Map: Settled border with Vietnam

I mentioned that the China and Vietname have settle the border dispute in land and Tonkin Bay in an earlier post. Here are the maps

Border at Tonkin Bay (source: FYJS)
  • Brown line: 1887 China-France treaty divided Tonkin Bay by latitude E108o03'18"
  • Red line: New border (approximate) based on medium line
  • Blue line: Shared economic zone, to be co-patrolled
  • The disputed Bailongwei (Bechlongvi 白龙尾) Island is claimed by China and is now ceded to Vietnam. (It was reported that the 2000 residents on the islands are Chinese. But Zhou En-lai "loaned" this island to Vietnam during the Vietnam war to build it as a base to fight American bomber)

The land border does not have visible changes. A few mountain were ceded to Vietnam and perhaps some shifts of a few hundred meters here and there. The border is largely defined by natural landscape (river, watershed, etc), or has been well defined in the China-France Treaty. The disputed area is 227 sq km, China got 113 sq km and Vietnam 114 sq km, 50% to each side, fair deal.

Current claims on South China Sea by all different countries are shown in the map below (grey area = gas/oil field). China's claim on South China Sea is based on its claim on the coral islands Sisha (Paracel, controlled by China, disputed by Vietnam), Dongsha (Pratas, undisputed, controlled by ROC), Zhongsha (Macclesfield, claimed by China and Philippines, unoccupied but controlled by Philippines), and Nansha (Spratly).

Spratly, the most contested islands group, was inhabited by Chinese fishermen and has been controlled by ROC navy before the 1949 revolution. Current control of the Spratly is shown in the map below

  • Taiwan still controls the largest islands on Spratly, Taiping (Itu Aba), there is a base there because there are Chinese fisherman and natural fresh water supply (well). The area is 0.45 sq. km, about the same size as Vatican City, aerial picture as shown above.
  • China: 7 islands/reefs
  • Vietnam: 29 islands/reefs
  • Philippines: 8 islands/reefs
  • Malaysia: 5 islands/reefs
  • Brunei and Indonesia joined the claim but do not control any reef or island
South China Sea Claim Map (The best source of information is hosted at community.middlebury.edu/~scs/index.html, with the list of the Spratly Reefs)

Spratly Magnified


zhj said...

Did Beijing gain some territory? I am afraid China is just giving territories away like candy.

Sun Bin said...

With Vietnam, I don't think Beijing gained anything substantial.
However, What I heard was that the boundary stones were moved a few meters after the war in 1979.
So China gave back some of those it occupied in order to buy peace.
I think the deal with Vietnam is probably a fair deal, for both sides.

Sun Bin said...


see this, and other threads in that forum. a great site.

China has half of the disputed 227 sq km. below is the story from Chinese netizen. i got a lot of stuff from them.