NEW DELHI, March 26 - In an interesting development, China last week destroyed nearly 30,000 world maps showing Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India.
A Chinese news website Dazhongwang Qingdao reported that it was the largest such exercise in recent years and was carried out to protect China�s �territorial integrity�. The maps were in English and manufactured by a company in the Chinese province Anhui.
China claims Arunachal Pradesh as its part and depicts it on official maps as a part of south Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).
Acting on a tip-off, customs officials of Qingdao city in Shandong province raided an office and seized more than 800 boxes containing 28,908 world maps.
�A total of 803 boxes of the 28,908 wrong maps were seized and destroyed, the largest amount to be disposed of in recent years,� the province�s Natural Resources ministry said at a press conference, quoted by the news website.
The documents were taken to a secret location and shredded. �The maps were produced by a company in East China�s Anhui province and were on the way to being exported to an unspecified foreign country,� it was reported.
Relevant authorities have carried out checks on the domestic map market more than 100 times and have discovered and destroyed over 10,000 incorrect maps, preventing the sale in domestic and overseas markets.
�Maps reflected national sovereignty and were a political statement,� Ma Wei from the Natural Resources ministry�s geographical information centre was quoted as saying.
�If the wrong maps were circulated inside the country and abroad, it would have caused great harm to China�s territorial integrity in the long run,� he noted.
In April 2017, China renamed six places in Arunachal Pradesh in an apparent retaliation against the Dalai Lama�s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, with experts saying that the move is aimed at reaffirming Beijing�s �territorial sovereignty� on the region.
Changing the names was a �legitimate� action done in line with Chinese law, the country�s foreign ministry had then said, adding that it supported Beijing�s territorial claim.