China has inked for the first time South China Sea islands on its new official maps in equal scale to that of the Chinese mainland.
The new vertical-format maps of China, published by Sinomaps Press, include more than 130 islands and islets in the South China Sea, most of which have not been featured on previous maps of China, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) announced on Friday.
The old maps, which were in horizontal format, only featured bigger islands such as the Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands. These were illustrated in the bottom-right corner at half the scale used for the Chinese mainland, said Zhou Beiyan, editor of the new maps.
The new maps have been published by Sinomaps Press but will not be available to the public until the end of January, according to the NASMG.
The maps 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, said Xu Gencai, chief editor of Sinomaps Press.
Xu added that the new vertical maps have marked clearly the major South China Sea islands and demonstrated their geographic relations with surrounding island countries as well as surrounding islands and islets.
In the bottom-left corner, there is also a zoomed illustration of the Diaoyu Islands, displaying their positional relations and those of their affiliated islets with the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.