New Delhi: After India, four other countries, – Nepal, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines have registered their protest against the recently released its official “standard map” of China, which shows other countries’ territories as its own. Earlier, India protested the inclusion of Arunachal Pradesh and the disputed Aksai-Chin plateau in Chinese territory.
According to the China Daily newspaper, the map was released by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources on Monday in Deqing County, Zhejiang province, during the celebrations of Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week.
According to BBC, a Nepalese lawmaker cancelled a trip to China because, according to him, the new map did not account for the country’s updated map.
As per a statement on the government news website of the country, Vietnam claims that the official map of China published this week violates both its jurisdiction over its oceans and sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel Islands.
The statement cited Pham Thu Hang, the spokesperson for Vietnam’s foreign affairs ministry, that China’s sovereignty and marine claims based on the nine-dotted line on the map are “invalid.” According to the dotted line, Hang noted, Vietnam “resolutely opposes all China’s claims in the South China Sea.
The Philippines said on Thursday it “rejected” the map because of its inclusion of a dashed line around disputed areas of the South China Sea that was subject to an international tribunal ruling in 2016 that found in favour of Manila, according to CNN.
The map is the “latest attempt to legitimise China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones (and) has no basis under international law,” the Philippines foreign affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza said in a statement.
In sternly worded remarks, the governments of Malaysia and Taiwan have also accused Beijing of claiming their territory.
Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also rejected China’s “unilateral claims,” adding that the country “is consistent in its position of rejecting any foreign party’s claims to sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction on Malaysia’s maritime features.”
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) never ruled Taiwan, according to a statement released by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday in response to China’s new “standard map.”
Foreign ministry spokesperson Jeff Liu told Taiwan News that “Taiwan, the Republic of China, is a sovereign and independent country that is not subordinate to the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China has never ruled Taiwan. These are universally recognised facts and the status quo in the international community.”
Apart from all this, the Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island, which Beijing has shared with its ally Russia since 2008 and is located in the Amur River, is also shown on the map as a Chinese territory.
About India’s protest, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the publishing of such maps was “routine” and part of China’s exercise of sovereignty.
During a regular press briefing on Wednesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, “China’s position on the South China Sea is consistent and clear. The competent authorities of China routinely publish standard maps of various types every year, which aims to make standard maps available to all sectors of society and raise public awareness of the standardised use of maps.”
“We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue,” he added, according to Reuters.
China argues that it controls more than 80 per cent of the South China Sea. To support its claim, China cites a 1947 map that depicts a series of hazy dashes, known as the “nine-dash line,” looping down to a point 1,100 miles (1,800 km) south of Hainan Island, as per CNN. In disputes with China about the location of the borders, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Taiwan all claim portions of the same maritime region, according to the report.