China’s own ancient maps disprove Beijing sea claim

GOTCHA - Jarius Bondoc - The Philippine Star

“Ancient historical facts.” That’s Beijing’s basis to claim islets, rocks, reefs, shoals, sandbars, and waters of the South China (West Philippine) Sea. If asked what those ancient historical facts are, Beijing snorts, “Maps, of course. Yet it can’t present any such map.

So Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio dug up 52 relevant ancient maps the world over, categorized into three:

• ancient maps of China (15) made by Chinese officials or civilians;

• ancient maps of China (three) made by foreigners; and

• ancient maps of the Philippines (34) made by Westerners, or Filipino officials or civilians.

Invariably the 52 old maps show two things:

One, China’s southernmost territory has always been Hainan island-province.

Two, Scarborough Shoal consistently was part of the Philippines.

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Replicas of the ancient maps will be on display for all to see. The exhibit, “Historical Truths and Lies: Scarborough Shoal in Ancient Maps,” is on Oct. 23 to Nov. 14, 2014. Venue: University of the Philippines-Diliman, Asian Center, GT-Toyota Hall of Wisdom, Quezon City.

This is a rare treat for Chinese officials and subjects, including the ambassador. Never will Beijing’s communist despots ever show the maps together in their true context.

Justice Carpio will deliver a lecture at the exhibit’s 2 p.m. opening on the 23rd. Chinese journalists might wish to cover it, if only to learn how Beijing’s big lies shame their great nation before the world.

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Justice Carpio enumerated the 52 ancient maps in a talk last June at De La Salle University, Manila, prior to month-long exhibit there. They can be viewed at the Institute of Maritime & Ocean Affairs website: www.imoa.ph.

The 15 maps of China by Chinese officials or citizens show Hainan Island by its ancient names Zhuya, Qiongya, or Qiongzhou. Then part of Guangdong, Hainan became a separate province in 1988. The maps are:

(1) A stone engraving from Fuchang, in 1136 AD during the Song Dynasty, published circa 1903 in France. Entitled “Hua Yi Tu” or “Map of China and the Barbarian Countries,” the engraving is now in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum, Xi’an, China. It shows Hainan as the southernmost territory of China.

(2) “Da Ming Hun Yi Tu” or “Great Ming Dynasty Amalgamated Map,” published 1389 (?) during the Ming Dynasty. Painted in color on silk, the original is with the First Historical Archive of China in Beijing. It shows Hainan as China’s southernmost territory.

(3) “Da Ming Yu Di Tu” or “Atlas of the Ming Empire,” published between 1547 and 1559 by the Ming Dynasty. It shows China’s then 13 provinces, Taiwan un-included, with Hainan as southernmost territory.

(4) “Tian Di Tu” or “Atlas of Heaven and Earth,” published 1601 by Junheng Zuo during the Ming Dynasty. It shows Hainan Island as China’s southernmost territory.

(5) “Kunyu Wanguo Quantu” or “Map of the Myriad Countries of the World,” published in Beijing, 1602. Jesuit friar Matteo Ricci, with Chinese scholars Zhong Wentao and Li Zhizao, drew this world map on request of Ming Emperor Wanli. To not offend the Chinese who believed China to be the center of the world, Ricci moved China from the eastern fringes of his world map towards the center, placing the Americas to the right and Europe-Africa continents to the left. The map has six panels that can be rearranged, so any part of the world can be center. It shows Hainan as China’s southernmost territory.

(6) John Selden bequeathed a 1 x 1.5-meter map to the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, 1659. Published between 1606 and 1624 during the Ming Dynasty, it was made by an unknown Chinese. It shows China, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. The South China Sea is at the center, with Hainan as China’s southernmost territory.

The map had gathered dust for 350 years in the basement files of the Bodleian, until rediscovered in 2008. Two things make it unique: First, China is not shown as world center but part of East and Southeast Asia. So it probably is not an official map of the Ming Dynasty. Second, it shows shipping trade routes, with compass bearings, in South, East, and Southeast Asia. Trade routes had not appeared before in any Chinese map. The routes traverse Japan, Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Borneo, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia (Java and Sumatra), Myanmar, Goa in India, and beyond. Meaning, the South China Sea was a free and open international trade waterway used by all coastal and trading nations during the Ming Dynasty.

A jurist and philosopher, Englishman Selden (1584-1654) was a polymath and prolific writer. He wrote in 1635 Mare Clausum under the King’s patronage. Mare Clausum, or closed sea, refutes Hugo Grotius’ Mare Liberum, or free sea. It articulated England’s position then that oceans and seas were subject to appropriation and ownership by individual states. The same view was held by Spain and Portugal. Mare Clausum was written in answer to The Netherlands position, expressed by Grotius in 1609, that the oceans and seas belonged to all states.

Ironically Selden, advocate of the closed sea, bequeathed to the world the Selden Map of China, which shows that international shipping trade waterways like the South China Sea should be free and open for all. Ironic too, Selden wrote Mare Clausum after he acquired the map.

(7) “Da Qing Wan Nian Yi Tong Tian Xia Quan Tu” or “Great Qing Dynasty Complete Map of All Under Heaven,” published 1811 by Qing Emperor Jiaqing. It shows Hainan as China’s southernmost territory.

(8) “Da Qing Wan Nian Yi Tong Di Li Quan Tu” or “Complete Geographical Map of Great Qing Dynasty,” published between 1814 and 1816 by Qianren Huang. It shows Hainan as the southernmost territory.

(9) “Guangdong Tong Sheng Shui Dao Tu” or “Map of Waterways of Guangdong Province,” published sometime after 1815 by an unknown Chinese. It shows Hainan Island as the southernmost part of Guangdong.

(10) “Guangdong Quan Tu” or “Complete Map of Guangdong,” published 1864 in Wuchang by Hubei Sheng and Guan Shu Ju. It shows Hainan as the southernmost part of Guangdong.

(11) “Da Qing Er Shi San Sheng Yu Di Quan Tu” or “Complete Map of Twenty-Three Provinces of the Great Qing Dynasty,” published sometime after 1885 by the Qing Dynasty. It shows Hainan Island as the southernmost territory of China.

(12) “Guangdong Quan Sheng Shui Lu Yu Tu” or “Map of Waterways and Roads in Guangdong,” published 1887 (?) by Li Zhongpei. It shows that Hainan Island is the southernmost part of Guangdong province. On the upper left side of the map, the annotations of Li Zhongpei state: “Qiongzhou (name of Hainan at the time) is far from the mainland, has a coastline of more than 1,400 li (Chinese unit of distance), and the territory that ships navigating to China will encounter coming from Southeast Asia.”

(13) “Huang Chao Zhi Sheng Yu Di Quan Tu” or “Qing Empire’s Complete Map of All Provinces,” published 1896 by Guangxu Bing Shen. It shows Hainan as China’s southernmost territory.

(14) “Zhong Hua Guo Chi Di Tu,” published 1929 in Beijing by Hebei Sheng and Gong Shang Ting. It mentions treaties signed by China and the harbors opened to foreign powers, with Hainan Island as the southernmost territory.

(15) “Zhonghua Min Guo Fen Sheng Xin Tu,” published 1933 (?) in Wuchang by Ya Xin Di Xue She. It shows Hainan as China’s southernmost territory.

(See also Gotcha, 4, 6, and 8 Aug. 2014)

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Catch Sapol radio show, Saturdays, 8-10 a.m., DWIZ (882-AM).

Gotcha archives on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jarius-Bondoc/1376602159218459, or The STAR website http://www.philstar.com/author/Jarius%20Bondoc/GOTCHA

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E-mail: [email protected]

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