Asia Fact Checking : China uses the 2023 official map to "expand its territory"? Asia Fact Checking : China uses the 2023 official map to "expand its territory"?

Asia Fact Checking : China uses the 2023 official map to "expand its territory"?

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After the Chinese government released the "2023 Standard Map" on August 28, many media reported that China included some disputed territories in the map, which was a disguised "territorial expansion." However, the Asia Fact Checking Laboratory found that China’s 2023 version of the standard map has basically the same demarcation between China and India, China and Russia, Taiwan, the Diaoyu Islands and the South China Sea as the versions in past years.

The Chinese government is not "expanding territory" through the 2023 official map, but has continued to add disputed territories into China since at least 2016.

In-depth analysis :-

1. Will the southern Tibet area occupied by India be included in China on the 2023 map?

After verification, the 2023 version of the standard map does indeed include the Sino-Indian disputed areas of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as national boundaries, but it was not marked in 2023. The 2022 standard map has included the two areas into China's national boundaries, and according to online public information, this can be traced back to the 2016 version (map review number: GS (2016) 2889).

It is worth noting that although China and India still have border disputes, China's official maps use "determined boundaries" rather than "undefined boundaries" in the disputed areas.

Comparison of the China-India border on the official version of China’s map from 2016 to 2023
2. Will the Diaoyu Islands be included in China’s 2023 version of the map?

The standard map does indicate the Diaoyu Islands, but the inclusion of the Diaoyu Islands in the Chinese standard map can be traced back to the 2016 version (map approval number: GS (2016) 2889), and it is not the first time it was included in 2023.

However, due to the small area of ​​the island, it is difficult to directly determine whether China has classified it as a territory by color marking on the map. However, as far as policy documents are concerned, China's State Council Information Office published the white paper "Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory" as early as 2012, claiming that the Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory.

At the same time, the "Representation Standards for Public Map Contents" issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources clearly states that "in addition to showing the mainland, Hainan Island, and Taiwan Island, the entire map of China should also show important islands such as the South China Sea Islands, Diaoyu Islands and their affiliated islands."

Comparison of the southeastern sea boundaries of the official version of China’s map from 2016 to 2023
3. China’s 2023 version of the map adopts a ten-dash line claim on the South China Sea, thereby including Taiwan into China’s territory?

The standard map does mark a boundary line in eastern Taiwan, which together with the traditional "nine-dash line" makes a total of ten segments. However, China's standard map uses ten-dash lines and its inclusion in Taiwan can be traced back to the 2016 version (map approval number: GS (2016) 2889), and it is not the first time it was included in 2023.

4. Does China’s 2023 version of the map include the Russian part of Heixiazi Island?

The Asia Fact Checking Laboratory compared the official maps of 2022 and 2023 and found that the demarcation of land boundaries is almost the same, but the biggest difference between the two versions is: the eastern section of China and Russia in the 2022 version is from Hulun Lake to Xingkai Lake The boundary between them is a dotted line representing "undefined boundary"; but by 2023, the same section of the boundary has been changed to a "determined boundary".

The official version of China's map in 2023 will change the undetermined border line between China and Russia in 2022 to a determined border line

Regarding the eastern section of the border between China and Russia, there are three relevant treaties involved: First, the 1992 " Agreement on the Eastern Section of the Sino-Soviet Border " established the national boundary points. The second is the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 2001 , which became the basis for the third, later negotiated and signed " Supplementary Agreement on the Eastern Sector of the Sino-Russian Boundary " in 2004, which determined that the sovereignty of Heixiazi Island was divided into two parts. two. Chinese media once described it as a victory for "one island and two countries" to regain half of the sovereignty of Heixiazi Island through negotiations.

In 2008, China and Russia also held a boundary marker unveiling ceremony on Heixiazi Island. Chinese media reports at the time clearly stated that only the west side of Heixiazi Island belonged to China. In 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping landed on the island to talk about ecological conservation . The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) pointed out that Xi Jinping was the first Chinese leader to land on Heixiazi Island.

Comparison of the map boundary between China and Russia and the actual boundary
The Asian Fact-Checking Laboratory checked Chinese state media reports and Google Maps to show that the extreme eastern point of China’s territory does not exceed 135 degrees east longitude. However, comparing China's official standard maps in 2022 and 2023, it was found that the extreme east point clearly exceeds 135 degrees east longitude, showing that China has indeed included the Russian part of Heixiazi Island into its own territory.

Asia Fact Check Lab is a new unit established in response to today's complex media environment and emerging communication ecology. Based on the journalism profession, we provide accurate verification reports and in-depth reports, hoping that readers will gain a diverse and comprehensive understanding of public issues. If readers have any questions about the information spread by any media or social software, please email afcl@rfa.org to the Asia Fact Checking Laboratory, and we will verify it for you.

Lao government : Warns the public to beware of being a victim of funding to study in China

The Office of the Ministry of Education and Sports has issued a notification regarding the advertisement of scholarships by companies, individuals and unofficial legal entities No. 4027/6, dated August 28, 2023, with the content stating that currently, there are people who are not doing good advertising through Facebook to mobilize students to continue their studies in China by claiming that it is funded by the Chinese government or CSC and that they are receiving false documents for the Chinese HSK level comparison . Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Sports informs students, students and parents to be careful because the group of companies is not allowed to conduct foreign education business from the relevant parties.

Regarding this issue, Free Asia TV asked a relevant official in Luang Prabang province who did not want to reveal his name, position and voice that the request for Chinese government funding should be done through the education and sports department only and this year the exam results have been announced and students have been sent to further education.

As she said to Radio Asia Free on September 7, 2023:-

"Now that the Chinese government funding has been exhausted, we have to wait for next year. Yes, you must contact the education department directly. Now there is only vocational education scholarship, I can contact the professor directly."

From a survey in online society, especially Facebook. Free Asia Radio found that there are a number of individuals and educational companies advertising scholarships in China, which stated the cost of running documents to apply for education funding and Chinese language certificates ranging from 999 to 2,500 US dollars. An official of an education company said that the company is running the documents to apply for funding for education in China.

"There's only tourism. It's a CSC grant from the Chinese government. The level of TOELFs - IELTS 5.0. In fact, Chinese government funding is easy. The 10th month of funding comes. After the 11th month of funding, we submit the funding. Please attach a complete set of documents such as the TOELF - IELTS certificate, the certificate of English score and the penalty notice."

He added that his company is cooperating with an advanced educational institution in Thailand to bring Lao students to study at the Parinyatri level. This officer refused to disclose the cost of running the documents.

As a former student in China, a woman in Bokeo province said that she got a scholarship to study Chinese language and literature in China, which gave her more opportunities, especially in terms of employment, which is an important reason why many Lao students want to study in China.

"I'm going to study calligraphy. I'm going to study in China." We will have more opportunities to find a job that may be more advantageous."

As for former students who studied in China, another woman in Vientiane said that the popularity of studying in China has increased, especially in the post-Covid era, because students can find information about scholarships more easily, so many students try to apply for scholarships to study in China.

"After Covid-19, it will be more because Chinese capital will be more open and people will know more, which will give them more opportunities to enter."

In addition, there are some former Lao students who have established an information group about Chinese government funding with the aim of allowing students to try to run the funding documents by themselves so that they do not have to pay thousands of dollars to run the documents. A former student who studied in China, who did not want to speak, said that submitting documents through brokers does not confirm that they will receive the scholarship and submitting documents by themselves is considered to be a form of experience, including saving money to be used in times of need.

(Chapter 2) "I'm addicted to myself. I have to thank my brothers and sisters. Some of the people who give advice and ask questions are very good and encourage themselves, but with an agency, they are more comfortable and apply themselves to collect experience and money."

Regarding this issue, Free Asia Radio tried to contact the official of the Student Affairs Department of the Ministry of Education and Sports, who is directly responsible for the notification, but no official answered the call.

Currently, many Lao students have taken the scholarship exam to study abroad, especially in China and Vietnam. Most recently, in the middle of August 2023, the Department of Education and Sports of Luang Prabang Province announced the results of the scholarship exam to study in China with 113 students from Luang Prabang province passing the exam to continue their studies in China and 31 students from Vietnam in various fields.

Yining : It has been confirmed that 73-year-old Anarkhan Kangbak was jailed in a serious condition and is serving a sentence while ill

According to expatriate Gulpiya Kazebek, her mother Anarkhan Kazebek, who was 67 years old, was found to have a brain tumor in 2017. She was kidnapped while her family was preparing money for the operation of the tumor, and 8 months later, in July 2018, she was sentenced to 12 years. Anarchan's children, the hospital's procedures in this regard, and other diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cerebral hemorrhage, and asked to be released from prison, but the police did not pay attention to this request.

In our investigations last month, it became clear that Anarkhan Kangbek is serving a sentence in Baikol Women's Prison in Yining City. This time, the shift officer of the prison, who received our phone call, did not answer our questions about the current health condition of Anarkhan Kangbak. One of the prison officials who answered our call, but did not want to be identified, revealed that Anarchan Wingback's condition is ongoing, that despite several treatments when he was in a condition incompatible with prison operations, there was no significant improvement in his health, and provided the phone number of a relevant official in charge of Anarchan Wingback's treatment at the prison.

The official revealed that in addition to monitoring the prisoners, he is also responsible for communicating with the families of the prisoners, and if necessary, he is also responsible for treating the prisoners and transporting them to the hospital. The official said that the authorities pay special attention to the health of the prisoners, and the families of the prisoners are satisfied with this. He said that 57,000 yuan was spent recently for the treatment of Anarkhan Kangbek, a prisoner in Baikol prison.

It turns out that although Anarchan Kangbak's illness continues to be serious, the prison authorities have not discussed or thought about releasing or paroleing his sentence so far.

Gulpiya Kazebek said that her mother was not only abducted when she was seriously ill, but also tortured.

Gulpiya Kazebek, who was unable to get any information about her mother's condition after leaving the work of monitoring and rescuing her mother Anarkhan Khangbek in prison to her brothers in Yining Baitokai, went to China in front of the Chinese embassy in Kazakhstan, together with the family members of some of the prisoners of the camp. There is a counter-protest.

Jakarta : Construction of the IKN underwater tunnel after 2024

We are now making the design, because the construction of underwater tunnels is something new
The Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) through the Directorate General of Highways revealed that construction of an underwater tunnel or ( immersed tunnel ) in the National Capital City or IKN Nusantara will begin after 2024.

"Construction of the underwater tunnel toll road will be carried out after 2024. 2024," said Director General of Highways Hedy Rahadian in Ancol, North Jakarta on Saturday.

Hedy added that currently the PUPR Ministry is preparing a design for the underwater tunnel toll road at IKN Nusantara.

"We are now making the design, because the construction of underwater tunnels is something new. In this year and 2024 the Ministry of PUPR will prepare a Detailed Technical Design or Detailed Engineering Design(DED) for the tunnel," he said.

The design involved international consultants or experts, this is because the construction of the project is a completely new infrastructure sector.

As is known, the construction of this immersed tunnel is prepared to be part of Section 4 of the IKN Central Government Core Area (KIPP) Toll Road.

The construction of the immersed tunnel is in accordance with the forest city concept promoted by IKN Nusantara .

The PUPR Ministry could build a bridge, but in the context of protecting the environment, the priority is to build an immersed tunnel so that toll road users can cross Balikpapan Bay at the end of the toll road when heading to the KIPP IKN Nusantara area.

The government wants to protect proboscis monkeys, other endemic fauna and flora around Balikpapan Bay. For this reason, the Ministry of PUPR will not build bridges that physically change the morphology of the environment, but will try to build immersed tunnels like in Geoje, Busan, South Korea.

Examples of the application of immersed tunnel technology have been implemented in many countries such as the Fehmarn tunnel in Europe and Geoje, Busan in South Korea.

Immersed tunnel technology is a method that is generally used to replace bridges that cross wide water areas.

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