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China takes the border issue online

Beijing, China: ‘Map World,’ an online mapping service launched by China to rival ‘Google Earth’ shows Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as part of China. It is being seen as the latest move by Beijing to assert its claim over the Indian territory.

The ‘Map World’ displayed on the internet in Chinese language, is already being used in iPhone and by mobile and Internet users in China. The map makes no specific mention of southern Tibet but its borders cover up to Arunachal Pradesh,(Beijing claims Arunachal Pradesh to be southern Tibet) according to Indian officials who studied the map. Also the Aksai Chin, which India asserts as part of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir, has been included in the map as part of the Chinese Xinjiang province.

The map, also displays the Line of Control (LoC), acknowledging both sides of Kashmir. It recognises the northern areas of Gligit and Baltistan as part of the “Pakistan-controlled” Kashmir.

A controversy broke out sometime back when the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, while replying to questions on reports of the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan area, referred to them as “northern part of Pakistan.”

The online Chinese map, however, shows the northern areas as part of “Pakistan-controlled” Kashmir, recognising their disputed status.

Although the map recognises Sikkim as part of India but Indian officials say it would be difficult to ascertain whether the “Finger Area”, a small tract of territory in the north of Gyangyong in Sikkim overlooking strategically important valley known as the Sora Funnel, is included. It is not possible to make such a fine distinction on this map. Only experts could decipher it, officials said.

India and China have already held 13 rounds of talks to resolve the boundary issue.

Source: Times of India