Chinese authorities reportedly destroyed about 28,908 maps of the Chinese territory, which omitted Arunachal Pradesh and Taiwan out of the maps, last week. The maps are said to be printed in English language and were to be exported to “a foreign country”.
This move comes as a result of years of Indo-China feud over the state of Arunachal Pradesh. Apart from the Indian state, Beijing also considers Taiwan which is a self-governing democratic state to be a part of its own territory. China suggests that their government was made aware of the existence of such maps and that they had to carry out this exercise to defend their “territorial integrity”.
The maps were taken to an undisclosed location where every last one of the maps was shredded to bits. This is said to be the largest quantity of maps to be disposed off in recent years.
“Maps reflected national sovereignty and were a political statement”, Ma Wei from the Natural Resources Ministry’s Geographical Information Centre said. In April 2017, China renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh in a seeming vengeance against the Dalai Lama visit to the state, with experts say is aimed at reiterating Beijing’s “territorial sovereignty” on the region.
Hua Chunying, the foreign ministry spokesperson said, “China’s position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear-cut. The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called ‘Arunachal Pradesh’ and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader’s visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary.”