A new map to be released later this month by China’s National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation increases from 29 to 130 the number of disputed areas marked as officially part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), including the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) claimed by Taiwan and Japan.
Previous editions of the “Wall Map Series of National Territory,” which presented China’s claimed territory in horizontal format, only included the larger contested islands in the South China Sea in a separate box at the bottom right of the map, Xinhua news agency said at the weekend. The territories included in the box were half scale and not clearly detailed.
The new map is vertical and is to be distributed by Sinomaps Press on behalf of the Chinese authorities starting next month. It will for the first time display the entirety of the PRC’s claimed territory on the same scale as continental China.
Photo from stcn.com
“The new map will be very significant in enhancing Chinese people’s awareness of national territory, safeguarding China’s marine rights and interests and manifesting China’s political diplomatic stance,” Xu Gencai (徐根才), editor-in-chief at Sinomaps Press, told Xinhua.
In all, the map includes 130 disputed areas, including Taiwan, islets and coral reefs in the Spratlys (Nansha Islands, 南沙群島), the Paracels (Xisha Islands, 西沙群島), the Pratas (Dongshan Islands, 東沙群島), the Macclesfield Bank (Zhongsha Islands, 中沙群島) and the Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island (黃岩島), which are the object of disputes between Taiwan, China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia. It also includes the Diaoyutais, in the East China Sea.
In another first, an inset shows the northern tip of Taiwan and detailed mapping of the eight major islets comprising the Diaoyutais, known as the Senkakus by Japan.
Tensions in the area escalated last week, with China and Japan dispatching fighter aircraft after Chinese aircraft penetrated Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone near the islets on three occasions.
Lu Chang-shui (盧長水), head of the Mainland Affairs Council’s Department of Information and Liaison, said the map was different from the one in new Chinese passports showing Taiwan and the South China Sea as Chinese territory, as well as pictures of Taiwanese tourist spots.
“A passport represents national sovereignty and a map is for a country’s internal use,” Lu said. “Consequently, the council will use different approaches to deal with the map and the passport.”
Lu added that official maps published by the government include the PRC as part of Republic of China (ROC) territory, as dictated by the ROC Constitution.
In related developments, state broadcaster NHK reported yesterday that Japan would deploy two additional patrol ships at its regional coast guard headquarters responsible for territory that includes the Senkakus.
The 335-tonne Kurose and the 3,100-tonne Chikuzen, which comes equipped with a helicopter, will be deployed in August and October respectively, it said.
Meanwhile, during a meeting in Sydney on Sunday, Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida and Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Bob Carr told a press conference that the two countries had agreed to increase bilateral cooperation on security issues, Kyodo news agency reported yesterday.
Additionally, the Asahi Shimbun reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would embark on a trip to Southeast Asia tomorrow — his first since assuming office last month — where he will seek to deepen cooperation with ASEAN countries on trade, energy and security matters.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan and AFP
VITAL INDUSTRY: A war in the Strait would be a catastrophe, as Taiwan ‘lies at the heart’ of the world’s semiconductor industry, the magazine’s report said The government yesterday welcomed international attention on Taiwan’s security, saying that China is to blame for threatening regional stability, after a report by The Economist called Taiwan “the most dangerous place on Earth.” The report is featured on the cover of the magazine’s latest issue, which depicts the nation as the epicenter of a US-China rivalry. The cover shows Taiwan in a radar display with dots crossing the Taiwan Strait accompanied by a Chinese flag and dots nearing the east coast with a US flag. The US maintains a “one China” policy, while maintaining relations with Taiwan, but such “strategic ambiguity is breaking
HIGH-RISK GROUP: After the latest outbreak, family members of workers exposed to infection would from tomorrow be eligible for government-funded vaccines The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four local COVID-19 cases: three family members of an infected worker at a quarantine hotel and a family member of an infected pilot. The new cases bring the number of infections involving China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) pilots and the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, where many of the airline’s crew members quarantined, to 24. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said three of them are the husband, son and daughter of case No. 1,129, a woman in her 60s, who works at the hotel. The son is in
NEXT STEP? The contract chipmaker said it would decide whether to add more plants based on operation efficiency, cost economics and demand Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan. Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up
VIRUS CURBS: Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan is banned until May 17, the CECC announced The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday banned visits to patients or residents at healthcare and long-term care facilities in three cities until May 17. It also reported six imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases with unclear infection sources. As the number of locally transmitted cases rises, some of whom have visited many places in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, enhanced disease prevention measures have to be implemented in the three cities, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and