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THE ORIGIN OF THE 9-DASH LINE IS THE PRE-DASH HISTORICAL FACT THAT THE ISLANDS INCLUDED WITHIN ITS BOUNDARIES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OWNED BY CHINA AS EARLY AS THE YUAN DYNASTY -- THERE IS NOTHING OUTRAGEOUS OR NOVEL TO DRAW A LINE AROUND THE ISLANDS THAT CHINA HAS ALWAYS OWNED -- THE LINE MAY BE NEW BUT CHINA'S OWNERSHIP OVER THE ISLANDS IS MORE THAN FIVE CENTURIES OLD. |
The 9-dash line encompasses islands in the South China Sea that have historically belonged to Chinese sovereignty. The fact of their historically having been part of China can be proven by previous maps of the Qing, Ming and Yuan Dynasties, from which the 11-dash map was derived by the Republic of China (successor to the Qing Dynasty). In 1952, Zhou Enlai removed 2 dashes in the Gulf of Tonkin in order to allow Vietnamese fishermen and sailors to enter China for safe harbor in their fight against first the French and the US forces. But, were the islands encompassed by the 9-dash line newly claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory? Not at all. They were already incorporated into maps of China as far back as the Yuan Dynasty.
So, why bother with the 9-dash map? Because whatever island is inside the 9-dashes, China has owned for centuries as part of its sovereign territory. It defines which islands were and are owned by China since antiquity. The ownership is not due to the drawing of the 9-dashes, but rather, the opposite is true and can be historically proven, the 9-dashes were drawn due to the islands within them having always been part of China's sovereign territory. The Philippines and Vietnam are playing word tricks and are putting the cart before the horse. The islands already belong to China based on official maps of historical vintage, and the 9-dashes describe their location. China can prove that any day. Those islands were not incorporated into Chinese maps only after the 9-dashes were drawn. The Philippines and Vietnam could not prove that the islands within the 9-dash map were not part of China before 1947 when the Republic of China used 11-dashes to describe their location in relation to the South China Sea, because their allegation that China arbitrarily claimed all the islands inside the 9-dash boundaries is simply contrary to historical fact. The Republic of China's name for the 11-dash map was "South China Sea Islands Locator Map" in 1947, published by the province of Guangdong, and it listed by name all the islands included in that claim of sovereignty, based not on the map, but on historical evidence for all of them. 132 of these islands were named as part of the South China Sea Islands in 1932 and 1935 by the ROC. The People's Republic of China changed the 11-dash to 9-dashes in 1952 to enable North Vietnam to place radar stations to defend itself from its western attackers, and in 1958, finalized the 9-dash map, again with an extensive listing of all the islands in the South China Sea that belonged to China by historical right, not by virtue of an arbitrary drawing of 9-dashes, as the Philippines would like the world to believe. The UNCLOS applies only to the extent of sovereignty extending from the shoreline of these islands, but does not affect or pretend to pass judgement on the sovereignty status of the islands themselves, claims of sovereignty over which are and have always been primarily determined by historical evidence. This is international law of which the UNCLOS treaty forms only a part, and must necessarily respect.
The argument of the Thai "expert" who pretended to argue successfully against the use of history by China in claiming sovereignty over these islands, saying that sovereignty in UNCLOS is not determined by historical facts, also failed to say the whole truth, which is that sovereignty of the islands and land masses on which the UNCLOS determines the maritime extent of such sovereignty is not determined by UNCLOS at all. Thus, to say for example that the ownership of your house is not determined by UNCLOS according to any historical evidence is a tautology, one of the most basic fallacies of logic, because the ownership of your house is not determined by UNCLOS according to any rule or evidence at all. This kind of sophistry cannot escape the Occam's Razor of Chinese intelligence and is relegated to nonsense and trivia. It is not even worth calling "sophistry" which gives it some appearance of sophistication. It is simply garbage logic.