China says Google must show Spratly and Paracel Islands belong to China

By Tony Le
6 May 2008

Beijing is at it again, this time with Google. According to a news report by AFP today, the Chinese government is investigating online mapping sites that may expose state secrets or compromise its so called territorial integrity. China doesn't want Internet maps to be showing where China's military bases are located or where its army is stationed.

Beijing is also quite concerned about online maps that show various disputed territories as not belonging to China, for example, the Paracel and Spratly Islands in Vietnam's Eastern Sea, or the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. It also wants Taiwan to be indicated as part of Chinese territory.

Not only Google, but online Chinese mapping sites Sohu and Baidu are being investigated as well. It will come as no surprise if Sohu and Baidu correct their "errors" if there happens to be any. However, it will be of great interest to the parties in the territorial disputes to see whether Google will submit to Beijing's pressure for the sake of its business interests in the gargantuan market that is China.

Of great particular concern for Vietnamese people are the Paracel Islands which China illegally seized from Vietnam in 1974, and part of the Spratly Islands which China also took control from Vietnam after a military invasion in 1988.

Presently, searching the Google maps site reveals that the Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands are labeled by their English names. There are no Chinese or Vietnamese names added to the English label, unlike other undisputed Chinese territories that have both the English script and the Chinese script underneath.

Undoubtedly, Beijing would like Google maps to indicate these islands as Xisha and Nansha (with Chinese characters included) on the map. If it judges that the present way that Google labels these archipelasgos as "illegal" and "damanging" to Chinese territorial integrity, perhaps it will decide to ban Google in China as it has done in other instances with Youtube and Google itself in 2002.

Beijing’s bullyism now shows itself in myriad ways -- taking all the festivity out of the Olympics torch relay, building a secret nuclear submarine base in Hainan Island along with an ominous military build up, and threatening actions against even the big Internet giant Google so that it can get its own way. As China continues to climb up the superpower ladder rung by rung, we can be sure that Beijing will not cease to come up with even more ingenious ways to make its ambitions a reality.

News story link

China to investigate Google for illegal maps: official media

6 May 2008

BEIJING (AFP) — China has launched an investigation into online mapping services by Internet giants including Google and Sohu in an effort to protect state secrets and territorial integrity, state press said.

According to Min Yiren, vice head of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping, authorities hope to get rid of online maps that wrongly depict China's borders or that reveal military secrets, the People's Daily said Monday.

The government began the investigation into the problematic maps in April and will continue it until the end of the year, the report said.

Min cited five areas of concern, with the redrawing of China's borders and placing disputed territory outside the nation the top priority, it said. Such areas of dispute include Taiwan, the Spratlys and Paracels island chains in the South China Sea and the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, it said.

Previous reports, citing Min, said that there were nearly 10,000 illegal map websites in China. The People's Daily named US Internet giant Google, as well as China's Sohu and Baidu, as being under investigation.

The report was seen as the first time the government media had named specific companies as possible offenders. Eight ministries including the mapping bureau, the Ministry of Industry and Information, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Public Safety are involved in the investigation, it said.

Last year, China restricted mapping and survey activity by foreign entities for national security reasons.


Anonymous said...

Spratly and Paracel islands belong to VIETNAM forever!

Anonymous said...

The Current Vietnamese Communists must following the heroes of the Republic of Vietnam (1954-1975) TO PROTECT SPRATLY AND PARACEL ISLANDS

Anonymous said...

1. VN has its own islands located in South CHINA Sea? Does it sounds weird?
2. the fact is that even the mainland of vn was controlled, and somehow administraterred by Tang/Song/Yuan/Ming/Qing Dynasty. of course, all those islands located in south china sea belong to CHINA!

Anonymous said...

Thinking like bandit talking like bandit will act like one, bastard

Anonymous said...

Vietnamese have been essentially an ethnic Chinese for thousands of years. However, they are trying to be different. What can we say: they are whole bunch of ungrateful bas...

Anonymous said...

What a stupid theory when thinking South China Sea must belong to China ! Of course NOT. ( Indian Ocean is not belong to India of course, Indian people in America is not India's people. ) So Spratly and paracel islands are not belong to China. They are belong to Vietnam due to their long history

kookeekrumbs said...

Ha?! South China Sea is merely a name of a sea or strait. It doesn't mean China owns the Spratly. Looking at the map, the Spratly cays or islets belong to Philippines. If you google earth it you could see that it is indeed a Philippine sovereign. It will be a Philippine jurisdiction that China must know. China sea is not a Chinese owned territory.

Anonymous said...

Some one should stand up to China, looks like Vietnamese are the only people that (have had) and would be able to resist the big bully that is communist china.
China better not fire cannons at Vietnamese boats again for this time we will fight back.
In 1974 and 1988 there was no Internet, emails or youtube so China got away with the invasion of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa.
Now things are different, just hope that the Communist Vietnamese government is actually Vietnamese and not some Chinese wearing Vietnamese mask. This is my only fear, that the VN Commies would sell out our beloved country when they can, in the future when their government is overthrown, which no doubt will happen soon, it's may be too late to get the islands back from the Chinese bully.

Randy said...

Hoang Sa and Truong Sa belong to Vietnam in dreams only !
How could one take care of themself if they keep begging like a beggar so long.
Not to mentioned their leader Pham Van Dong signed the deal in 1958, but they do'nt want to admite it, this call "bandit",if they think the islands belong to them , send their navy and and get them back !

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Anonymous said...

As Vietnamese we need to be united against china gression. Our country desperated need to developing a NeuClear weapon . Together we can do it. We have enought Vietnamese Eng in the USA and around the World. We need to be united regardless of our political differentces. as Always Chinese have very bad habit "aggression" as we knew!.

Anonymous said...

As vietnamese we need to be United . We need to devolope the neuclear weapon. We have enought Vietnamese Eng living in USA and around the world. Leave our political differentces beside. United As together we can do it. We will get Spratly and Paracel back!

Anonymous said...

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