I linked to this a few days ago when Bonnet alerted me to this, but it is important enough to deserve its own notice. Francis-Xavier Bonnet, the scholar of South China Sea claims, has demonstrated that the early Chinese claims are all fake (direct download link). The abstract to whet your appetite:
Several authors writing about the Chinese claim to the Paracel Islands have dated the first official Chinese expedition to these islands to 1902. However, none of these writers have been able to show any records of this expedition taking place. In fact, Chinese records show that the expedition never happened. Instead, a secret expedition took place decades later to plant false archaeological evidence on the islands in order to bolster China’s territorial claim. The same strategy has been applied in the Spratly islands: the sovereignty markers of 1946 had been placed, in fact, ten years later, in 1956.Go thou, and read!
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