China Wags Finger At "illegal" Online Maps


Beijing (China) - The Chinese government is chastising several online providers, including Google maps, for providing "illegal" satellite imagery of the country and neighboring islands. Min Yiren, the deputy director of China’s State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping (SBSM), says as many as 10,000 online maps are illegal and publish sensitive information or incorrectly depict national borders.

"Some websites publish sensitive or confidential geographical information, which might leak state secrets and threaten national security," Yiren said.

The SBSM and eight other departments are currently examining thousands of online maps and the government is threatening to shut down or block any sites which do not make the "required corrections".

While China is apparently miffed at the disclosure of its secret (well not any more) submarine base near Hainan, the country is also concerned about online map providers labeling Taiwan as a separate country. In addition, China wants several disputed island chains including the South China Islands, Diaoyu Islands and Chiwei Island to be labeled as belonging to China. The islands are currently claimed by several countries including Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan.

China certainly has the power to shut down servers in the country, its can only block access - through the Chinese firewall - to foreign providers.

  • Wow, I am all torn up that China is upset that people are doing things in other countries that they would find illegal and damaging.
  • spuddyt
    what do they think people will do with these maps? if anyone seriously wanted to do harm to the country, i think they could get maps whether china wants them to or not! (unless they have chinese internet access....)
  • tcrabtree
    The satellite images provide a nice way to monitor the LARGE SIZE of the houses in which the government officials reside.
  • Zorg
    The US military satellites can see anything they want. Whatever the Chinese think they are hiding is already exposed. As far as their claims to territory that they don't control, saying it doesn't make it so.

    Pound sand China.
  • waffle911
    I wonder how much longer China can survive as a country inside and out when they continue to intentionally brainwash their own citizens and officials to the point of mass paranoia. That and the fact that the Chinese "government" is completely antipathetic towards its neighbors for absolutely no reason at all, except the greedy thirst for more land and power. Hasn't anyone told them? They already control the world behind the scenes, why go through the trouble of actively instigating political conflict in an attempt to suppress opposing views? Their disgusting humanitarian practices and blind objection to established global policies makes it seem as though it would be impossible to teach them any sense of empathy. China wants to be taken seriously by the rest of the world? They want to run in the big leagues? They better wise up to the real rules of the game and how the big boys get it done.

    Top five most annoying tourist nationalities (from some list I read a long long time ago):

    5. Australia
    4. France
    3. Germany
    2. America
    1. China

    Tourists from England, South Korea, and any other given first-world country with enough income per capita to spend a vacation abroad can all get bunched together in places 6-10, in no particular order. Yippee, intolerance/ignorance.

    Kids, don't drink and post past 11pm. It looks just like this.
    Scary, ain't it?