China’s New Standard Map: a controversial depiction of territory

China lays claim on Arunachal Pradesh, Aksai Chin in new ‘standard map’

China has recently released the 2023 version of its “standard map” which depicts Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as part of its territory. The map also includes Taiwan and the disputed South China Sea within Chinese territory. Additionally, it incorporates China’s claims over the nine-dash line, thus laying claim to a large part of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have all made claims over areas of the South China Sea.

The map was released by China’s Ministry of Natural Resources during the celebration of Surveying and Mapping Publicity Day and the National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week on Monday in Deqing county, Zhejiang province.


(Global Times is China’s national English language newspaper, under the People’s Daily)

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa where Xi emphasized on improving China-India relations for the common interests of both countries and their people.

Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra stated that in his conversation with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Modi highlighted India’s concerns regarding unresolved issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas.

Wu Wenzhong, the chief planner of China’s Ministry of Natural Resources, said that surveying, mapping, and geographic information play an important role in boosting national development, meeting the needs of all walks of life, supporting natural resource management, and aiding in the construction of ecology and civilization. Wu also stated that the next step would be to accelerate the application of geographic information data such as digital maps and navigation in the development of the digital economy.

China has territorial disputes with more countries than it shares borders with. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), led by Xi Jinping, has used deceitful tactics and manipulation to attempt to assert territorial control over other sovereign territories. Beijing has disregarded international norms in its expansionist bid to control more territory.

China has now claimed parts of India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, arguing that these locations were part of greater Tibet. In April this year, Beijing unilaterally “renamed” 11 Indian locations. This is not the first time that Beijing has employed such tactics. Previously in 2017 and 2021, China’s Civil Affairs Ministry had renamed other Indian locations, triggering another political confrontation.

Arindam Bagchi, the official spokesperson for India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), commented on China’s attempt to show its domination in places belonging to India’s Arunachal Pradesh by saying: “This is not the first time that China has attempted something like this (changing the names of areas in Arunachal Pradesh) and we have already condemned any such attempts. Regarding Arunachal Pradesh, we had also said that Arunachal Pradesh is an inseparable part of India) and imposing invented names like these will not at all change reality.”