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Arunachal row forces China to destroy thousands of maps

Srinagar, March 27, 2019 (PPI-OT):In order to consolidate Beijing’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh as its part, Chinese officials destroyed as many as 30,000 world maps showing the state as a part of India. Acting on a tip off, customs officials of Qingdao city in Shandong province raided an office and seized more than 800 boxes containing 28,908 world maps.

“A total of 803 boxes of the 28,908 wrong maps were seized and destroyed, the largest amount to be disposed of in recent years,” the province’s Natural Resources Ministry said at a press conference, as quoted by the news website Dazhongwang Qingdao.

It was the largest such exercise in recent years and was reportedly carried out to protect China’s territorial integrity. The maps were in English and manufactured by a company in a Chinese province called, Anhui. Arunachal Pradesh is claimed by China as its part and depicted on its official maps as a part of south Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR). Beijing also considers Taiwan as a breakaway province to be eventually unified.

The documents were taken to a secret location and shredded. “The maps were produced by a company in East China’s Anhui Province and were on the way to being exported to an unspecified foreign country,” the nationalistic tabloid, Global Times reported. “The problematic maps failed to show the correct territory of China and omitted south Tibet and the island of Taiwan, the Qingdao government found after an examination of the maps,” the report added.

“What China did in the map market was absolutely legitimate and necessary, because sovereignty and territorial integrity are the most important things to a country. Both Taiwan and south Tibet are parts of China’s territory which is sacred and inviolable based on the international law,” Liu Wenzong from the department of International Law of China Foreign Affairs University told the Global Times.

“If the wrong maps were circulated inside the country and abroad, it would have caused great harm to China’s territorial integrity in the long run,” noted Liu. Beijing opposes visit of Indian leaders to Arunachal Pradesh and is very sensitive to the depiction of Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India. In April, 2017, China renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh, with experts saying the move is aimed at reaffirming Beijing’s territorial sovereignty on the region.

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