Could this map of China start a war?

New China Map

New China Map

Chinese authorities unveiled this week a new map showing the totality of Beijing’s territorial claims. It supplants an earlier map, which had a cutaway box displaying China’s declared claims over the South China Sea.

Now, Chinese citizens can “fully, directly know the full map of China,” wrote the People’s Daily, a state paper. “Readers won’t ever think again that China’s territory has primary and secondary claims,” said the editor of the map press that published it.

On the face of it, the map shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to China’s neighbours. It counts Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, as part of China. It shows China’s longstanding belief in its suzerainty over the Spratlys and Paracels, the two main archipelagos of the South China Sea, which are contested to varying degrees by Vietnam, the Philippines and a number of other Southeast Asian nations.

A 10-dash line (as opposed to China’s earlier nine-dash line) encircles most of the South China Sea, a body of water which sees some $5.3 trillion worth of trade pass through it every year.

The new map also shows China’s claim over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. China and India have one of the world’s most intractable and long-running land border disputes, which flared during a brief, bloody war in 1962. Arunachal Pradesh is fully integrated into India’s federal system, with regular state elections. But China claims most of it as part of “Southern Tibet.”

While it may seem silly to some, maps like this routinely flare tensions in Asia, where many nations are still wrangling with the complicated geography left behind by lapsed empires. Two years ago, a map published in new Chinese passports sparked a diplomatic firestorm, with foreign ministries in Vietnam and India both voicing protests and adopting counter-measures.

China’s economic rise has led to an increasing assertiveness in the region, with its expanding navy worrying neighbours and challenging U.S. dominance in the Pacific. It has triggered an arms race in Asia, punctuated by a growing number of dangerous incidents, including frequent maritime standoffs and altercations with Vietnamese and Philippine vessels and risky fighter jet flybys over Japanese ships.

While other countries complain, Beijing is steadily changing facts on the ground. It is building up a city in the Paracels. In May, China deployed a $1 billion oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam, which led to violent protests and riots in Ho Chi Minh City. China is now moving in a second oil rig, despite the vociferous objections of Vietnamese officials.

The new map is an echo of this provocative worldview. But Beijing officials have sought to play it down. “The goal is to serve the Chinese public,” said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson. “As for the intentions, I think there is no need to make too much of any association here.”

Source: Washington Post – Could this map of China start a war?

Categories: Politics & Law

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Greedy and devious Chinese government!


  2. I don’t know why China haters are so upset. All they need to do is to show they are in fact genuine owners of the disputed islands and if they can prove that in court like ICJ, then perhaps China will back off. Without enough legal weight to pile on to China, China is free to exert her own claims as much as the other smaller countries. Why don’t the Philippines drag China to ICJ FIRST? After all, UNCLOS/ITLOS maritime rights FLOWS FROM island SOVEREIGNTY. Without settling the sovereignty of the islands, China have every right to lay claim to the islands and seas as shown on the map.

    Why do we have to wait so long for Philippines and Vietnam to drag China to ICJ? What are we waiting for? And the mother of all: Japan, why don’t she go to ICJ to confirm validity to her claim? It is clear all these three actors don’t have Clear Title, so they try to distract towards China’s activities in the disputed areas.

    There will be no war started by China BUT if Japan or Philippines SETUP a situation like a war in the Spratlys, war could well start when China is forced to attack Diaoyu/Senkaku under pretext to divert the war back to Japanese held islands.

    Editor’s Note: In response to the many emails about this poster, we do suspect he’s a paid Chinese internet commentator. However, we believe that all people should be allowed to voice their opinions, not just the ones that agree with our agenda. Therefore, at this stage we will not ban him, but will continue to censor his profanity and racial vilification.


  3. 1.
    Stop trading with the devil!
    Burn the devils assets overseas!
    Wait for the divil to come out of his cave a little more, then chop his head off!

    Problem solved, and the world can look towards a better life and future

    Need more?

    Wake up, people! There’s far too much noise coming from that corner, how can you still sleep?


  4. That is a very colorful map of Fantasyland.


  5. @ Fre Okin
    China may have good chess player, but should remember, every match has many games. As far as I am informed. China has enough to battle to keep their inner “peace and order”. Playing two chess games at the same time, could be fatal.

    To add. We all know how sly your politicians are and “Your” interpretation of having been “forced into”, will not buy any agreement except from within your small group of fanatics.

    Remember one more. Hitler was deceived from within his own, close admirers. I can’t see any reason why it should take longer in a “Chinese” similar situation. People aren’e as “uneducated” any longer as they were 80 years ago.

    Oh, there is too much for you to remember, already


  6. The validity of the nine-dash line is still being questioned and now China comes up with a 10th dash. Insatiable greed knows no bounds.


    • I want to make it clear, many readers are naive to see events superficially. Like it or not, the real unspoken issue here is not as much the sovereignty dispute of the islands between China and other countries but the much bigger reason of US threat to China in the SCS.

      US missiles can hit China within half hour on average, even less if stealthy. For this reason, China claim to SCS is really more focussed on militarising the islands there. If no islands, which China don’t really have, she reclaim reefs into islands to put missiles and radar station there to checkmate US. This is a substitute China have to do to replace the ADIZ which US warn China not to do in the SCS. Readers should also note that US does not ratify UNCLOS so she can sneak into Chinese EEZ to harm her. An UNCLOS member is obliged to notify EEZ country whenever a navy ship pass through the water but obviously US have ill intent so she don’t want to be tied up by UNCLOS. The Littoral Combat Ship US plan to use off Chinese coastline is the clearest example of US belligerence.

      All the smaller countries, US allies in the region are being used by US as pawns in her struggle for hegemony in the region. US nicely package her presence in SCS as a protector of the smaller nations but as I explain here, she is the real devil covering up her own dirty intent. Smaller nations are economically dependent on US, so they dare not say the truth that US is the real trouble maker. I believe China is able and willing to settle with other countries once US get out of the way.

      Editor’s Note: In response to the many emails about this poster, we do suspect he’s a paid Chinese internet commentator. However, we believe that all people should be allowed to voice their opinions, not just the ones that agree with our agenda. Therefore, at this stage we will not ban him, but will continue to censor his profanity and racial vilification.



  1. China is committed to making territorial disputes worse | China Daily Mail
  2. Vietnam is becoming a proxy in efforts to contain China in the South China Sea | China Daily Mail

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