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China may put Mao back on the map -- in Antarctica

Written by: Staff
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BEIJING, Mar 30 (Reuters) Amundsen and Scott may have to share billing with Confucius and Mao Zedong when China publishes a new map of Antarctica.

Chinese researchers back from a four-month expedition said 46 newly surveyed Antarctic islands would receive Chinese names, state media said yesterday. Scholars, politicians, emperors and artists figured high on the 160-name shortlist.

''This first map will be a landmark contribution made by China to the world in Antarctic research,'' Xinhua news agency quoted Zhao Yue, a scientist on the expedition, as saying.

Zhao added that Chinese names should be featured given China's independent survey of the Grove area -- a mountainous area in Antarctica's eastern extreme -- and the prevalence of foreign names on Antarctic maps.

The map will be published in March 2007.

REUTERS CH BST1345

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