Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Open letter to the people of China - 30/7/2008

Open letter to the people of China

Vietnam, July 30th 2008

Subject : the territorial sovereignty of Vietnam

Dear friends,

Our two nations have had close ties of neighborhood and culture for thousands of years. At times, each nation might have varying degrees of success but we are always close to each other. We have usually suffered the same pains and supported each other. Your country is an immense country with a long and lasting culture. We, Vietnamese, are proud to have such a giant neighbor. We always keep in mind that friendship and mutual respect are a precious legacy for the future of our two countries. Nevertheless, from 1949 until today, our country has been invaded many times by the armed forces of your Government, and presently parts of our land, our sea and our islands are been occupied ( for example, the entire archipelago of Paracel and many islands and reefs in the Spratley archipelago, and other parts of our territory). Furthermore, the Government of People's Republic of China has forged disinformation causing misunderstandings about our territory.

Particularly, on December 2nd 2007, the Government of People's Republic of China has decided to create the Sansha county-level town, including the Paracel and Spratley Islands which are integrated parts of Vietnam. On July 22nd 2008, taking the opportunity that our country is developing a plan to cooperate with an American company to explore gas and oil in the vicinity of Paracel Islands, Mr Liu Jianchao, spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared : “The position of China on the South Sea is very clear and definite. We have expressed our view concerning this issue”; “China protests against any activity that violates the sovereignty and the integrity of China on the South Sea”. The South Sea that Mr Liu Jianchao spoke of is our very territorial sea surrounding the Paracel and Spratley Islands.

Reliable international historical data and those of our country has proved clearly that the Paracel and Spratley Islands (your government now names them Xisha and Nansha Islands) belong to Vietnam. Even the present government of Vietnam has several times strongly claimed its sovereignty over these islands. And your own historical data before 1949 recognized the sovereignty over Vietnam over the Islands of Paracel and Spratley. For example :

- The Foreign Report (Hải Ngoại Ký Sự) by Thich Dai San in 1696 acknowledged that the Lord Nguyen of Vietnam reigned over the archipelago of Truong Sa (Spratley Islands)

- The Map of Territorial Sea (Hải Quốc Đồ Chí) by Nguy Nguyen in 1842 has drawn the map of Vietnam including the two archipelagos now identified as Hoang Sa (Paracel Islands) and Truong Sa (Spratley Islands).

- Every ancient map drawn by Chinese historian before 1909 recognized the Hainan Island as the Extreme South of China; there was not a single Chinese map showing the two archipelagos that your present government called Xisha and Nansha.

- On November 1943, the Summit Meeting of the United States, the United Kingdom and China (President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and President Tchang Kaï Sheik) during the Cairo Conference, has discussed on territories that Japan seized from China and written down the Cairo Declaration in which there was the quoted line : “ All the territories that Japan has taken from the Chinese, comprising of Manchuria (Man Chau), Formosa (Dai Loan), and the Pescadores (Quan Dao Banh Ho), shall be restored to the Republic of China”. This means the President of China Tchang Kaï Sheik implicitly recognized that the two archipelagos Hoang Sa and Truong Sa were not parts of China.

- The Postdam Conference on August 1945 with the participation of four powers, the United States, the United Kingdom, China and the Soviet Union has issued a statement which declared : “The terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out ». Therefore, the four great countries, including China, have recognized the two archipelagos’ Hoang and Truong Sa as not parts of the Chinese territory.

We solemnly declare that :

- The friendship between the two nations of China and Vietnam must be strongly build and secured by the two peoples themselves regardless of malevolent deeds, provoking or hostile actions by governments.

- A belligerent or hegemonic government not only menaces the peace and the stability of the region and the world but also constitutes a potential danger for its own people.

- The development of many countries in the region we are living in has demonstrated that the prosperity of a country and the happiness of its people do neither depend on the immensity of its land or its territory sea, nor on its natural resources.

- A country’s government disloyal with its neighbors could not be honest to its own people.

We strongly condemn :

- Any action aiming at the annexing part of the territory of Vietnam, offensing and endangering Vietnamese nationals on archipelagos Hoang Sa and Truong Sa and their surrounding waters.

- Any declaration violating or threatening the sovereignty of Vietnam on its land and on its sea.

- Any use or threat of use of violence as a mean to settle controversial issues.

We therefore propose :

- The people of China to call on the Chinese government to implement seriously and strictly the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and all friendship agreements with Vietnam.

- The people of China to call on the Chinese government to impose a moratorium on the dispute over the territorial issue with Vietnam and promptly submit the case to competent international authorities to arbitrate.

We appreciate your attention and your cooperation.

With a friendly greeting,

We wish you Prosperity and Liberty.

The signatories :

1. Pham Van phien, ex-Vietnam’s Communist Party’s secretary of May 19 Textile Company, 28 Huong Vien, Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi.

2. Le Huu Thuong, ex-Lieutenant Colonel, Vietnam’s Communist Party’s member, 205/38 Bach Mai, Hanoi.

3. Nguyen Van Dao, expert at the Hanoi People's Committee, Vietnam’s Communist Party’s member, 31 Hang Buon, Hanoi.

4. Nguyen Van Mien, ex-colonel, Vietnam’s Communist Party’s member, 30 Nguyen cao, Hai ba Trung District, Hanoi.

5. Do Viet Son, former General Manager of Hai Phong Import-Export Company , Vietnam’s Communist Party’s member, 04 Nguyen Cao, Hai ba trung District, Hanoi.

6. Nguyen Van Loi, ex-colonel, Vietnam’s Communist Party’s member, 24 Tang Bat Ho, Hai ba Trung District, Hanoi.

To continue....

Open letter to the people of China

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