Saturday, October 27, 2007

Arunachal Pradesh- An Independent Nation or Chinese Territory?

Well, if you 'fly to' Arunachal Pradesh in Google Earth, you will find Arunachal Pradesh as an independent nation and if you zoom in on- as a part of Chinese Territory. This was what I found out in Google Earth today, when I decided to check out Arunchal Pradesh on Google Earth after reading this.

Initially, I thought, may be after admitting their mistake in depiction of Arunachal Pradesh, Google Earth might have made the correction but as of today, the error in depiction of boundaries has not been corrected yet. Check out the snap shots below:

Arunachal Pradesh depicted as an Independent Nation


Hey! Where is Tirap & Changlang?


After seeing the snapshots above, I guess you might be wondering-this is not the Arunachal I know of. Where is Tirap & Changlang and parts of Siang, Dibang and Lohit Districts? Hopefully, Google Earth will rectify the error soon.

19 comments:

  • Pascal

    This probably reflects a self-styled method by which Google chooses not to interfere in any territorial dispute. For if you ‘diplomatically’ consider both countries (India and China) are right in their territorial claim and draw the international borders accordingly, then Arunachal Pradesh necessarily becomes encapsulated... the way it is shown on the larger map. You can see they have done it also for Aksai Chin and Kashmir. Thanks for pointing out such ‘mistakes’ at a time when many people tend to rely blindly on Google or Wikipedia. I have repeatedly found a lot of mistakes also regarding topics related to NE India in Wikipedia, but at least for Wikipedia anybody can attempt to correct them by adding new comments. This is not the case with Google.

  • wiian

    Though google has promised correction as reported by this story, the changes are still to be effected as of now. This is a gross misrepresentation by google. The same applies to Microsoft's maps.live.com.

    Not everything is lost though. Yahoo! maps has managed to get this right. Arunachal Pradesh was always a part of India.

  • Buru

    As Pascal says, this is not a simple case of 'google error' or 'çorrection'.Google has to walk a fine line between India and China on either side.If it shows AP as purely within India it has to face Chinese repercussions, and if within China , Indian ones.So it found a solution by representing BOTH countries claim lines, with the result that AP ends up looking like a separate country in Google Earth.Similarly Changlang & Tirap are missing because they are using the Chinese map in which its eastern claim line in AP ends approx in a line drawn between Walong and Hayuliang(they reached Hayuliang in 1962 and then stopped because of this.For same reason they stopped at Bhalukpong.In both cases they could have moved into the plains as the Indian Army had already disintegrated and fled across the Brahmaputra).

    Now if both countries bully Google who will win? In the past India has successfully bullied Google to blur the images of sensitive installations, and China has successfully bullied Google to censor certain websites from Chinese servers. But in this case India might get away with it as it is making more noise and not China.

    In any case the de facto ruler of AP being India there is no need for knee-jerk reactions or jingoism .

  • wiian

    Lessons from history suggest when there is confusion there is chaos.

    As far as my belief is concerned, I am born Indian and nothing except my facile features will suggest that I don't belong to India. The Indian authorities acting up cozy with Chinese government will only lead to a worsening of affairs in the long run. Not to blame google, but the issue definitely needs to be sensitized and settled once and for all.

  • AG

    @Pascal,
    'This probably reflects a self-styled method by which Google chooses not to interfere in any territorial dispute.' :) In that case, I guess, Google should have shown the area of Arunachal as disputed till the final boundary solution is arrived between India and China and not as a totally distorted Arunachal as shown now. Hope they would rectify the mistake soon.

    @wiian,
    Thanks to Yahoo!

    @Buru,
    Guess China won't keep their mouth shut over this issue as some experts feel and they surely would pressurise Google not to change the map.

  • Pascal

    @AG
    I agree with you. That is the way it is normally shown on (good) maps. Here, instead of remaining neutral, it looks as if Google had attempted to comply with both Chinese and Indian governments’ views... at the same time. Business is business ?...

  • anon_tanii_gal

    Well, the problem at the moment is not borderline but the usefulness of Google map. It is pretty useless for all arunachalis at the moment.

    Most people can actually see the streets and houses when they zoom in. Check Delhi, Bangalore or even Guwahati.
    And you can use it to locate and find directions from point A to point B which is very handy when you are in an unfamiliar place.

    All we see when we zoom into Itanagar and Hapoli to locate the houses is just a blur so it is pretty much useless to most arunachalis at the moment.

    Google does not have the political authority to declare the boundary line but at least it can make itself more useful.

    Guess someone should complain about that instead.

  • yasiyalow

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT!
    Could this map have come out with tacit knowledge of Indian and Chinese Govt ? Are they trying to gauge public response to such eventuality?
    We all are aware that MEA has been stating time and again that some compromise is being worked out on boundary issue with China. What those compromises are not told to us. When Chinese ambassadot claimed AP to be part of China, there was any vehemance that should come from offended country whose territorial integrity is put to doubt. Lately, the committe to look into the boundary issue has picked up its momentum and is woking on boundary adjustments. Coupled with these facts are conspicuous silence shown by Indian Govt. This is, unlike the protests made when some Indian security establishments were shown on google earth. That was a non issue, as any country worth its salt has access to satellite image of everything that one wants to have on the surface of earth.
    Arunachalees love being an Indian and is very proud of being part of democratic and progressive India. I personally feel so happy and priviliged to be an Indian. But does mainland India really reciprocate our feeilngs. Is it going to be another 1962, when it abondoned AP. Are these two giants of country testing the water?
    I hope,it is not so, and India will not ditch us and use us as a chip to bargain for some gainsay in Aksai chin area which will give India access to central asia.
    We are Indian and we are proud to be Indian, but do people who occupy corridors of power in N Delhi feel so about us? Why are they silent and why dont they come out clean on the matter and assert, come what may, no one should dare to claim Arunachal from India. Can India afford to risk everything and assert in an unequivocal way that AP is part India and it will go to any any extent to defend its territorial integrity? I have some thoughts on it for myself.

    Or..or is it really testing the water before it crosses it?

  • EmoreL

    @yasi...
    I share the same apprehensions like yours, wrt the undying nationalism each Arunachali keeps, but finds none to attend those.

    Sad but True... A State, constantly in NEWS and only important thing to note here....its the only One thing that makes us to be worthy of making headlines...and thats the jitters that China sets in for India, with bothering issues like Transgressions along borders.
    So... Guess what ? we should be thankful to China, for making AP a newspiece and remind the fellowcountry men about our Subtly perverted Nationalistic Enthusiasism.
    We AP still languish decades behind, and into the era of still the underpoverished state, with few extra rich peoples, trying to disfigure the abjectivity of being a Poor Arunachali(we could atleast ask for more funds..haha).
    So, is the strategic importance that Arunachal keeps in for India, is the only factor that legitimize us for the Central grants ? What about the Human factor that seldoms gets a Headline in any of the Leading Newspapers(TOI;HINDU..)?
    Will falling of 10 or more 'PRINCE' look-alike(but chinked) into a pit, ever make the headlines or catch the attention of the topsy-turved news feeders(aajtak,ibn etc), who are still in the experimentation phase of Cricketizing everything, and also doesnt misses the Bhoot aur pishachizing every bit of anomalies.
    So, Do we even matter for the fellowcountrymen, our citizenized brethrens ? Ok..we need a natural calamity or disaster like situation for this litmus test, to answer the quagmires we've have accumulated so far.
    Hmmm... A pathetic circumstances , exemplifying sheer negligence and a natural morphologization of Chinked face into a brother in Grim shadow, is what we can ponder upon, atleast, sarcastically for the prevalent moments. :)
    Well, lets not burden the whole to the others(ya..they are).
    We've our share too.
    And the whammy of concomitant existence of insensible people, holding a position in our cloistered society, is a sheer thing one has to note for, if we seriously need to bang head outsiders(non AP) for the Recognition. Thats Ironical prevalence of circumstances ,much for the distastes and agonies of Sensible powerless peoples of AP.

    God Bless AP .

  • yasiyalow

    Toeing the line of my apprehension ,India really seems to be bargaining Arunachal for its more dearer area in the northern region. Pity that AP people are such peace loving people and have remained Indians heart and soul are considered as bargaining chips. Here is what Assam Tribune brought out today.
    ************************************

    Former Chinese envoy calls for Tawang’s return
    BEIJING, Oct 31 – India must make “substantial adjustment” in the eastern sector, including returning the Buddhist enclave Tawang to China, to reach an early settlement of the border issue, former Chinese Ambassador to New Delhi, Zhou Gang, said, reports PTI. “As the Chinese people will never accept ‘McMahon line,’ India must make substantial adjustment in the East sector,” he told PTI here as boundary negotiations are expected to gather momentum in the weeks ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit, which is now put off until January, 2008.

    “On China-India boundary issue, my view is that China has always taken a positive approach, hoping a settlement acceptable to both sides will be reached through talks at an early date,” Zhou, now a Special Consultant to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said.

    He emphasised that the foremost thing is to abide by the principles of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation and mutual adjustment so as to obtain a final package settlement.

    “I cited the following example that during my tenure as Chinese ambassador to India, I made it clear on many occasions to the Indian public — Tawang belongs to China, it is the birthplace of the sixth Dalai Lama and the Dalai Lama is ‘China’s Dalai Lama’, who cannot be ‘India’s Dalai Lama’.”

    “I think if the Indian side can make substantial adjustment in the East sector according to the principles of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation and mutual adjustment, the Chinese side will make its adjustment in the Western sector accordingly,” Zhou, also a Senior Adviser to China Institute for International Strategic Studies, emphasised.

    Interestingly, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, during their meeting in northeast Chinese city of Harbin last week, had discussed the vexed boundary issue with the latter coming out with the first public statement that the two sides must make “mutual concessions and adjustments” for the settlement of the issue.

    China would make joint efforts with India under relevant political guiding principles and hoped the two countries could understand each other, make mutual concessions and adjustments so as to strive for an early agreement on a framework which would be fair, rational and acceptable for both sides on resolving bilateral border issue, Yang was quoted as telling Mukherjee by the official Xinhua news agency.

    Yang had said that China would firmly support the Chinese and Indian special representatives’ work on resolving bilateral border issue, who have so far held 11 rounds of negotiations.

    He had said that thanks to the concerted efforts by both sides, bilateral ties have maintained healthy development.

    Other Chinese scholars say that India must start “educating” its people that the boundary question can only be settled under the principle of “give and take” and not on the basis of the 1962 Indian Parliament resolution.

    Mukherjee had announced in Harbin that India and China have established a Working Group to prepare a framework for the settlement of their boundary issue.

    He had said the 11th round of talks between the Special Representatives of India and China held in Beijing was successful and they have decided to set up a Working Group to prepare a framework for the resolution of the boundary issue.

    “Let us wait for the recommendations of the Working Group,” Mukherjee, who was in Harbin to attend the third standalone trilateral meeting of Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia, had said.
    *********************************
    God bless AP and Pray good sense prevail on Indian Govt.

  • B Shantanu

    Dear Yasiyalow, Emorel and others...

    As an Indian who is not from Arunachal, I share your concerns and am grateful for your feelings towards the rest of us, outside of Arunachal.

    It is a pity that this subject does not deserve as much attention as it should - For that, I would blame our media but above all, our politicians, for whom a few extra votes and a litte extra publicity matter more than matters of national and strategic importance.

    On my blog, I occassionally try and raise awareness about this issue...I have had some limited success in raising awareness but clearly more, a lot more, needs to be done...

    Please do contribute your thoughts to some of my posts on this topic on my main blog.

    I am providing a link to the most recent one (published yesterday):

    http://satyameva-jayate.org/2007/11/23/arunachal-sleepwalking-into-disaster/

  • Buru

    shantanu,
    Instead of trying to advertise your blog and lure us off like this, should you not try to post something in this blog which is run and frequented by AP netizens?
    On a topic on AP??!

    AG,
    unless you re-institute "Latest Comments"column this blog may stagnate for lack of discussion.

    Wiian,
    as your moniker says, Whats-in-a-name, when we are physically under India?Does it affect us in the least where Google shows us? Google Earth is beyond the reach of almost all AP people.
    And why is your facile(sic)features not suggestive of Indianness,I thought India was a country of many races? We should strive to change the situation on the ground, Google Earth can wait in my opinion.

    Yasiyalow,
    Neither India nor China cares a shit about what AP thinks,in my opinion.As they say, there is no permanent friend or enemy in Politics, just permanent interests.So India and China will bargain their interests, not APs.
    This is further aggravated by the "ündying patriotism" of Arunachalees--cos the Indian Govt then takes us for granted and the result is there for all to see today.

  • AG

    @ Shantanu,
    Thx for dropping by..

    @Buru,
    Your point noted. Wait till I complete redoing my old template..till then bear with me.

  • matey

    hey......evryone..the google earth should specify the districts of tirap and changlang clearly n well define...well though the districts are under consideration for the greater nagalim ..the people of arunachal should all together raise their voice with the people of tirap and changlang so that the state remains united...but sad to say that the districts of tirap n changlang are nowhere seen on the goggle map of arunachal pradesh

  • AG

    @matey,
    I've checked it, the google map shows Tirap and Changlang districts in Arunachal and as of Google Earth, they have also rectified representation of Arunachal Pradesh. Now the 'McMohan Line' is called 'India-Claim Line'- hmm.. seems google is preparing maps in connivance with the chinese???..

  • Buru

    Well AG, even the Chinese themselves seem to have animated discussions on Google Earths representation of AP. Here a detailed discussion is taking place, including the 1962 war and even rare Chinese maps denoting AP:Copy the link below, paste it on a window and click:

    http://bbs.godeyes.cn/Announce/Announce.asp?BoardID=201&ID=153699

  • AG

    Buru, thx for the link. I would check it out and see what does Chinese have to say on Google Earths representation of AP.

  • AN

    Now the whole of Arunachal marked in Chinese: http://arunachalnews.com/2009/07/arunachal-pradesh-india-marked-in-chinese-on-google-maps/

  • Anonymous

    Google Ditu (谷歌地图 lit. "Google Maps") was released to the public on February 9, 2007, and replaced the old Google Bendi (谷歌本地 lit. "Google Local"). This is the Chinese localized version of Google Maps and Google Local services.
    There are some differences in frontier alignments between Google Ditu and Google Maps. On Google Maps, sections of the Chinese border with India and Pakistan are shown with dotted lines, indicating areas or frontiers in dispute. However, Google Ditu shows the Chinese frontier strictly according to Chinese claims with no dotted lines indicating the border with India and Pakistan. For example, the area now administered by India called Arunachal Pradesh (referred to as "South Tibet" by China) is shown inside the Chinese frontier by Google Ditu, with Indian highways ending abruptly at the Chinese claim line. Google Ditu also shows Taiwan and the South China Sea Islands as part of China. As of May 2009, Google Ditu's street map coverage of Taiwan also omits major state organs, such as the Presidential Palace, the five Yuans, and the Supreme Court.
    There are some differences between ditu.google.cn and ditu.google.com. For example, the former does not feature My Maps. On the other hand, while the former displays virtually all text in Chinese, the latter displays most text (user-selectable real text as well as those on map) in English. Worthy of note is the oddity that this behavior of displaying English text is not consistent but intermittent - sometimes it is in English, sometimes it is in Chinese. The criteria for choosing which language is displayed is not known.

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