Chinese fishermen’s historic Genglubu supports claim to South China Sea

CCTV News

Chinese fishermen's historic Genglubu supports claim to South China Sea

China has proposed resolution through dialogue to its neighbors on South China Sea issues.

But territorial disputes continue to arise. Today’s fishermen not only face the perils of the open sea, but also the danger of an encounter with a foreign patrol boat.

CCTV’s Han Bin visits Tanmen town in South China’s Hainan province. There he found the rising tensions at sea are having repercussions back on land.

Chinese fishermen’s historic Genglubu supports claim to South China Sea

Chinese fishermen’s historic Genglubu supports claim to South China Sea

China has proposed resolution through dialogue to its neighbors on South China Sea issues.

Su Chengfen now lives in Tanmen town, in Hainan province. The 80-year-old is building a model of the boat he took with his grandfather.

They sailed to the Nansha Islands, also known as the Spratlys, when he was 13. The people of Tanmen have been fishing in the South China Sea for generations.

Su Chengfen showed the secret of his voyages: a navigation log of the South China Sea.

Tanmen people call it “Genglubu”, which means the “Road Book”. There are numerous versions, centuries of hard-won experience. Every island and its surrounding conditions are clearly described.

Chinese experts believe they are clear evidence that Chinese fishermen were the first explorers in the South China Sea.

Before he retired at 60, Su Chengfen used this compass and the “Genglubu” on all his journeys.

In 1972, he was detained by Vietnam. Since then, he has never returned to the Nanshas.

Tanmen is a very small fishing town, which has become well-known, as its residents work on China’s maritime frontier.

Fishing is a long tradition but it’s not just about money. Life for the fishermen is extremely hard, and the disputes and unrest are making it harder. They hope that they can carry on in peaceful waters.