China’s Ministry of Natural Resources issues standards for map content to protect sovereignty and promote geographic industry growth.
Maps must accurately show China’s territory, including islands like Nanhai Zhudao, Diaoyu Islands, and Hainan’s southern point. Problematic maps challenged.
China’s Ministry of Natural Resources issued new standards for map contents on Tuesday, aimed at bolstering map management, upholding national sovereignty, security, and developmental interests, and fostering the healthy growth of the geographic information industry.
The regulations stipulate that any map depicting China must precisely represent the country’s territorial extent.
Beyond China’s mainland, Hainan, and Taiwan, comprehensive maps of China must also encompass significant islands such as Nanhai Zhudao (the South China Sea Islands), the Diaoyu Islands, and related important islets, as per the guidelines.
When presenting Nanhai Zhudao as supplementary illustrations, the southernmost point of Hainan Island should appear on the southern side of the primary map of China, in accordance with the standards, thus ensuring that the depiction does not compromise the holistic representation of China’s territory.
In the context of maps delineating China’s Taiwan region, the regulations dictate the inclusion of the Diaoyu Islands and Chiwei Yu, except in cases where maps are explicitly named after “the island of Taiwan.”
The regulations will be effective from the date of promulgation and will remain in force for a span of five years, according to the pertinent authorities. Additionally, the standards encompass instructions for maps delineating the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions.
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In recent years, a number of problematic maps undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have been identified. In August 2022, authorities at Chongqing Customs confiscated 24 sets of questionable maps suspected of contravening the one-China principle.
Similarly, during the 19th China-ASEAN Expo held in South China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in September 2022, a total of 57 “problematic maps” and 22 “problematic map” panels were detected and subsequently rectified.
China’s natural resources and national security bodies have jointly conducted law enforcement actions in recent times against companies and organizations employing “problematic maps” beyond the country’s borders.
Source: Global Times