China’s contentious new Standard Map includes Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin

China recently introduced an updated version of its “standard map,” which has caused controversy because it includes disputed areas like Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin, Taiwan, and the South China Sea. The release, which took place on August 28, has sparked new diplomatic tensions and reopened old ones.

India has repeatedly stated that the Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of the country and will always be.

The state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region are depicted as being a part of China’s territory on the official 2023 release of its “standard map.” The map made public on August 28 depicts Aksai Chin, which China claimed as South Tibet during the 1962 war, and Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as South Tibet. The new map places Taiwan and the contentious South China Sea inside of Chinese territory.

The map also includes China’s claims regarding the nine-dash line, effectively claiming most of the South China Sea. The South China Sea is claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei.

The map was made public by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources on Monday in Deqing County, Zhejiang Province, as part of the celebrations of Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week, according to the China Daily newspaper. At the recent BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a side meeting.

According to Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra, Prime Minister Modi brought up India’s concerns about unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas during his conversation with President Xi Jinping. The Prime Minister emphasized that maintaining calm and peace in border regions as well as adhering to and respecting the LAC are crucial for the normalization of relations between India and China. Two leaders concurred to instruct their respective officials to step up efforts for prompt disengagement and de-escalation in this regard, according to Kwatra.

The chief planner of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources, Wu Wenzhong, reportedly told China Daily, an English-language daily newspaper owned by the Central Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party: “Surveying, mapping, and geographic information play a critical role in supporting national development, addressing the needs of all societal sectors, assisting in the management of natural resources, and assisting in the development of ecology and civilization.”

According to Wu, who spoke to China Daily, the next step will be to quicken the application of geographic information data to the growth of the digital economy, including location-based services, precision agriculture, platform economies, and intelligent connected vehicles. According to Li Yaowu, deputy secretary-general of the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Government, Zhejiang has prioritized the deep integration of the real and digital economies in recent years and has continued to support the growth of the digital economy.

More nations than it shares borders with with China have territorial disputes. The Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, under Xi Jinping’s leadership, has attempted to impose territorial control over other sovereign territories by using deceptive strategies and manipulation. Beijing’s expansionist attempt to take over more territory has violated all international norms. With the justification that these areas were once a part of greater Tibet, China has now staked claims on portions of the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

An anxious Beijing unilaterally “renamed” up to 11 Indian locations in April of this year, changing names of mountain peaks, rivers, and residential areas. Beijing has used similar strategies before. China’s Civil Affairs Ministry had previously renamed other Indian locations in 2017 and 2021, sparking another political conflict. At that time, New Delhi denounced China’s aggressive plans.

Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), previously said, “This is not the first time that China has attempted something like this and we have already condemned any such attempts. China is trying to show its dominance in places that belong to India’s Arunachal Pradesh. As for Arunachal Pradesh, we had previously stated that it is an integral part of India, so imposing names like these will not do anything to alter the truth.