Petition: Removal of the label “China” at the Paracel Island Feed

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Mr. Chris Jones, Editor in Chief
The National Geographic Society
1145 17th St, NW
Washington, DC 20036-4688

March 10, 2010

Ref: The petition for removal of the label “China” at the Paracel Islands on NGS’s online world map

Dear Mr. Jones:

We are writing this letter concerning the label “China” at the disputed Paracel Islands on the online world map edition published by the National Geographic Society. (*)

The fact is that the islands located in the South China Sea have never been recognized as part of Chinese territory by the international community.

In this letter, we do not have any ambition to convince you the Paracel Islands belong to a specific country. Instead, we are requesting you to review the current status of the islands based on reliable, third-party source for correctly labeling the islands on your map.

The sovereignty disputes over the islands remain unresolved for nearly a century. Over the years, the United Nations have also received many complaints from Vietnam and China regarding these features. In fact, the latest submissions to the United Nations from these countries happened in May 2009. The United Nations have classified the Paracel Islands as “the disputed islands” and have never confirmed them belong to neither country.

It is no doubt that the National Geographic Society is a trusted and reliable source of important information for many people around the globe, including researchers and young students.

Therefore, in preventing the public from being misled, we call upon you to immediately review and change the label based on the true status of the Paracel Islands to reflect both the point of view of the international community as well as the neutral point of view policy of the National Geographic Society. Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Your name

(*) Link to the said online world map by National Geographic Society


1. The International Court of Justice of the United Nations has recorded the Paracel Islands as the disputed islands between Vietnam and China.

2. On May 6, 2009, Vietnam and Malaysia formally filed a joint submission with the United Nations’ Commissions on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to claim their territorial sea, including the Paracel Islands.

3. On 6 August, 1998, at the request of the Government of Viet Nam, the protest was circulated to all States Members of the United Nations.



Anonymous said...

Can't believe a big organization like National Geographic would make such a silly error. It's not like the South China Sea dispute is a minor dispute that nobody is aware about. It has been in the news for years and the dispute is the subject of many scholarly research books and articles. NG should update itself on the happenings of the world.

Buddha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Flavio said...

Just checked. The word "China" has been removed now from the National Geographic map. Still, they have not acknowledged that the islands belong to Vietnam