Not just India, China’s new map irks other countries too | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Following India’s lead, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have issued strong statements categorically rejecting the “baseless map” recently released by China that denotes most of the South China Sea and other contested territories as its sovereign land.
What China claims
On August 28, China’s ministry of natural resources released a new “standard” national map as part of what it has called an ongoing effort to eliminate “problem maps”.
Along its southern border with India, it shows the Indian territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Doklam Plateau clearly within Chinese borders, along with Aksai Chin in the western section.

In the far northeastern corner of China on the border with Russia, it shows Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island, an island at the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers, as Chinese territory, even though the countries signed an agreement nearly 20 years ago to split the island.
China also clearly shows its so-called nine-dash line, demarcating what it considers its maritime border, claiming almost the entirety of the South China Sea. The current, and other recent iterations of the annual map, include a 10th dash to the east of Taiwan.
India rejects China’s ‘absurd claims’
India was the first to lodge a protest against the map, rejecting claims made by Beijing and saying they have no basis to claim India’s territory.
The ministry of external affairs said such steps from the Chinese side would only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar said the issuance of the map was an “old habit” of China to stake claim to territories that do not belong to it. He dismissed Beijing’s “absurd claims” and said “putting out a map does not mean anything”.
“China has put out maps with territories (that are) not theirs. (It is an) old habit. Just by putting out maps with parts of India … this doesn’t change anything,” Jaishankar said, adding: “Our government is very clear about what our territories are. Making absurd claims does not make other people’s territories yours.”
In April this year, China had unilaterally “renamed” as many as 11 areas in northeast India, including mountain peaks, rivers and residential areas.
Other countries follow suit
China’s longstanding claims in the South China Sea have brought it into tense standoffs with Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, all of which have competing claims.
Following India’s footsteps, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also raised protest against China’s claims over the South China Sea.

An official release quoted the Philippines foreign ministry as saying, “This latest attempt to legitimise China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
Malaysia rejected China’s “unilateral claims” and added that the map is “not binding” to the country.
Vietnam said the claims violate its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands and jurisdiction over its waters and should be considered void because they violate UNCLOS. Illustrating how provocative the nine-dash line is considered by Hanoi, Vietnam in July banned the popular “Barbie” movie because it includes a view of a map showing the disputed Chinese claims.
The self-governed island of Taiwan, which China claims as its own, also rejected the nine-dash line and Beijing’s South China Sea claims. Taiwan foreign ministry spokesperson Jeff Liu further said Taiwan was “absolutely not a part of the People’s Republic of China”.
“No matter how the Chinese government twists its position on Taiwan’s sovereignty, it cannot change the objective fact of our country’s existence,” he said.
Russia, for which Chinese support in its war against Ukraine has been critical, has not yet responded to the map.
China’s response
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin has sidestepped questions regarding the changes in the map.
He also didn’t directly address the protests over the map, saying the update was “routine practice every year” with the aim of providing standard maps and to “educate the public to use maps in accordance with rules”.
“We hope that the relevant sides can see it in an objective and rational way,” he added.
Timing of map’s release
China knows well that its claims are contentious.

It decided to release the new map on the heels of the Brics summit in Johannesburg and just ahead of the ASEAN summit in Indonesia and the G20 summit in New Delhi.
Most of the governments with which China has disputes in the South China Sea are ASEAN members.
In releasing the map now, Beijing is widely seen as signaling it has no intention of backing down on any of its claims and is making sure that its positions are fresh in the minds of other countries in the region.
Meanwhile, China’s president Xi Jinping will be skipping the G20 summit as well as the ASEAN summit.
(With inputs from agencies)

Watch China provokes again, includes Arunachal Pradesh & Aksai Chin region in new Standard Map

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