Chinese customs authorities reportedly destroyed almost 30,000 maps which showed Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India. The maps also showed Taiwan as a separate country.
This was done in order to protect China's "territorial integrity". Customs authorities in the Qingdao city in Shandong province acted on a tip-off and raided an office where 28,908 maps were kept in 800 boxes. The maps were written in English, made by a company based in Anhui province.
China considers Arunachal Pradesh as part of the south Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and claims Taiwan as a self-governing province of China. All official maps in China depict Arunachal Pradesh and Taiwan as part of the country.
"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," Chinese news website Dazhongwang Qingdao quoted the Natural Resources Ministry as saying.
Global Times, a news agency and the Chinese government's mouthpiece, said in a report that the maps were going to be exported. The name of the country was not revealed.
The report also said, "the problematic maps failed to show the correct territory of China and omitted south Tibet and the island of Taiwan, the Qingdao government found after an examination of the maps."
"What China did in the map market was absolutely legitimate and necessary, because sovereignty and territorial integrity are the most important things to a country. Both Taiwan and South Tibet are parts of China's territory which is sacred and inviolable based on the international law," Liu Wenzong of the International Law Department of China Foreign Affairs University was quoted as saying by Global Times.
He added, "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."
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Arunachal Pradesh in February 2018, China's Foreign Ministry had said that their position on the boundary is consistent and clear-cut. "The Chinese government has never recognised the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' and is firmly opposed to the Indian leader's visit to the East Section of the China-India boundary," the ministry had said.
Many international companies have begun recognising Taiwan as part of China. Air India had started listing Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, while GAP, a clothing company, had to issue an apology to China after they sold t-shirts showing a Chinese map but without Taiwan.
In addition to this, the Marriott hotel's website was blocked after it listed the Tibetan autonomous region, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau as separate countries.