The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucus yesterday called on the public to write to Google to protest its listing of Taiwan as a "province of China" on its Google Maps service.
In addition to sending its own letter of protest to the US search-engine giant, the caucus asked the government to lodge a formal protest and request Google to clearly define Taiwan as "an independent state."
TSU caucus whip David Huang (黃適卓) said that Google Maps' definition of Taiwan as part of China was not only far-fetched but also unacceptable to the nation's people.
"Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state. Taiwan is not part of China," Huang said.
"Taiwan has never been ruled by China, nor has the Chinese government deployed any government functionaries or armed forces here," he said.
According to Google's Web site, Google Maps provides users with data such as business locations, contact information and driving directions.
By listing Taiwan as a province of China, Google Maps is clearly succumbing to pressure from China to distort the international community's perception of the cross-strait situation, Huang said.
"It seriously sabotages the nation's sovereignty. The people of Taiwan should not allow China to spread such misleading information to the international community," Huang said.
TSU Legislator Tseng Tsan-teng (曾燦燈) said that the search engine's listing of Taiwan as a part of China has no basis in reality whatsoever.
"The public should condemn Google for belittling the nation's sovereignty. We simply cannot remain idle, because the nation's sovereignty is bound to be eroded inch by inch if we fail to take heed of China's petty political maneuverings in cases like this," Tseng said.
TSU Legislator Huang Chung-yung (
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michael Lu (
"Taiwan is not a province of China," Lu said.
David Wang (王建業), deputy director-general of the ministry's Department of Information and Cultural Affairs, said this was not the first time international Web sites or media outlets have included Taiwan as part of China's territory.
"Our stance on the matter is clear: It is something for which we have zero tolerance, and there should also be zero ambiguity about the nation's sovereignty," he said.
"Swift action must be taken to take care of the matter and set the facts straight," Wang said.
Tony Ong (
"I encourage the public to inform government agencies of similar occurrences," he said.
Those interested in lodging an online complaint with Google can go to http://www.google.com/support/maps/bin/request.py.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan
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