China unveils updated official map displaying territorial claims.

China’s government released the “2023 edition of the standard map of China” on August 28th, which continues to display the entire State of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region within China’s borders. The map, released by the Ministry of Natural Resources, also reaffirms China’s territorial claims on its western borders and features the familiar nine-dash line encompassing the entire South China Sea. Notably, a “tenth dash” is included east of Taiwan, emphasizing Beijing’s assertions over the island.

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This new map’s release follows China’s previous announcement in April to “standardize” the names of 11 locations in Arunachal Pradesh, including a town near the capital Itanagar. This move was seen as a response to India’s activities leading up to the G-20 summit, which China opposed. Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to attend the summit in New Delhi on September 9-10.

The 2023 map launch coincides with China’s “National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week.” Beyond the standard map, the Ministry of Natural Resources will release digital maps and navigation tools for applications like location-based services, precision agriculture, the platform economy, and intelligent connected vehicles.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Law of Surveying and Mapping of the People’s Republic of China, aimed at enhancing the administration of surveying and mapping activities and their contribution to the national economy, defense, and societal progress.

Under President Xi’s leadership, China has intensified management of its border areas, exemplified by the new 2022 border law. This law outlines responsibilities for civilian and military authorities to protect national sovereignty, including promoting border education and conducting border drills to prevent and counteract “invasions, encroachments, and provocations.”

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