Sunday, August 28, 2011


20 August, 2011
Dr. Alan I. Leshner, Executive Publisher
Dr. Bruce Alberts, Editor-in-chief
Science Magazine
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Email: science_editors@

cc: Xizhe Peng,
School of Social Development and Public Policy Fudan University, Shanghai, China

Dear Dr. Alan Leshner and Dr. Bruce Alberts:

We are a group of Vietnamese academics and professionals living in various parts of the world. We wish to express our concern, if not outrage, about the bias shown in the map of China (i.e. deletion of neighboring countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines…and inclusion of the disputed waters and islands to the east of Vietnam) contained in the paper: “China's Demographic History and Future Challenges” by Xizhe Peng, recently appearing in your Science Magazine, Issue 29 July 2011, Vol. 333 No. 6042 pp. 581-587, at

The 9-dotted line zone covers about 90% of the Southeast Asia Sea, area of about 350,000km2, (also referred to as the East Sea by Vietnam) which encircles the archipelagos of Paracels and Spratlys. The area has been a subject of territorial dispute among Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, and China (which wrested control of the Paracels and some western islands of the Spratly Archipelago from Vietnam after bloody naval battles in 1974 and 1988). While Vietnam has controlled the archipelagos as early as the 15th century, the other countries (e.g., the Philippines, Indonesia Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, and China) have recently made certain territorial claims only after oil and gas deposits were discovered in the area.
In the last few years, China has arbitrarily presented the U-shaped 9- dotted line map and claimed the whole Southeast Asia Sea as her “historical waters,” without any internationally recognized legal basis such as UNCLOS (United Nations on the Convention of the Law of the Sea). The hand-drawn U shape line has neither scientific facts nor geographical information to certify its authenticity to show to the world community. Thus, the 9-dotted line zone included in the map of China is an error of fact and a blatant attempt of China to authenticate its disputed claims.
We would like to call your attention to the implications that could be associated with the publication of the map presented by Xizhe Peng: Inserting a map of China covering almost the whole sea of South East Asia in articles originating from Chinese institutions and destined for scientific and non-scientific journals worldwide is part of a ploy. China is hoping that over time frequent appearances of such a map in well-known publications and the absence of responses from editors and readers will help establish de facto recognition of its claims over the disputed lands and waters. (eg: J. Tai et al. / Waste Management 31 (2011) 1673–1682, Volume 31, Issue 8, August 2011).

Without any regard to the disputed status of the territorial waters, China has been illegally and aggressively enforcing its own 9- dotted line zone in the South East Asia Sea, which is dubbed as “the cow tongue-shaped line map”. In recent years, many Vietnamese fishermen working in their ancestral traditional fishing areas along Vietnam’s 3000km shoreline have been harassed, terrorized and occasionally murdered by Chinese naval forces. Their fish catches, fuel and fishing equipments have been confiscated. China extorted money from the fishermen before releasing them and their stripped–bare boats. As recent as late May and early June of 2011, Chinese naval patrol vessels blatantly harassed two Vietnamese ships working on an oil exploring mission inside Vietnam’s 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and forcefully cut their exploring fiber optic cables.

With the on-going aggression exerted by China upon the much smaller countries in South East Asia, especially Vietnam, we would like to call your attention to the implications that could be associated with the publication of the map presented by Xizhe Peng, who is himself a Chinese national.

In the interest of scientific integrity as well as the true facts of the Southeast Asia Sea, we would appreciate your putting out a correction, so the readers of your magazine can make up their minds about the bias in the paper written by Xizhe Peng, as well as be aware of any future articles originating from China containing such one-sided and biased map like the one mentioned above.

Our Vietnamese people from all over the world would be very appreciative of your positive response to our concern and to our desire to have our viewpoint be known.

Yours sincerely,

Hoang Tuy, Ph.D, Prof, Institute of Mathematics, Hanoi Vietnam
Gian Vu, Economist, former Consultant of Swiss State Secretariat of Economy, Switzerland
Xuan Yem Pham, Ph.D., Prof, University of Paris 6, France
Dang Hung Nguyen, Ph.D., Prof , Liège, Belgium
Hoang Anh Tuan Kiet, Ph.D., Commissariat Energy Atomique -Cadarache, France
Khanh Tuoc Trinh, Ph.D., New Zealand
Ngoc Bich Tran, Ph.D. (Economics), CFP, E.A., USA
Thuong Son Nguyen. Ph.D., Australia
Hoanh T. Ngo, M.Eng.Sc., P.Eng., Canada
Mai Tran, Ph.D., Australia

Tara T. VanToai, Ph.D., USA
Norman N. VanToai, Ph.D., USA
Long Quang Le, B.E. Mech, New Zealand
Phuong Minh Tran, M. Tech, Australia
Tuyen Gia Do, B.E. Elect, Saudi Arabia
Ba Tuoc Tran, M. Com., Vietnam
Long Viet Bui, B.E. Mech, Vietnam
Xa Van Nguyen, M.E. Civil, USA
Tu Van Nguyen, M.Com. (Econ.), New Zealand
Lap Quoc Nguyen, Ph.D.,USA

Han Huu Huynh, B.S. Tech (Food), USA
Tuyet Van Duong, M.Com. (Econ.), USA
Danh Cong Bien, M.E. Elect, New Zealand
Triet Minh Ngo, P.E. Civil, USA
Kho Huu Nguyen, Ph.D.(Chem Eng), P.E., USA
Nham Truong, Ph.D, Australia
Kim Ngoc Truong, B.E. Chem, USA
Hong Ba Le, M.Sc, Australia
Huynh Tung Ngo, B, Agr.Sc, Australia
Hung The Vu, B.S. Comp., USA

Ngon Danh Nguyen, P.E. Civil, USA
Mai Chi Thi Nguyen, B.Com., USA
Kim Ngoc Truong, B.E. Chem, USA
Bich Lien Nguyen, B.A. Edu., USA
Mui Dinh, B.A. Edu., Australia
Tuan Sy Bui. Ph.D, MBA, MSCIS, USA
Duong Thanh Tran, B.A.Edu, New Zealand
Chau Bich Bui, M.A., USA
Nga Thien Nguyen, B.S. Comp., New Zealand
Thi Nhung Do, B.A. Edu., USA

The Hung Nguyen, Prof, Uni of Danang, Vietnam
Khanh Nguyen-Do, Ph.D., Australia
Ngoc Diep Vuong, M.Com.,Economics, USA
Thanh Truc Vuong, B.A.Edu, USA
Long Phan Pham, P.E, Chairman Viet Ecology Foundation, USA
Quyet Vu, M.A.Edu., USA
Marie Dung Burns, M.A. Edu., New Zealand
Lieu Thu Le, B.E. Chem, New Zealand
Ngoc Bich Becker, MTA. CANDMED, Germany
Van Hao Nguyen, M.E. Civil, Australia

Thi Tinh Tien Le, M.Com, Economics, Australia
Mong Trinh Thi Nguyen, B.A, New Zealand
Thomas Hung Ngoc Dang, M.B.A, CPEng, Australia
Huu The Nguyen, M.B.A., USA
Hoai Vong Cong Le, M.Com, USA
Khoa Ba Ngo, M.B.A., USA
Hung Nguyen, B.E. Chem, Australia

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