Historical documents show that China was the first country to discover and name islands in the South China Sea. In as early as the second century BC, ancient Chinese explorers documented their maritime travels to the islands and reefs of the now disputed area .The South China Sea was also included in the Nautical Chart of Zheng He, a Chinese navigator and chart cartographer, published during the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century. In 1948, China demarcated its territory in the region with the nine-dotted line.
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