chapter  6
16 Pages

The Spratlys and the Paracels: The South China Sea Dispute

Differences between Pre-and Post-Second World War Disputes in the South China Sea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

From Yalta Blueprint to San Francisco System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 Wartime International Agreements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 The South China Sea in the Yalta Blueprint . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 The End of the Second World War and Southeast Asia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144 The South China Sea after the Second World War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Toward the “Unresolved Problem”: Disposition of South China Sea Islands in the Peace Treaty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146

Early US Studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 T-Documents, CAC-Documents, SWNCC Documents

Early Drafts of the Peace Treaty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148 Reopening of Peace Treaty Preparations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 Dulles and Peace Treaty Drafts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149 The British Draft of April 1951, US-UK Joint Draft of May 1951 . . . . . . 150 France and Inclusion of the Spratlys and Paracels in the Peace Treaty . . 150 The Associated States of Indochina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152 The San Francisco Peace Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153

After San Francisco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154

Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

The San Francisco Peace Treaty left unresolved the future ownership of the islands in the South China Sea. Currently six states are in dispute over the sovereignty of the whole (PRC, ROC, and Vietnam) or part (Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei) of the Spratly Islands, and three (PRC, ROC, and Vietnam) over the sovereignty of all the Paracel Islands. The PRC and ROC governments’ claims are for the sake of a unified “China.” The Peace Treaty did not define the territorial limits of these islands, but the only issue here is ownership. Unlike the Senkaku (Diaoyu), Takeshima (Tokdo), and “Northern Territories” problems, the point of dispute is not whether the islands are among the territories Japan renounced in the Peace Treaty.2