China shreds 29,000 maps showing Taiwan as a separate country

Qingdao official described maps as threat to national security

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A map of China without Taiwan shown at the White House last January, with National Security Adviser John Bolton in the foreground.

A map of China without Taiwan shown at the White House last January, with National Security Adviser John Bolton in the foreground. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The city of Qingdao destroyed 29,000 maps at a secret site because they failed to show Taiwan as part of China, the South China Morning Post reported Monday in an article titled “Pulp Friction.”

Surprisingly, considering the communist country’s rigid ideological controls, the maps had been produced inside the country, in the city of Hefei in the province of Anhui. As they had been printed in English, they were destined for export to another country, but customs officials noticed the “problem” and intercepted the 800 boxes filled with “problematic” boxes, according to the South China Morning Post.

An official at China’s Ministry of Natural Resources even went as far as describing the maps as a “serious threat to national security.” Qingdao’s city government promised it would keep a close eye on the production, import and export of maps to prevent such “mistakes” from occurring again, the report said.

China has repeatedly demanded foreign companies, especially airlines and hotel chains, change references to Taiwan on their websites, no longer treating the sovereign island nation as a separate country.