Beijing: China published its 2023 edition of its ‘standard map’ (China New Map) on Monday, just days before the G-20 summit in New Delhi. The map shows Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, Taiwan, and the disputed South China Sea as part of China’s territory. China wants to assert its claims over these areas, despite India’s repeated assertion that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. China’s official newspaper Global Times shared the 2023 standard map of China on X (a social media platform).
The Global Times said that the map was released on the website of the Standard Map Service, which is owned by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources. The map claims to have drawn the national boundaries of China and other countries in the world. The new map comes less than a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg. The map wrongly depicts some parts of India as Chinese territories.
China’s move before the G-20 summit
The map has been released before the possible visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India for the G-20 summit in New Delhi. The map also features the notorious 9-dash line, which is China’s border claim in the South China Sea. The 9-dash line was drawn by a Chinese geographer in the 1940s. It is a U-shaped line that claims 90 percent of the South China Sea, which the Philippines calls the North Philippines Sea. This move of China violates international laws, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
China’s consistent provocations
China has always been indirectly claiming sovereignty over Arunachal Pradesh. China has objected to any political visit to Arunachal by India. In 2022, China changed the names of 11 places in Arunachal Pradesh on its map. India’s Ministry of External Affairs rejected this move and said that Arunachal Pradesh is and will remain an integral part of India. This kind of effort will not change the reality. The timing of the new map also raises questions. The map reflects the expansionist agenda of the Chinese Communist Party since 1949, which shows India’s Arunachal Pradesh state and parts of Ladakh inside China’s map.