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SOAS China Institute

Who owns the South China Sea

Bill Hayton
Bill Hayton

Date: 13 October 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 13 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College BuildingsRoom: Room G3

Type of Event: Seminar

Series: SOAS China Institute Monday Forums


How did China come to claim 80% of the South China Sea as its historic territory? Why is the official southernmost point of Chinese territory a non-existent island? In this talk Bill Hayton will locate the origins of the Chinese claim in the nationalist anxiety that accompanied the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the birth of the Republic of China. It will show how the claim emerged partly in response to foreign encroachments but also from misunderstandings about Chinese and Southeast Asian history and mistranslations of British maritime maps.

Speaker's Biography

Bill Hayton is a BBC journalist and the author of ‘South China Sea: the struggle for power in Asia’ to be published by Yale University Press in September 2014. He is also the author of ‘Vietnam: rising dragon’ (Yale, 2010).

Organiser: SOAS China Institute and Centre of South East Asian Studies

Contact email: sci@soas.ac.uk

Contact Tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4894

Sponsor: SCI