Also known as Diaoyu-Tai, Diaoyu-Yu, and Diaoyu-Shan, Diaoyu Dao is located at 25°44.6′N and 123°28.4′E. It is 3,641 meters long and 1,905 meters wide, with a total area of 3.91 square kilometers. Reaching 362 meters above sea level, it is flat on the north side and rises steeply towards the southeast. Its jagged eastern reefs resemble spires. Its peaks run east to west.
Dubbed “island of flowers and birds,” Diaoyu Dao is rich in foliage, such as camellia, palms, cactus...
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Covering an area of 0.91 square kilometers, 1,293 by 1,102 meters, Huangwei Yu is located at 25°55.4′N and 123°40.9′E, 27 kilometers southeast of Diaoyu Dao. It is the second largest island in the area, rising 117 meters above sea level. A round, extinct volcano with a crater, it is taller at the center and surrounded by sheer cliffs in the east with magnificent vertical-fissure rocks. With palm trees and bushes covering its huge volcanic formations, it has been dubbed “Bird Island”...
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Located at 25°55.3′N and 124°33.5′N at the easternmost tip of Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islets, Chiwei Yu is shaped like a scalene triangle, 110 kilometers from Diaoyu Dao. Covering an area of 0.065 square kilometers, 484 by 194 meters, it reaches up like a spire, 75 meters above sea level, with a bedrock coast, steep cliffs, and reefs mostly found to the north and west.
The Chinese government has announced standard names for the Chiwei Yu and its one peak...
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Beixiao Dao is located at 25°43.8′N and 123°32.5E, 5 kilometers east of Diaoyu Dao. Covering an area of 0.33 square kilometers, 1,030 by 583 meters, it reaches 125 meters above sea level in the shape of a parallelogram, stretching from southeast to northwest.
The Chinese government has announced standard names for Beixiao Dao and its two peaks and three surrounding islets.
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Nanxiao Dao is located at 25°43.4′N and 123°33.0′E, to the southeast of Beixiao Dao and 5.5 kilometers from Diaoyu Dao. Reaching an elevation of 139 meters, it covers an area of 0.45 square kilometers, 1.147 by 590 meters. Oval shaped, it rises steeply on its southeastern slope, with a plateau across the center. It has been dubbed “Snake Island” for its numerous snakes.
The Chinese government has announced standard names for Nanxiao Dao...
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Bei Yu is located at 25°46.9′N and 123°32.6′E, six kilometers northeast of Diaoyu Dao. It covers an area of 0.02 square kilometers, 193 by 142 meters. With an elevation of 24 meters, it is triangular, with a flat area in the west.
The Chinese government has announced standard names for Bei Yu and its four surrounding islets.
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Nan Yu is located at 25°45.3′N and 123°34.0′E, 7.4 kilometers northeast of Diaoyu Dao. It covers an area of 0.007 square kilometers, 170 by 75 meters, with an elevation of 4.8 meters, in the shape of a crescent moon. No vegetation is found on the islet.
The Chinese government has announced standard name for Nan Yu.
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Fei Yu is located at 25°44.1′N and 123°30.4′E, 1.5 kilometers southeast of Diaoyu Dao. It covers an area of 0.001 square kilometers, 63 by 33 meters, with an elevation of 2 meters. Shaped like a shrimp tail, it features sheer cliffs on the southwest. No vegetation is found on the Island.
The Chinese government has announced standard names for Fei Yu and Feizai Yu.
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Basic Facts on Diaoyu Dao

Important Historical Records

Historical Evidence

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1534

1556

1561

1561

1579

1606

1663

1683

1718

1800

1808

Shun Feng Xiang Song

Voyage with a Tail Wind (Shun Feng Xiang Song)

Written in the early Ming Dynasty, the book Voyage with a Tail Wind (Shun Feng Xiang Song) recorded Diaoyu Dao explicitly. From 1403 to 1424, based on the experience of the voyagers to Western seas, Chinese officials revised the book several times. The copy now housed in Bodleian Library of Oxford University was published during the reign of Emperor Wanli (1573-1620) of the Ming Dynasty... More>>
Shi Liu Qiu Lu

Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu)

In 1534 (13th year of Emperor Jiajing’s reign of the Ming Dynasty), Chen Kan, an imperial title-conferring envoy from the Ming court to Ryukyu, stated in Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu), “Diaoyu Yu, Huangmao Yu, Chi Yu, so many islands unfold before my eyes. Then Kume Mountain comes into sight; that is where the land of Ryukyu begins. The Ryukyuans on my ship start singing and dancing excitedly... More>>
Ri Ben Yi Jian

A Mirror of Japan (Ri Ben Yi Jian)

In 1556 (the 35th year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty), Zheng Shungong wrote A Mirror of Japan (Ri Ben Yi Jian) after being dispatched by the Ming court to Japan on a study trip. An illustration in the book – “Roadmap from Fujian to Japan” records that “Diaoyu Yu is Xiaodong’s affiliated island” Xiaodong was another name for Taiwan at that time. That shows Diaoyu Dao is Taiwan’s affiliated island. More>>
Shi Liu Qiu Lu

Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu)

In 1561 (the 40th year of Emperor Jiajing’s reign of the Ming Dynasty), Guo Rulin, an imperial title-conferring envoy from the Ming court to Ryukyu and Li Jichun, Guo’s deputy, described in Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu), “The first day of May on the lunar calendar, we passed Diaoyu Yu. And on the third day of May on the lunar calendar, we arrived at Chi Yu, which separates China and Ryukyu... More>>
Chou Hai Tu Bian

An Illustrated Compendium on Maritime Security (Chou Hai Tu Bian)

An Illustrated Compendium on Maritime Security (Chou Hai Tu Bian) compiled by geographer Zheng Ruozeng under the auspices of Hu Zongxian, Supreme Commander of the southeast coastal defenses of the Ming court, in 1561 (the 40th year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty), marked the islands under the jurisdiction of the Ming court's coastal defense forces... More>>
Shi Liu Qiu Lu

Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu)

In 1579 (the 7th year of the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty), Xiao Chongye, an imperial title-conferring envoy from the Ming court to Ryukyu and Xie Jie, Xiao’s deputy, also recorded in Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu), “It took us 30 days to arrive at Huangmao Islet. And on the first day of lunar May, we passed Diaoyu Yu and two days later, we arrived at Chi Yu, which sits at the border between China and Ryukyu. The next day... More>>
Shi Liu Qiu Lu

Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu)

In 1606 (the 34th year of the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty), Xia Ziyang, an imperial title-conferring envoy from the Ming court, was sent to Ryukyu. He wrote in his Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu): “In the afternoon, we passed Diaoyu Yu. The next day, we arrived at Huangwei Yu. That night, the wind roared, making the waves surge over the helm... More>>
Shi Liu Qiu Ji

Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Ji)

In 1663 (the 2nd year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty), Zhang Xueli was sent to Ryukyu as an imperial title-conferring envoy from the Qing court. His Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Ji) recorded his voyage to Ryukyu in the form of a journal: “The color of the water becomes different, dark blue. The boatman told me we were entering the ocean. Instantly... More>>
Shi Liu Qiu Za Lu

Miscellaneous Records of a Mission to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Za Lu)

In 1683 (the 22nd year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty ), serving as a historian at Hanlin Imperial Academy, Wang Ji was sent to Ryukyu as an imperial title-conferring envoy from the Qing court. According to his Miscellaneous Records of a Mission to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Za Lu), “… We successively passed Pengjia Mountain, Diaoyu Yu, Huangwei Yu, Chi Yu, Kume Mountain and Machi Mountain and finally arrived at Ryukyu.” “… in a short time... More>>
Zhong Shan Chuan Xin Lu

Records of Messages from Chong-shan (Zhong Shan Chuan Xin Lu)

In 1718 (the 57th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty), Xu Baoguang, a deputy title-conferring envoy, was sent to Ryukyu by the Qing court. In order to clarify the boundary between China and Ryukyu, Emperor Kangxi also sent a special expert to accompany Xu to make a chart. His book Records of Messages from Chong-shan (Zhong Shan Chuan Xin Lu) (Chong-shan is another name for the Ryukyu Kingdom) explicitly marks the names... More>>
Chiwei Yu

Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Ji)

In 1800 (the 5th year of the reign of Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty), Li Dingyuan, an officer in the Qing court, was sent to Ryukyu as a deputy imperial title-conferring envoy to accompany Zhao Wenkai. Li’s Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Ji) recorded his voyage to Ryukyu in the form of a journal, in which he noted Diaoyu Yu, Chiwei Yu and other islands. More>>
Added Annals of Ryukyu

Added Annals of Ryukyu

In 1808 (the 13th year of the reign of Emperor Jiaqing of the Qing Dynasty), Qi Kun, an imperial title-conferring envoy and Fei Xizhang, Qi’s deputy, were sent to Ryukyu. Their book stated, “At the dawn of the 13rd day, we saw Diaoyu Tai. And after four hours sailing, we saw Chiwei Yu. And nine hours later, we passed the trench and held a sacrificial ceremony to the sea.” More>>

Evidence of Maps

Map of Coastal Defense Stretching Thousands of Miles (Wan Li Hai Fang Tu) (segment)

This map was drawn in 1561 (the 40th year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty) and was collected in the eighth volume of Collected Works of Zheng Kaiyang (Zheng Kai Yang Za Zhu). The map shows that Diaoyu Dao, Huangwei Yu and Chi Yu have been included in the jurisdiction of China’s coastal defense. More>>
Wan Li Hai Fang Tu

Map of Fujian’s Coastal Mountains and Sands (Fu Jian Yan Hai Shan Sha Tu)

In 1562 (the 41st year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty), the map was drawn and printed in the book An Illustrated Compendium on Maritime Security (Chou Hai Tu Bian). This map also included Diaoyu Dao,Huangwei Yu and Chi Yu within the scope of China’s maritime defense. More>>
Map Mountains

The Roadmap to Ryukyu (Liu Qiu Guo Hai Tu)

This map appeared in Records of the Imperial Title-Conferring Envoys to Ryukyu (Shi Liu Qiu Lu) written by imperial title-conferring envoy Xiao Chongye in 1579 (the 7th year of the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty). The map shows that the mission passed Diaoyu Dao on their way to Ryukyu. More>>
Liu Qiu Guo Hai Tu

Navigation Map (Zhen Lu Tu)

The map was included in Records of Messages from Chong-shan (Zhong Shan Chuan Xin Lu), a book by Xu Baoguang, a deputy title-conferring envoy to Ryukyu in 1721 (the 60th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty). Showing the sailing route between China and Ryukyu, the map clearly demonstrates that Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands must be passed on the way from China to Ryukyu. More>>
Navigation Map

Navigation Map (Zhen Lu Tu)

This map was part of the Annals of Ryukyu (Liu Qiu Guo Zhi Lue) by Zhou Huang, a deputy imperial envoy in 1756 (the 21st year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty). It shows that Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands are on the sailing route from China to Ryukyu. More>>
Navigation Map

Great Universal Geographic Map (Kun Yu Quan Tu)

Michael Benoist, a French Jesuit, was commissioned by the Qing court to create “Great Universal Geographic Map (Kun Yu Quan Tu).” On the basis of “Geographic Map of The Empire (Huang Yu Quan Tu)” and upgraded charting methods, the new map was finished in 1767 (the 9th year of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty) and labeled Diaoyu Dao in China’s coastal waters using words from the Minnan dialect (Ban Lam Gu)... More>>
Kun Yu Quan Tu

Atlas of the Great Qing Dynasty (Huang Chao Zhong Wai Yi Tong Yu Di Zong Tu)

“Atlas of the Great Qing Dynasty” (Huang Chao Zhong Wai Yi Tong Yu Di Zong Tu) was compiled under commission from Hu Linyi, governor of Hubei Province and published in 1863 (the 2nd year of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi of the Qing Dynasty) by the Hubei government. The map also included Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands as China’s territory. More>>
Diaoyu Dao

A New Map of China

An official map commissioned by the UK government, “A New Map of China” was drawn by John Cary in 1801. John Cary (1754-1835), a British cartographer, was famous for his accuracy. To the northeast of Tai-ouan (Taiwan) are Pon-kia, Hoan-pin-su, Hao-yu-su, Hoan-oey-su and Tshe-oey-su, which are Anglicized names for Pengjia Yu, Huaping Yu, Diaoyu Yu, Huangwei Yu and Chiwei Yu – in the Minnan dialect, respectively. More>>
A New Map of China

Map of Navigation

Portugal’s “Map of Navigation” in 1762 included Diaoyu Dao, Taiwan, Zhangzhou and Ningbo (coastal cities of Fujian and Zhejiang provinces) in the same table. In terms of the order of the needle line as well as the islands’ longitudes and latitudes, both Diaoyu Dao and Taiwan were part of China. In this table, any locales belonging to Japan would be marked with the word “Japaó.” More>>
Map of Navigation

Sailing Pilot of East India, China and the Oceanic Continent

“Coast Pilot of East India, China and the Oceanic Continent” was published in 1816 in London, and recorded Taiwan’s affiliated islands along with its geographical territory and marked the islands’ longitudes and altitudes. The pilot shows Tiaoyu-su (Diaoyu Dao) and Hoapin-su (HuapingYu) as part of Taiwan’s territory. More>>
Diaoyu Dao

Complete Graph of Okinawa Prefecture

This map was published in 1895, explicitly defining the geographical range and islands affiliated to Okinawa Prefecture. It clearly shows Kume Island as the southwestern boundary of the Ryukyu Islands, and that Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands are excluded in the administration of Okinawa Prefecture. More>>
Diaoyu Dao
  • Wan Li Hai Fang Tu
  • Map Mountains
  • Liu Qiu Guo Hai Tu
  • Navigation Map
  • Navigation Map
  • Kun Yu Quan Tu
  • Diaoyu Dao
  • A New Map of China
  • Map of Navigation
  • Diaoyu Dao
  • Diaoyu Dao