Truong Sa archipelago sovereignty stele on Song Tu Tay island and Nam Yet island

Sovereignty stele of Truong Sa archipelago at Song Tu Tay island and Nam Yet island

  • Certification: 230826164404
  • National monuments

Khanh Hoa has an east coast with a length of about 160km as the crow flies, creating a coastline of 385km and about 200 large and small coastal islands and atolls in the Truong Sa archipelago. Therefore, the geographical location of Khanh Hoa has great significance and influence on factors such as: economy, culture, society, security – national defense of Khanh Hoa province in particular and the whole country in general.

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Truong Sa district was established in 1982, consisting of the entire Truong Sa archipelago, which belonged to in Dong Nai province. On December 28, 1982, Truong Sa district was transferred to Phu Khanh province, later Khanh Hoa province. In 2007, the Government established 3 administrative units under Truong Sa district, including: Truong Sa town and Song Tu Tay and Sinh Ton communes.

Truong Sa is located in the Southeast of Hoang Sa archipelago, with more than 100 floating and sunken islands, rocks, sand dunes, corals and reefs, spreading over a sea from east to west about 800km. The archipelago occupies a sea area between 160,000 square kilometers and 180,000 square kilometers. The island with the largest area is Ba Binh island, then the islands of Song Tu Tay, Truong Sa, Nam Yet, Sinh Ton ...

Previously, Truong Sa was called Dai Truong Sa, or Van Ly Truong Sa, which was recorded in the book Phu Bien Tap Luc - a famous book written in 1776 by the scholar Le Quy Don[1].

Since ancient times, not only gaining independence, protecting sovereignty and territorial integrity on the mainland, our ancestors have also affirmed the sovereignty over the East Sea, in which the two archipelagos of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa are generally called Golden Sand Beach, Vang Island, Hoang Sa, Dai Truong Sa (large long sand beach) or Van Ly Truong Sa (thousand-mile-long sandy beach). Among many names, Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes are always shown on maps of our country through historical periods such as: “Complete Thien Nam Tu Chi Lo Do Thu” (17th century), “Complete collection of An Nam Highway” in the book “Thien Ha Ban Do” by Do Ba Cong Hao (7th year of Chinh Hoa dynasty - 1686), “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Toan Do” (18th century) [2], or “An Nam Dai Quoc’s painting Map” of Bishop Taberd published in 1838 affirming that the Golden Sands (Hoang Sa) is Paracel and is in the territorial waters of Vietnam.

The book “Dai Nam Nhat Thong Chi” records the activities of the Hoang Sa team and the Bac Hai team, which is managed by the Hoang Sa team. Hoang Sa archipelago and Truong Sa archipelago belonged to Quang Ngai province. The civil servants and militiamen who went to the island to perform their duties were provided with enough food for the voyage. In addition to the tasks of controlling, reviewing and measuring waterways and exploiting resources, the squadrons also built temples and planted trees to assert sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes.

During the French colonial period, the French divided our country into three parts , including the North, the Middle and the South. In which, the Hoang Sa archipelago belonged to the Middle part (the Nguyen feudal dynasty) and the Truong Sa archipelago belonged to the South part (managed by the French). At that time, the French colonialists in the name of Vietnam took actions to exercise sovereignty over the Paracel Islands (i.e. Hoang Sa and Truong Sa). The French placed sovereignty steles and meteorological stations on the archipelago, but so far there are no traces left, only documentary photos remain.

In 1954, the Geneva Agreement was signed, ending the war in Indochina, recognizing Vietnam’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. But in Article 1, the provisional military boundary line is fixed at the Ben Hai River (latitude 17) and Article 4 provides that the temporary boundary line is also extended in two parts by a straight line from the shore to the sea. While waiting for the general election in the country, each party is in charge of the administration in its assembly area. Therefore, at this time, the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes in the East Sea are temporarily under the administrative management of the southern government, the government of the Republic of Vietnam.

On August 22, 1956, the Military Mission of the Government of the Republic of Vietnam came to inspect and together with the hoisting of the flag placed sovereignty steles on the main islands of the Truong Sa archipelago. Through time with historical fluctuations, so far, only Song Tu Tay Island and Nam Yet Island still have the sovereignty steles built in 1956 and these are also the two oldest steles still preserved in the present Truong Sa archipelago.

The sovereignty stele of Song Tu Tay island belongs to Song Tu Tay commune, Truong Sa district, Khanh Hoa province. The sovereignty stele of Nam Yet island belongs to Sinh Ton commune, Truong Sa district, Khanh Hoa province. The words on the body of the stele are indented inward, with the content inscribed: “The Truong Sa archipelago belongs to Phuoc Tuy province. The military mission to observe and research visited these islands on August 22, 1956 under the guidance of the Vietnamese Navy”.

Along with the Hoang Sa archipelago, the Truong Sa archipelago is meant to be a milestone in the East Sea of the country. Today, Truong Sa has become the passion of every Vietnam’s child, becoming the slogan: “The whole country for Truong Sa, Truong Sa for the whole country”. Truong Sa, these two words always remind us full of emotions, nostalgia, love, trust, love, admiration… Surely all of us want to visit the island once, come to Truong Sa to visit soldiers guarding the sea and sky of the Fatherland, set foot on the most remote island district of the country.

Defending sovereignty over the East Sea has long-term strategic significance, as Uncle Ho taught to the Vietnam People's Navy: “In the past, we had only night and forest. Today, we have days, sky, sea. Our coast is long and beautiful, we must know how to preserve it”. Every Vietnamese citizen needs to understand and consciously protect the country's territorial sovereignty and territorial sea, affirm Vietnam's sovereignty over the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes and that is also an effective method of contributing to the preservation and promotion of heritage values.

Recognizing the typical historical values of the relic and contributing to asserting sovereignty in the Truong Sa archipelago, in 2014, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism issued a decision ranking the monument of Sovereignty Stele of Truong Sa archipelago on Song Tu Tay island and Nam Yet island as a national historical monument.

[1] Annotated, page 91.

[2] Sđd, page 30.