US agency corrects coronavirus map showing Taiwan as part of China

US Center for Disease Control and Prevention appeared to portray Taiwan as Chinese territory on map of outbreak

The Wuhan coronavirus map. (Screen capture from US's CDC website)

The Wuhan coronavirus map. (Screen capture from US's CDC website)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following requests from the Taiwanese authorities, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has adjusted its novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) map, which had earlier designated Taiwan as part of Chinese territory.

It was previously discovered that the CDC had depicted Taiwan and China with the same brown color on a map on its website that showed the outbreak of the coronavirus, which is believed to have spread from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

In addition, in the CDC’s report on the mysterious disease, it failed to mention Taiwan, which confirmed its first coronavirus case on Tuesday (Jan. 21), giving the impression that the case was being categorized as a Chinese one, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

MOFA Spokesperson Joanne Ou (歐江安) said on Thursday (Jan. 23) that after requests for corrections had been made by the ministry and Taiwan's Representative Office in the U.S., the CDC made adjustments accordingly on Wednesday (Jan. 22), reported CNA. The agency has adjusted both the map and text on its website, said Ou, adding that the concern over undermining Taiwan’s sovereignty has thus been removed.

On the CDC’s new version of the map, all the countries — including China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan — where cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed are shown in the same color, with the island nation also being distinguished from China in the report.

The ministry appreciates the swift corrections made by the CDC and looks forward to working with the U.S. on combatting the disease, which also entered the U.S. this week, said Ou.

The coronavirus, which is suspected to be derived from wildlife sold at a Wuhan traditional seafood market, has taken 17 lives in the city of 11 million, forcing the authorities to close down public transportation systems from Thursday morning and ask residents not to leave the city.