India called to stay objective, refrain from over-interpreting China’s new national map
Published: Aug 30, 2023 09:16 PM Updated: Aug 31, 2023 12:54 AM
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin Photo:

Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on relevant parties to stay objective and refrain from over-interpreting of China's new 2023 standard national map, after the Indian side lodged a "strong protest" over boundary demarcations. 

China's Ministry of Natural Resources released the 2023 edition of the standard national map on Monday, which caused dissatisfaction from India due to boundary disputes: Indian claims China's Zangnan (South Tibet) region and Aksai Chin region as its territory. 

According to Indian media, an Indian ministry of external affairs spokesperson said that India rejects claims from Chinese side and has lodged "a strong protest through diplomatic channels."

In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a routine press briefing on Wednesday that releasing the new standard national map "is a routine practice in China's exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law." 

"We hope relevant sides can stay objective and calm, and refrain from over-interpreting the issue," the spokesperson noted. 

The spat came after Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit at the latter's request on August 23. During the meeting, Xi stressed that the two sides should bear in mind the overall interests of their bilateral relations and handle properly the boundary question so as to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas, acciording to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Improving China-India relations serves the common interests of the two countries and peoples, and is also conducive to peace, stability and development of the world and the region, Xi said. 

Also on Wednesday, China's Ministry of Natural Resources issued a post to standardize the use of maps, as well instructions on downloading the national standard map through the official website.

From Monday to September 1, many regions across China, including Central China's Henan Province and Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, are conducting a series of activities in order to raise public awareness toward China's national map. 

The ministry operates the standard map service system on its official website, providing a series of standard maps to the public. The total volume of downloads has exceeded 5.47 million, and the total number of registered users exceeds 190,000 since the system started operation, laying the foundation to eliminate "problem maps," according to the ministry.

The year 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the implementation of the country's Surveying and Mapping Law.

Global Times