Beijing | The Foreign Ministry of China on Thursday reiterated that the 2023 edition of its so-called “standard map" is a 'routine practice' and concerned nations should view it in an "objective and rational light".
"China’s position on the South China Sea is consistent and clear. The competent authorities of China routinely publish standard maps of various types every year, which aims to make standard maps available to all sectors of society and raise public awareness of the standardized use of maps," the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said
in a regular press conference today.
"We hope parties concerned can view it in an objective and in rational light," he said.
China, on August 28, released the 2023 edition of its “standard map", incorporating the country's claims over the nine-dash line, thereby laying claim to a large part of the South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have all claims over the South China Sea areas.
India lodged a strong protest against China, rejecting claims made by Beijing in the so-called "standard map" and saying they have no basis to claim India’s territory.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said such steps from the Chinese side would only complicate the resolution of the boundary question.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said it is an "old habit" of China to stake claim on territories that do not belong to them. He dismissed Beijing’s “absurd claims” and said “putting out a map does not mean anything.”
"China has put out maps with territories (that are) not theirs. (It is an) old habit. Just by putting out maps with parts of India... this doesn't change in anything,” Jaishankar said, adding, “Our government is very clear about what our territories are. Making absurd claims does not make other people's territories yours," Jaishankar said.
This is not the first time that Beijing has employed such tactics. In April this year, China had unilaterally “renamed” as many as 11 Indian locations, which included names of mountain peaks, rivers and residential areas.
Moreover, China's move has not been liked by the Philippines as well and it also rejected the country's 2023 edition of its “standard map,” which includes the nine-dashed line (now a ten-dashed line) in their territory.
An official release quoted the Philippines Foreign Ministry as saying, "This latest attempt to legitimize China’s purported sovereignty and jurisdiction over Philippine features and maritime zones has no basis under international law, particularly the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)."