TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — China's newly released "standard map" is stirring controversy in Asia-Pacific as it includes Taiwan, two territories claimed by India, and the South China Sea.
On Monday (Aug. 28), the Ministry of Natural Resources released the 2023 edition of the "standard map of China," reported Beijing's state-run publication, the China Daily. The map was unveiled during an event marking the Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week in Deqing county, Zhejiang province.
The map, which has been uploaded to the standard map website by the ministry, depicts Taiwan as part of China, although Taiwan has never actually been ruled by the People's Republic of China. The 10th dash of the contentious Nine-dash Line sits just to the east of Taiwan, while the rest of the dashes encircle the entirety of the South China Sea.
Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan also claim parts of the South China Sea. In 2016, the Hague's international arbitration court ruled that most of China's claims in the South China Sea were illegal.
China's claims to Taiwan and the South China Sea on the map are the same as in previous editions. According to a post to X (formerly Twitter) uploaded by China's state-owned publication, the Global Times, the map was compiled "based on the drawing method of national boundaries of China and various countries in the world."
In addition, the map continues to claim the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region, both of which India claims as its territory. In response to the Chinese map, Congress MP Manish Tewari on Tuesday (Aug. 29) called on the Narendra Modi administration to "seriously introspect" whether India should continue to host Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) at the G20 Summit, which is slated to be held in New Delhi in September, reported The Hindustan Times.
The appearance of the map comes after China had in April announced that it would rename 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh with Chinese names. On April 4, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi responded to China's scheme by saying in an X post, "We reject this outright, Arunachal Pradesh is, has been and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. Attempts to assign invented names will not alter this reality."
2023 edition of the standard map of China. (Ministry of Natural Resources image)