Chinese students to be taught South China Sea part of China since ancient times

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“The fact that China is educating its future generations with information that is contrary to historical facts and international law is not beneficial to the friendship [between Vietnam and China],” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said in press briefing last week as quoted by Vietnam Express.

The statement from Vietnamese spokesperson was made after Chinese news outlet Global Times reported that “revised Chinese high-school history textbooks for this year’s fall semester highlight national sovereignty, territorial integrity and ethnic unity, as the textbooks more clearly state that the regions, including the Diaoyu Islands, South China Sea, Xinjiang, Tibet and Taiwan, have been part of China since ancient times.”

Ye Xiaobing, a history professor at Capital Normal University and director of the History Teaching Professional Commission of the Chinese Society of Education who participated in publishing the high-school history textbooks said the new history textbooks for junior high-school students state that the Diaoyu (Senkaku) Islands and South China Sea have been Chinese territory since ancient times, and China first discovered, named and operated those regions, Global Times reports.

Global Times said that according to Ye, the new history textbooks will be distributed and used by all high schools in the Chinese mainland starting September.