Photo Source: WW2 Database
Op-ed by Bill Hayton
Of the many myths that surround the history of the South China Sea/West Philippines Sea, one of the hardest to dispel is the idea that during the Second World War, the Western allies promised the disputed Paracel and Spratly Islands to China. This myth keeps appearing in public discussions despite the lack of evidence to support it. Even the Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, Huang Xilian, has been misled into repeating it.
In July 2020, Ambassador Huang told the Manila Times that, “China recovered and resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Nansha Islands after war according to the Cairo Declaration, Potsdam Proclamation and other post-war instruments.” The ambassador was using the word ‘Nansha’ as the Chinese name for the Spratly Islands, known in the Philippines as the Kalayaan Island Group. Perhaps unknowingly, he was talking nonsense.