare to speak the truth to their people and the people around the world. One of them is the Chinese scholar Li Linghua.

Chinese scholar Li Linghua was born in 1946. From 1964 to 1970 he studied at the Institute of Oceanology in Shandong.

After graduation, from 1970 to 2006 he worked at the National Center for Oceanic Information in Tianjin, where he had the opportunity to approach to and study historical and scientific documents about the East Sea and the related issues. Knowing the truth, he did not dare to speak it out loud.

Right from the beginning he said: "If China wants to develop its economy and enhance its reputation, it needs to actively and proactively solve the Nanhai problems (East Sea), to establish the negotiation mechanism, with effective bilateral and multilateral negotiation which is accepted by involved countries and to end the long-term conflict in the Nanhai Sea (East Sea).”

As his sharp, well-grounded scientific, legal and historical articles against China’s false arguments on the East Sea were not published by the official newspapers of China, Li Linghua posted them on his personal blogs to convey to the Chinese people the truth.

Most recently when China deployed its HD-981 oil rig in the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Vietnam, he warned the Chinese people that "China is turning itself into the enemy of its neighbors and the civilized world".

On his blog dated 21/5/2014, he wrote: “I have become more aware of the Chinese authorities’ inappropriate consciousness. Such actions will lead China into the wrong direction and are condemned by the international community. They only see the imminent interests and don’t think of the long-term ones. Regional peace is of great importance and regional countries will cooperate to address any difficulties for mutual victory. If peace and stability don’t exist, no matter how big the interests, they cannot compensate for the losses. China only thinks about its national interests which I think is wrong and history will prove this. I hope the Chinese government will soon wake up.”

In an article on May 6 in his blog on 163.com, China’s leading scholar Li Ling Hua stated that China was a signatory to the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, and needed to abide by Article 74 and 83 of the Convention on respecting the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone 200 nautical miles of adjacent coasts.  

30 years of perseverance

To help the public and the Chinese people understand the truth, Chinese scholar Li Linghua has announced evidence about the origin of the islands in the East Sea and the wrong and dangerous U-shaped line of China.

He found the source of the "U-shaped or nine-dotted line" and called the authors of this line as "the gang that composed the U-shaped line" and "the nine-dotted line that our ancestors drew does not have specific longitude, latitude nor legal grounds".

It is thanks to him that the whole world knows that the "U-shaped line" was a product of a normal Chinese official after a journey through the East Sea.

He wrote: “In 1946 Lin Zun led a naval fleet to recapture the islands following Japan’s defeat. Some of the islands were unknown to the world. Japan first occupied them and was forced to cede them to us after surrendering. We were happy to receive them (…). Accompanying the fleet was a man from the Ministry of Geology and Resources who demarcated an imaginary line shaped like a bull’s tongue. Upon his return, the line was printed on the national map and was publicised as a new boundary…..”

He spent nearly all his life to research and pursue the truth with the desire to "not let China and the Chinese people to live in fantasy." Since 2005, before the increasingly aggressive expansion of the Chinese government in the East Sea, Li Linghua has exerted his efforts to provide the Chinese people and researchers the evidence, arguments and international law to “awaken” them from "nightmares" and "catastrophe".

On 14/6/2012, at a seminar on the East Sea dispute, held by Tian Ze Economic Research Institute and online newspaper Sina.com, Li Linghua frankly assessed China's wrong behavior in the East Sea. He proved to the attendants that China was wrong to use force to seize many islands in the East Sea and then “prove its sovereignty”. As its sovereignty over these islands is untrue, China could only show vague and unfounded evidence. He stressed that “We, China, had drawn the 9-dash line with no specific longitude and latitude and legal basis”.

“There has been no unreal land or marine border demarcating line in the history of international cartography.  The nine-dotted line in the East Sea is unreal. Our predecessors invented the line without specific longitudes and latitudes, as well as without legal evidence,” he said.

“About the 200-mile border map on the South China Sea (East Sea) drawn under UNCLOS” released on July 3rd, 2012, he made public a map demarcating a 200-mile exclusive economic zone, concerned by nations bordering the East Sea. It clearly features that areas that China has been claiming its sovereignty over, based on the “9-dash line”, within the 200-mile exclusive economic zone of Vietnam.

That article also rejected the establishment of what is called “Sansha” city by China and the international bid given by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) for nine blocks which entirely lie in Vietnam’s continental shelf and 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

Li Linghua, in his article, titled “the settlement of the East Sea dispute should not be delayed”, posted on Sina.com, emphasized that China needs to carry out peaceful negotiations and dialogues, to create peaceful atmosphere with neighbouring countries who share the same sea on the basis of the UNCLOS 1982 because this convention is the existing “Charter of the Ocean”.

On his own website, Li Linghua clearly explained the nature of the issue. According to him, the introduction of the “cow-tongue” or 9-dash line in Chinese textbooks has engraved in Chinese generations’ mind that it is the national border line, while it has not been recognized internationally.

If that confirmation remains, tension in the East Sea will never end. He hoped that Chinese scholars and people could advance together with time and find out the truth and change their incorrect viewpoints.

Many other Chinese also protested China’s vague U-shaped or nine-dotted line and China’s aggressive and wrong acts in the East Sea.

Scholar, famous commentator of the online Phoenix newspaper (Hong Kong, China) Xue Litai warned that China will face various difficulties and challenges from the international community if it claims sovereignty over the “9-dash” line. This scholar pointed out some incorrect points of the “cow-tongue” line.

Firstly, China itself has drawn the 11-dotted line on the map without demarcation at sea with neighbouring countries and the dashed line has had no international recognition.

Secondly, to date, China has failed to make clear that the “cow-tongue” line is the national dashed border line or traditional demarcation line at sea. Beijing has given no definition and clear longitude and latitude related to the geological location, but only drawn the dotted line on their map. That is not convincing at all.

Thirdly, if Beijing stresses that the previous 11-dotted line was the national border line that could not be violated,  why after the new China was born did Beijing itself remove two dots on the map in the Tonkin Gulf?  Does China consider the fixing of a national border line a joke?

Professor Zhang Shuguang from the University of Sichuan emphasized that the “cow-tongue” line claimed by China without any basis and international recognition is worthless. “Chinese interests need to be recognized by others. Without that recognition China has no right”.

Recently, a Chinese scholar whose pen name is Li Woteng, posted on Sina, China’s biggest internet forum, an article titled “The nine-dash line: keep or eliminate” to expose the irrational claim. The article shows that truth is still respected and China cannot arbitrarily announce sovereignty over territory it has never owned.

The article says international scholars have always said that the key issue in the East Sea isn’t sovereignty over the islands, but the “9-dash line”. Li says nations bordering the East Sea have arguments and evidence of their sovereignty over the islands. Only China’s “9-dash line” claim has no evidence. China has talked a lot about the “9-dash line” but has only a vague explanation of what the “9-dash line” is. The Chinese government has no original documents that clearly define the “9-dash line”. In fact, the “9-dash line” was drawn on the map arbitrarily. This shows the “9-dash line” has no concrete grounds.

Professor Gao Zhiguo, head of the China Institute for Marine Affairs of the State Oceanic Administration, said “Chinese materials show China has never claimed the entire area of the South China Sea (East Sea), but just the islands and adjacent areas within this line.”

Pan Shiying, another Chinese scholar, argued that the line has existed for half a century without any opposition from other countries, establishing a historical Chinese territorial boundary. China has claimed sovereignty over not only the four archipelagos Dong Sa (Pratas), Tay Sa (Hoang Sa), Trung Sa (Macclesfield), and Nam Sa (Truong Sa), but also the entire area of waters within the U-shaped line.

Zhu Keyuan, another scholar, posited that the Chinese claim should be seen as based on historic sovereign and jurisdictional rights, rather than being full and absolute.

Professor Zhang Shuguang, head of the Academic Committee under the Unirule Institute of Economics, stated “The nine-dotted line is not legal, a view once shared by Chinese lawmakers and their colleagues from Taiwan. It was unilaterally claimed by China.”

To be continued…

Duy Chien


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