The new map of China and diplomatic relations in Asia

Publishing the official map of China on the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources website sparked a reaction from neighbouring countries. India lodged a formal protest because the map shows the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Doklam and Aksai Chin plateaus as official Chinese territory. While the situation on the China-India border has been calm since numerous fights in 2020, clashes continue in several places involving troops grouped on either side of the border in the western Himalayas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that divides the two countries.

Malaysia also did not accept the latest edition of the “standard map of China”, according to which China claims almost the entire South China Sea, including the areas off the coast of Borneo. In recent years, China has built military outposts on rocky outcrops and deployed coast guards and maritime militia there. This leads to confrontation with Malaysia and the Philippines, while Vietnam, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to the sea. According to the Malaysian authorities, the issue of sovereignty in the South China Sea should be resolved through consultations following international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The map also recognizes the entire Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island in the Amur River as part of China. According to the Russian news site RBC, Russia and China argued over claims to the island from the 1860s until the two countries agreed to divide the territory in a 2008 treaty.

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