CHINA HAS destroyed nearly 30,000 world maps printed in the country for not showing Arunachal Pradesh and Taiwan as part of Chinese territory, according to a report in the state-run Global Times on Tuesday.
According to the report, the maps, printed by a company in Anhui province in eastern China for export, “failed to show the correct territory of China” and “omitted South Tibet and the island of Taiwan”.
In other words, the maps showed Arunachal Pradesh as part of India. Beijing claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet, and the northeastern state is depicted as part of South Tibet Autonomous Region in China’s official maps.
A notice issued by China’s General Administration of Customs on March 22 said that the Qingdao Customs officials found 28,908 maps to be “seriously problematic” when they were examined.
According to reports, 803 boxes containing the “problematic maps” were seized and destroyed. A news website, Dazhongwang Qingdao, reported that the move was ordered by the city’s Natural Resources and Planning Bureau after the maps were found by Customs officials. The maps were taken to an undisclosed location and shredded.
“The crackdown was aimed at enhancing public awareness on national sovereignty and raising people’s ability to distinguish such problematic maps,” the Global Times said, quoting a report from a Qingdao newspaper. “Until now, related authorities have examined the domestic map market more than 100 times, and discovered over 10,000 incorrect maps, thus preventing them from being circulated inside the country and overseas,” it said.
“What China did in the map market was absolutely legitimate and necessary, because sovereignty and territorial integrity are the most important things to a country. Both Taiwan and South Tibet are part of China’s territory, which is sacred and inviolable based on the international law,” Liu Wenzong, professor, Department of International Law of China Foreign Affairs University, was quoted as saying. “If the wrong maps were circulated inside the country and abroad, it would have caused great harm to China’s territorial integrity in the long run,” he said.