Google shows parts of Arunachal in Chinese, just hours before Friday crucial Sino-Indian talks over border dispute
A huge controversy has erupted over Google satellite maps showing areas of Arunachal Pradesh in Mandarin rather than Hindi or English, effectively making them appear as part of China. The changes were first noticed on Thursday, just hours before Friday's crucial Sino-Indian talks over border dispute.
Apart from some major cities like Itanagar and Tawang, most other regions have been marked in Chinese. What's more, the map shows Arunachal's southern boundary with Assam and northern boundary with China in broken lines, while the state's eastern and western boundaries with Bhutan and Myanmar are shown in continuous white lines.
There is suspicion in some quarters that Chinese trouble-makers may have hacked into Google and changed the names. Google authorities could not be contacted at the time of filing this report. The images have caused a flutter in New Delhi and Arunachal.
''This is shocking. How could Google change the names of places of a sovereign country without the country's knowledge?'' fumed Congress's West Arunachal MP Takam Sanjoy.
Former BJP MP from the state, Kiren Rijiju, said this was an old Chinese gameplan. ''The Chinese know how to time their statements ahead of a bilateral meeting. This map surfaced just when the two countries were to discuss the border dispute. Had Google changed the names of Chinese locations, Beijing would have summoned Google officials. India, too, should deal with it firmly,'' said Rijiju, who had raised the issue of Chinese military incursions in Arunachal in the Lok Sabha.
Sanjoy has informed AICC general secretary in charge of Arunachal, Narayan Swami, and urged the Centre to take action against Google.
''The government should come out openly with its stand and take Google to task. Google must explain under what authority did they include Chinese language in Arunachal Pradesh's map,'' the MP said.
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