Spratlys - Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) of China

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Spratlys > History of Spratly Islands

Spratly Islands History Timeline

200BC around
China firstly discovered the Spratly Islands and other Suthern Sea Islands
China started to occupy and govern the Southern Sea Islands
Most of the Paracel, the Spratlys and Pratas Island were known by Chinese geographers of the Han Dynasty
Yang Fu of the East Han Dynasty made the reference to Nansha Islands in his book entitled Yi Wuzi (Records of Rarities) 
Nansha (Spratly) Island was settled by Chinese monks, building up a monastery on that island.
General Kang Tai one of the famous ancient Chinese navigator of East Wu State of the Three Kingdoms Period mentioned Nansha Islands in his book Funan Zhuan (or Journeys to and from Phnom) (the name of an ancient state in today's Cambodia).
Fei Yuan of the Jin Dynasty(265-420 A.D.) wrote about the fishing and collecting of coral samples by the fishermen of China on the South China Sea in his article Chronicles of Guangzhou.
The Tang Dynasty, China included the Nansha Islands into its administrative map
Spratley Islands became a part of the Northern Song area in Hainan
Kublai Khan controlled most of the islands during China's Yuan Dynasty
The island group shown on a Chinese Map
Chinese frishermen became the right by the Pan-Han Dynasty to settle on some of the northern islets and reefs.
Cheng Ho, the official minister of the Ming Kings, visited several northern islands of the Spartly Islands Group, Cheng Ho made several vojages to the Spratly Group and mapped most of the northern reefs and island, today a reason for China, to occupay the complete group. In 1436 an excellent map of the reefs is shown by the Ming-Dynasty.
1406 - 1444
most of the reefs and islet were successsively maped by Chinese geographers
A China brigg run on Amboya Cay's reef and Archeologists found about 300 ancident vessels, made by ceramics.
Alvarez de Diegoz, one of Albuquerque's navigators found several scattered tiny islets and reefs on his way to the future Macao area
The Spain adventure and sailor Andreas de Pessora reached some of the western Spratly islands and named 'a larger islet' with the name Isla Santa Esmeralda Pequena. Today it is unknown which island Pessora reached, but it could be Spratly Island, or also one of the south-eastern islets.
The Chinese Ching Dynasty claimed two northern islands and errected a small temple on North East Cay.
Pirates settled on several islands and hold up British, Portugese and Dutch ships, crossing the area. In 1735 the British troups runn over and destroyed several priate camps located on some islands.
Captain Spratle arived in the group and named the islands by his name. He was one of Captain Collets navigators.
The British built up an iron observation tower on Itu Aba Islet. The remainds are visible till today.
The British vessel HMS Macclesfield run on a drying reef in the southwest corner of the shoals, known today as the Macclesfield Shoals (Bank)
The Germans wanted to claim several islands in the Spartly Group, but the Chinese Government threatened with war. After several government notes between Berlin and Peking, Germany gave up Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands but became controller of the area of Tsingtau.
China officially claimed all islands of the Spratly Group
The France built up the first lighttower on Amboyna Cay
Chinese war-ships surveyed and erected sovereignty stone on Paracel Islands.
China gave the right to mine guano from the islands to the British Australian Guano LTD.
China (Qing Dynasty) set up Paracel Islands administrative committee.
China (Qing Dynasty) war-ships surveyed Paracel Islands and affirmed Chinese sovereignty over these islands, fired cannon and hoisted flag.
China - Guangdong Government reaffirmed Paracel Islands is under Qiongya (Hainan Island) Adminstration.
French - Japan War over the rights on the Paracel Islands, and some of the north-western Spratley Reefs.
The Chinese Government set up a committee for the review of Maps of Lands and Waters of China. This committee examined and approved the 132 names of the islands in the South China Sea, all of which belong to Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha Islands.
France raised first official claim to the Paracel and Spratly Islands after invaded and occupied 9 of Nansha Islands, including Taiping and Zhongye. The Chinese fishermen who lived and worked on the Nansha Islands immediatedly made a firm resistance against the invasion and the Chinese Government lodged a strong protest with the French Government.
The Spratly Islands were invaded and occupied by Japan and used as a submarine base during the Second World War. The two major bases were on Itu Aba and on Namyit Island in the Tizard Bank.In line with the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of China, in consultation with the Navy and the government of Guangdong Province, appointed Xiao Ciyi and Mai Yunyu Special Commissioner to the Xisha and Nansha Islands respectively in 1946 to take over the two archipelagoes and erect marks of sovereignty on the Islands.
China declared the Spratlys as a part of the Guangdong Province, and seized the biggest island of Tai Ping Dao (Itu Aba).
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of China renamed 159 islands, reefs, islets and shoals on the South China Sea, including the Nansha Islands. It subsequently publicized all the names for administrative purposes
The Philippines claimbed some of the eastern islands in the Spratly Group and claimbed too the Scarborough Reef.
The Philippines claimbed the offshore Scarborough Reef, one of the most outlier reefs in the northeastern Spratly Islands. A light was errected and an oberservationtower on the South Rock, a 5 ft high rocky and steep sided islet.
At the San Francisco conference, Japan renounces all rights to the Spratly Islands. No resolution is made on who owns them.
The Philippines built up a mailitary base on North Danger Reef.
Taiwan annexed several reefs in the northeastern part of the Spratly Group.
On Spratly Island the American Navy errected a Radar Station, closed in 1971.
China occupies Paracel Islands to the north of the Spratly Islands, taking them from South Vietnam.
China occupies six atolls in the Spratly Islands, taking them from Vietnam.
1979, 21.Dec.
Malaysia claimbed Swallow Reef (Layang Layang Reef) and built up a base. In January 1980 Malaysia continued in claimbing and annexed several reefs in the southern and south-western group. A second Malayan station was built on Amboyna Cay, heave disputed with Vietnam
Internatinal conflict between Vietnam and Malysia, when Malaysia claimbed Amboyna Cay.
Brunei claimbed the Louise Reef in the eastern group
Chinese and Vietnamese navies clash at Johnson Reef. Two Vietnamese gunboats are sunk and seventy people die. Chinese troops has been garrisoned on the reef.
Indonesia organises the first of its annual informal meetings (The South China Sea Workshop) of the six claimants to the Spratly Islands to find a peaceful solution to the dispute. Malaysia begins to develop a reef for tourism.
ASEAN nations and China call for restraint in pursuit of territorial claims in the Spratly Islands.
The US oil giant Exxon signs a US$35 billion deal to develop the gas fields north of Natuna Island. This area is partly claimed by China.
1995,8 February
The Philippines's armed forces discover Chinese-constructed concrete markers on Mischief Reef, within 200 kilometres of Palawan Island, in the Philippines.
1995,20-28 March
The Philippines seize Chinese fishing boats and crew, and destroy Chinese markers on Mischief Reef.
1995,31 March
Taiwanese naval mission of armed patrol boats to the Spratly Islands is called off midway to its destination.
1995, 7 April
Indonesia expresses concern over Chinese maps claiming sovereignty over part of the huge Natuna gas fields to the south of the Spratly Islands.

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