China has sparked widespread outrage across the globe, after it released the 2023 edition of what Beijing claims is the country's standard map. Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh are among the South and South-East Asian territories marked within Chinese borders in map uploaded by the country's Ministry of Natural Resources on the website of its standard map service.
China has also included Taiwan as part of its official territory as well as the areas in South China Seas marked with the contentious Nine-Dash Line, which is disputed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
In a tweet, the state-run Global Times stated, “This map is compiled based on the drawing method of national boundaries of China and various countries in the world.” In a reply, one user said, “When your drawing method is based on fantasies.”
Many other social media users also took to the X platform to express their outrage. One user responded to the contentious map with a thumbs-down emoji, saying “Wrong map, wrong claims” while another posted, “In your dreams”. Yet another user wrote, “Why not every country draws random lines at this point...”
One of the Indian users tweeted, “Arunachal Pradesh will always remain Indian. Release how many maps as you want,” while another said, “Dont worry....when Xi comes to India he will see the correct map of India !!” Yet another wrote, “Drawing the new lines on paper will not increase your territories. This is India.”
Referring to the 9-dash Line marked in disputed territories in South China Sea, one user wrote, “Obviously bullying all of the SE Asian neighbors with that dashed line”, while another said, “The 9-dash line was declared invalid by international tribunal. Thus, it violates the territorial sovereignty of various SE Asian countries. China hides behind ridiculous rhetoric of being cooperative with @ASEAN”.
The map was released ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi on September 9 and 10. Congress MP Manish Tewari said the Centre should introspect whether it would be "in accordance with India's self-respect" to host Chinese President Xi Jinping during the summit.
Tewari said the "absurdity and preposterousness of the Chinese claim is evidenced by the history of the Sino-Indian border dispute". He added, "Today, the real issue between India and China is that the Chinese have transgressed along the LAC at multiple points on a theatre level... To sum it up, the Chinese maps are preposterous, they are not in sync with the history of the Sino-India border dispute, China has no claim on Arunachal Pradesh..."
Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut also addressed the issue, saying, "...PM should look into this. He went to the BRICS Summit recently and met the Chinese Premier. Now this map has come out. So he should be asked this question. It breaks our hearts. What Rahul Gandhi said is true that China has transgressed in Ladakh...China is attempting to enter Arunachal Pradesh. If you have courage launch a surgical strike on China..."
The Central government is yet to respond to China's new map.