Bangalore, Oct 28: In its ongoing internet battle against Google, China launched an official online mapping service. In a move to kill two birds with one stone, the communist country also sought to use its online brainchild to settle the border disputes with India by reasserting its claim over two Indian territories - Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin.
In China's 'Map World', both Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin are shown as part of China. This representation comes in line with Beijing's claims that Arunachal is southern Tibet, and therefore part of China; while Aksai Chin has been included in the map as part of the Chinese Xinjiang province.
New Delhi has continuously asserted that the disputed region of Arunachal belongs to India. Aksai Chin, on the other hand, is construed as part of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.
Besides this, the map also shows the northern areas of Gligit and Baltistan as part of the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir (PoK).
This specially takes significance in the wake of Chinese foreign ministry's recent assertion that Gilgit-Baltistan area was northern part of Pakistan. This statement came in response to reports of the presence of Chinese troops in the area.
The Asian rival-neighbours are also lodged in a bitter battle over stapled visas being issued by China to people from Kashmir and other disputed regions.
Online map goof-ups are not new in the region. The past instances are listed below-
In Oct 2009, India was shocked to see Google's China map showing Arunachal as part of the communist nation.
In Aug 2010, Google Insights for Search, a tool which shows search volume patterns across specific regions, showed India map without the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). This error was later corrected by the internet giant.
In Oct 2010, yet another Google goof-up came to the forefront when it was found that Google's mobile application, Google Maps, for iPhone 4 in China showed Indian state Arunachal Pradesh as an part of China.