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We are a group of Vietnamese Americans who have decided to open this Website we call the Spratlys/Paracels Forum, in reference to the group of islands that has been lost to China in 1974 after a short naval battle and also to another group further South, called the Spratlys, that is still in contention between several countries including Vietnam and naturally China.

We believe there are good will people on both sides, China and Vietnam, and that the last word has not been said yet. For China, although the current leadership has categorically declared the Paracels file closed, we believe this leadership is not a genuine representation of the people of China. For Vietnam, the Hanoi regime is a "quarteron" of usurpers that have overstayed their mandate of leading the country during its struggle for independence and reunification.

Our hope is to attract people from China, Vietnam or from anywhere else in the World, who are interested in looking into the matter and exchanging ideas in a reasonable and considerate manner so that some consensus may emerge from this people-to-people contact that may some day constitute a basis of discussion for the future democratically elected governments of China and Vietnam.

We have historical documents that prove the Paracels and Spratlys archipelagoes belonged to Vietnam since the imperial times, before we lost our independence to the French in the nineteenth century. Recent surveys, based on depth contours, supported the assertion that they belong to the Vietnamese continental shelf. We will present these documents to this forum as the discussion proceeds.

In this era of instant communication and mass air transportation, our world is getting smaller. Compounded with the globalization of economic activities, all the people in the world will soon become like neighbors of the same village and the Chinese colloquialism "people in the Four Seas are brothers" will be reality. In this new world, a better way for the nations to deal with each other has to be conceived. So far, nations are egoistic, and a Western statesman, probably the late president de Gaulle, has summarized this historical fact by writing: "nations have no friends, they have only interests". This is not necessary the truth any more. On the one hand, the antagonistic ideologies have gone, democracy is gaining ground every day everywhere and democratic regimes are less bellicose and more concerned about the well being of their peoples. On the other hand, natural resources, even the most available ones, like water, are depleting while world population is still increasing at an alarming rate. We cannot afford to dedicate our resources to destruction in warfare or even in waste them in expansive competitive production overlaps but rather resolve peacefully our differences, pool our resources, use and distribute them in a way that is efficient and fair for every people. That may be the new interpretation of the Confucian concept of "Pacify the world" and it may sound "utopia". But the coming of age of instant communication, mass air transportation and global economy allows the accomplishment of wonders that only people that are not burdened by the past can believe in its realization.

This is a short exposition of the rationale for our Paracels Forum and we would like to hear from you. Thank you for your time.

The Spratlys Forum