The Petiton Letter



Mr. Chris Jones, Editor in Chief
The National Geographic Society
1145 17th St, NW
Washington, DC 20036-4688


March 10, 2010


Ref: The petition for removal of the label “China” at the Paracel Islands on NGS’s online world map


Dear Mr. Jones:


We are writing this letter concerning the label “China” at the disputed Paracel Islands on the online world map edition published by the National Geographic Society. (*)


The fact is that the islands located in the South China Sea have never been recognized as part of Chinese territory by the international community.

In this letter, we do not have any ambition to convince you the Paracel Islands belong to a specific country. Instead, we are requesting you to review the current status of the islands based on reliable, third-party source for correctly labeling the islands on your map.


The sovereignty disputes over the islands remain unresolved for nearly a century. Over the years, the United Nations have also received many complaints from Vietnam and China regarding these features. In fact, the latest submissions to the United Nations from these countries happened in May 2009. The United Nations have classified the Paracel Islands as “the disputed islands” and have never confirmed them belong to neither country.


It is no doubt that the National Geographic Society is a trusted and reliable source of important information for many people around the globe, including researchers and young students.


Therefore, in preventing the public from being misled, we call upon you to immediately review and change the label based on the true status of the Paracel Islands to reflect both the point of view of the international community as well as the neutral point of view policy of the National Geographic Society. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Your name


(*) Link to the said online world map by National Geographic Society






1. The International Court of Justice of the United Nations has recorded the Paracel Islands as the disputed islands between Vietnam and China.


2. On May 6, 2009, Vietnam and Malaysia formally filed a joint submission with the United Nations’ Commissions on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to claim their territorial sea, including the Paracel Islands.


3. On 6 August, 1998, at the request of the Government of Viet Nam, the protest was circulated to all States Members of the United Nations.




Right after publicizing the Petiton letter, we knew it had some typos, including the name of the Editor-in-Chief which was incorrectly spelled.  It should be Chris Johns instead. However, according to the's rules, we were not allowed to make any change to the letter after it was posted.


Link to the Petition: