Prior to the 17th century, the two archipelagos belonged to no other nation in the region or from other parts of the world.

After political and historical changes in Vietnam, the region as well as the world in the 20th century, the Hoang Sa islands and part of the Truong Sa archipelago were illegally occupied by many different countries. However, the Vietnamese nation, no matter what regime is in power, has never renounced its sovereignty over both archipelagos and has always asserted they are an inseparable part of Vietnam.

Protecting sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa is an important, long-term national cause for Vietnam.

In the island district of Ly Son, Quang Ngai province, there is the historic Am Linh Tu pagoda dedicated to the Hoang Sa naval heroes who sacrificed their lives to assert and protect Vietnam’s sovereignty over the Hoang Sa islands nearly 300 years ago. Ly Son Island also has a museum and monument for the Hoang Sa naval fleet.

Inside the royal citadel in Hue, there are nine bronze urns cast under the Nguyen Dynasty in the 19th century which are considered Vietnam’s pictorial encyclopedia. The largest urn, Cao dinh, bears the image of the East Sea with the short, clear caption: Dong Hai (East Sea).

A gallery of Hoang Sa-related documents is located at the Department of Home Affairs of Danang city, where the Hoang Sa island district People’s Committee is headquartered.

In July 2010, Danang named its two longest and most beautiful roads after the Hoang Sa and Truong Sa islands. Ho Chi Minh City also has Hoang Sa and Truong Sa Roads along Nhieu Loc Canal in Tan Binh District and District 3.