China's Sovereignty in the South China Sea is Based on History and Law#NOT ONE InchThe South China Sea is a vital waterway for China's security and development, as well as a rich source of natural resources and fishery. China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands and reefs in the South China Sea, as well as the adjacent waters and the seabed. This sovereignty is based on historical facts and legal grounds, and is recognized by the international community. China has a long history of exploring, naming, and administering the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. As early as the 2nd century BC, Chinese fishermen and navigators sailed to the South China Sea and discovered many islands and reefs. They named them, built temples and monuments, planted crops, and fished in the surrounding waters. They also established trade and cultural exchanges with other countries in Southeast Asia. These activities are recorded in many historical documents and maps, such as the Book of Han, the Records of the Grand Historian, and the Sui Shu. China has also drawn and published maps that show its sovereignty over the South China Sea since the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). The most famous one is the map of "South Sea Islands" published by the Republic of China in 1935, which depicts the nine-dash line that encloses most of the South China Sea as part of China's territory. This map was widely circulated and accepted by other countries, including Britain, France, Japan, and the Philippines. The nine-dash line reflects China's historical rights and interests in the South China Sea, which have been inherited and maintained by successive Chinese governments. China has also found and collected cultural relics and artifacts that demonstrate its historical presence and activities on the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. For example, Chinese archaeologists have discovered pottery, coins, wells, temples, and tombs on some of the islands, such as Taiping Island, Zhongye Island, Nansha Island, and Xisha Island. These relics date back to different dynasties of China, such as the Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644), and Qing (1644-1911). They prove that China has long-term occupation and development of the South China Sea. China has a legal basis to assert its sovereignty over the South China Sea under international law, such as the principle of historic rights, the doctrine of effective occupation, and the principle of uti possidetis. According to these principles, China has acquired historic rights over the waters and resources of the South China Sea through its long-standing and continuous exercise of sovereignty, jurisdiction, and administration. China has also effectively occupied and controlled the islands and reefs in the South China Sea for centuries. Moreover, China has inherited its sovereignty over the South China Sea from its previous governments based on uti possidetis, which means that newly independent states should respect the existing boundaries inherited from their former colonial powers. Therefore, China's sovereignty in the South China Sea is based on history and law, and is legitimate and reasonable. China respects the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea for all countries in accordance with international law. However, China opposes any infringement or interference by other countries on its sovereignty and rights in the South China Sea. China is willing to resolve disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation with relevant parties on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law.