Sovereignty and territorial integrity is sacred to any nationalities. Through thousands years of building and protecting the country, territorial sovereignty is always a vital mission for every dynasties and rules of Vietnam.
In the Article 1 of the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, it said, “The Socialist Republic of Vietnam is an independence country with sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, covering the land, the islands, waters and airspace”.
Over the past 50 years, the VNMH Museum has made efforts to overcome difficulties to fulfill the mission of a museum as to collect, preserve and promote national heritages, education and raising the awareness for public, especially for young people on the history, culture and the patriotism.
In recent years, territorial border is a hot issue, especially, when the security of Vietnam’s islands and waters has been threatened. China has illegally violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa, Truong Sa islands and EEZ in East Sea. Recognizing the responsibilities, VNMH Museum has mobilized resources to launch many activities to contribute to the struggle for protecting Vietnam’s waters and islands.
1. The attentive and breaking activity is the opening of the exhibition “The works of protecting the territorial border of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” held by the Museum of Vietnamese Revolution (now VNMH Museum) with the collaboration with the Committee of National Border in Oct 2009. The exhibition has displayed many important historical official documents and objects related to Vietnam’s waters and islands sovereignty. Namely, “Đại Nam nhất thống toàn đồ” (大南ー統全圖, map of Vietnam made in Minh Mang’s Reign, 1834). “An Nam đại quốc họa đồ” ((Map of the Annam Empire made by the French missionary Jean Louis Taberd, 1838), royal ordinances, imperial orders and photos of excersices over the waters and islands made by Vietnamese feudal governments, especially the Hoang Sa (Paracels).
Displaying “The border of Vietnam before 1945” in the Exhibition “The works of territorial border of Socialist Republic of Vietnam”, 10/2009.
2. In May, 2012, the VNMH Museum in collaborated with the Committee of National Border, Ba Ria – Vung Tau Museum, Da Nang Museum, Hai Phong Museum, Hung Yen Museum, Quang Ninh Museum, Quang Ngai Museum, National Reserve Centre I, Hoi An Culture and Heritage Conservation and Management Centre to hold the Exhibition called “The Waters Cultural Heritage of Vietnam”.
MOCST and VNMH’s leaders cut the ribbon to open the exhibition “The Waters Cultural Heritage of Vietnam”, 5/2012.
The Exhibition was said to display the most representative and fully collections of waters cultural heritage with over 300 ancient and official objects and documents. For example:
- The archaeological drawings in the Post Stone Age – Pre Bronze Age on the coastal provinces and some islands claimed by Vietnam; Dong Son Culture’s objects found in Go Que, Binh Son reflecting the ancient Vietnamese had occupied the lands close to the sea and the offshore islands like Cu Lao Cham, Cu Lao Re, Phu Quy, Con Dao, Tho Chu since the Pre-History Period.
- The objects and archaeological drawings of Van Don Seaport, objects of Cu Lao Cham shipwreck, Vietnamese ceramics made for export in the XIV century in Ca Mau, Hong Duc map…saying that since the dynasties of Dinh – Le – Ly – Tran – Le So, the feudal governments of Vietnam had paid attention to the waters border sovereignty.
- Maps showing Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Islands including “An Nam đại quốc họa đồ” (Map of the Annam Empire), the Nguyen Dynasty map “Đại Nam nhất thống toàn đồ” (Map of Vietnam under Nguyen dynasty, 1820 - 1841), Carte des Costes de Cochinchine Tunquin, Harrevelt E.van/ Changuion D.J, Amsterdam, 1749, Copies of Official Document of Nguyen Dynasty, Minh Mang’s Reign 19 (1838) on the sovereignty of Vietnam over Paracels.
- Photographs, documents of the sovereignty of Vietnam over the waters and islands during 1945-1975.
3. The above exhibition was once again opened in Lang Son Province in June 2013. In the future, the exhibition on the Waters Cultural Heritage of Vietnam will be opened in the South and Central provinces. It has been discussed to open this exhibition in South Korea. Particularly, under the instruction of the MOCST, to celebrate the event “The grand family of Vietnamese ethnic groups and the sacred national sovereignty” to be held at the Culture-Tourism Village of Vietnamese Ethnic Groups in Dong Mo at the end of June, 2014, the VNMH Museum will open a Photography Exhibition over Vietnam’s waters and islands.
Visitors at the Exhibition “The Waters Cultural Heritage of Vietnam”in Lang Son Museum, 6/2013
4. Along with the works of collecting the objects and materials over the waters of Vietnam from the relevant organizations like the Committee of National Border, National Reserve Centre I, The Paracels Data Centre, The High Command of Navy…, the VNMH Museum is increasing the donation for the objects and materials on waters and islands. Within 2 years, we have received hundreds of items and materials, including the valuable collections of maps and materials donated by the Ph.D Mai Hong and the Collector Tran Manh Tuan for 74 objects.
The VNHM Museum opened the receiving ceremony for the maps and materials collections donated by Ph.D Mai Hong and the collector Tran Manh Tuan, 11/2012-9/2013.
5. The international co-operation on the promotion of cultural heritages and waters sovereignty resulted on the underwaters excavation programs carried out by the VNMH Museum with the collaboration with the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage (South Korea). Namely, the excavations in ancient seaports relics of Van Don (Quang Ninh), Phố Hiến (Hưng Yên), Lạch Trường (Thanh Hóa); Hội Thống (Hà Tĩnh), Thanh Hà, Bao Vinh (Thừa Thiên – Huế); Thị Nại (Bình Định)…
The VNMH Museum’s personnel joined a trainning course on underwaters excavation in South Korea
6. The VNMH Museum has exhibited 03 big size maps showing the sovereignty of Vietnam over Truong Sa and Hoang Sa Islands. They are:
Foreign visitors listened to the presentation on the map “Map of the Annam Empire” at the exhibition hall of the VNMH Museum
- The “Map of the Annam Empire” or the map of Vietnam under Nguyen Dynasty made by Jean Louis Taberd (French) and enclosed with the dictionary called the Dictionarium Latino-Annamiticum in 1838 that shows Vietnam owns the Paracels.
- The map “Đại Nam nhất thống toàn đồ” (Map of Vietnam under Nguyen dynasty) was made in Ming Mang Reign (1820-1841) in Chinese characters, also drew that the Paracels and the Spratlys are belonged to the Vietnam’s territory.
- The map “Hoàng Triều trực tỉnh địa dư toàn đồ” (Map of Chinese provinces made by Qing Empire), is the administrative map of China. It shows the Hainan Island is the border of China to the south.
7. To contribute to the struggle for the maritime sovereignty of Vietnam, especially for the young people, the VNMH Museum is increasing the activities in the education programs, such as the History Club for the students and schoolchildren in Hanoi and the close provinces.
The struggle for the protection of territorial integrity of Vietnam is very important and sacred for all people. The objects and materials of territory and maritime sovereignty of Vietnam that owned by the VNMH Museum are very small and limited. We would like to receive the donations and co-operation of organizations, corporations and individuals for resources and conditions for further collections./.
Dr. Nguyễn Văn Đoàn - Deputy Director of VNMH Museum
MA. Nguyễn Hoài Nam - Vice Manage of Administration Department
EN: Tran Trang