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South China Sea FAQ 2: What are China's historical claims to the South China Sea?

CCTV.com

06-09-2016 12:30 BJT

Full coverage: South China Sea Is Indisputable Part of China

The Chinese began navigation activities dating back to the Qin and Han Dynasties(221BCE-220CE).

According to historical data, the Chinese had already named the South China Sea since the Eastern Han Dynasty.

The Chinese first named the South China Sea "Zhang Hai".

In the Song Dynasty (10th-13thC), the Chinese had a clearer picture about the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, as they (the islands and reefs) were referred to as " Shi Tang" and '' Chang Sha".

There are hundreds of historical documents and maps that can prove this.

In ancient times, the Chinese mainly developed the South China Sea by two ways:
opening new sea routes and developing the fishery industry.

In the Han Dynasty, the Chinese developed a sea route from the southeast coastal regions, through the Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands of China, to Southeast Asian countries --known as the Maritime Silk Road.

For a long time, the Chinese people were the most important and perhaps the only navigators along the Maritime Silk Road.

The Chinese were the first to discover, name, and develop these islands.

The Chinese government first began exercising administrative jurisdiction over
the South China Sea in the Tang and Song Dynasties.

In the Song Dynasty, the Chinese government created the Chinese Navy to safeguard the waters in the South China Sea.

And in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (14th-19thC), it became more systematic for the Chinese Navy to safeguard peace and stability in the region.

Based on these historical facts and abundant historical data, we can say that the South China Sea islands have been China's territory since ancient times. The facts are clear, evidence is sufficient.

The Chinese government's stance on the South China Sea issue is unshakable.

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