Global Times: 'History, Sovereignty of S.China Sea Islands' debuts at 2024 BIBF, bridging gap between research and international law studies

BEIJING, June 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The English edition of The History and Sovereignty of the South China Sea Islands was officially released at the 2024 Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) in Beijing on Thursday, China’s most international book event.

The book written by Anthony Carty, an Irish professor of international law and now visiting professor at the Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences of Peking University as well as the School of Law of Beijing Institute of Technology, shows China’s indisputable sovereignty in the South China Sea. The Chinese edition of the book was published in November 2023.

In the book, Carty explains how official British and French archives back China’s claims by examining foreign historical records spanning 120 years. This book bridges the gap between historical research and international law studies on the South China Sea issue.

In April 2009, Carty moved from his position as a chair professor of public law at the University of Aberdeen to Hong Kong, coinciding with the increasing tensions in the South China Sea due to claims by the Philippines and Vietnam. Curious about this issue, he ­decided to investigate further during his summer visit to the UK. To his surprise, the British National Archives contained substantial archives indicating that the Nansha Islands were considered Chinese by default. He later expanded his research to include French historical documents.

“What seemed at first an obscure and marginal research topic, remote and tiny islands, gradually became more and more clearly a hugely urgent issue requiring great attention. Reluctance to engage in even more extended archival research took on the character of a passionate quest and a compelling necessity,” said Carty at the release ceremony held at BIBF.

While both the Chinese and English editions of the book have been released, work on publishing the book in other languages is currently in progress, introduced Ma Rujun, head of the New Star Press, publisher of both editions of The History and Sovereignty of the South China Sea Islands.

Boasting a total of 220,000 books from China and abroad, the 2024 BIBF runs from Wednesday to Sunday, attracting 1,050 overseas exhibitors, 150 more than 2023. Global publishing powerhouse countries like Germany, the UK and France also have pavilions at the book fair.


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