Vietnam, under French colonial rule, carried out many activities to consolidate its sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) islands from 1939 to 1954.
Among them were appointing administrative representatives for Phu Lam (Woody), the largest island in the Paracel archipelago.
The Paracels and the Spratlys were not referred to as Chinese territories during the three international conferences of Cairo (Egypt) in 1943, Potsdam (Germany) in 1945, and San Francisco (US) in 1951.
China’s silence at the Cairo and Potsdam conferences regarding the Paracels and the Spratlys proved its indifference to these islands.
In addition, under the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty’s Article 2, Japan relinquished all rights, titles, and claims to the Paracels and the Spratlys which it acquired by force.
The Soviet Union responded by offering a proposal to give those islands to China (which was absent from the San Francisco Conference). This proposal was rejected by a 46 to 3 vote at the conference.
Addressing this conference, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Tran Van Huu solemnly declared that the Paracels and the Spratlys belonged to Vietnam.
This declaration was not opposed by any of the 50 other delegates.
Video credit: VnExpress
Subtitles: Thanh Nien News