Diplomacy

New Official Chinese Digital Map Claims Parts of Arunachal Pradesh

Though Arunachal is within India as per the McMohan Line drawn in British India in 1938, China continues to claim the territory as part of Tibet which it had occupied in 1951.

New Delhi: Sky Map, China’s official authority on digital maps, has updated the country’s national map by including parts of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.

According to a report by the news agency India Abroad News Service (IANS), quoting from a DW News report in Chinese, “Recently, Sky Map users discovered that it has updated the country’s map with the latest national borders, including India’s Arunachal Pradesh.”

Though Arunachal is within India as per the McMohan Line drawn in British India in 1938, China continues to claim the territory as part of Tibet which it had occupied in 1951.

Interestingly, though China has resolved its border issues with Russia and some Central Asian countries, the updated Sky Map doesn’t reflect it. The IANS news report said, “As per a DW news report in Chinese, some users noticed that Sky Map has now updated the geographic information at the ‘county’ level.”

“The county boundaries of some counties clearly transcend the red colour marked 1989 edition of the national border, especially in Tibet area bordering Bhutan and India.” The Sky Map is said to have been updated for the first time after 1989 by a department under that country’s National Surveying and Mapping Geographic Information Bureau.

Though Arunachal chief minister Pema Khandu hasn’t reacted to the news and nor have any Central government ministers including Kiren Rijiju who belongs to the north-eastern state, Congress MLA from Arunachal and former member of the Lok Sabha Ninong Ering tweeted the information, stating that the Prime Minister’s Office and the office of the External Affairs minister S Jaishankar “must protest strongly against this Chinese move and raise the issue at international forums”.