BEIJING, Oct. 19 -- Google.com, world's largest Internet search engine, deleted the words "Taiwan, a province of the People's Republic of China" on a map of Taiwan linked to its maps search engine maps.google.com. This has drawn rage from Chinese officials and the people.
The map of Taiwan linked to maps.google.com. The words "Taiwan, a province of the People's Republic of China" have been deleted at the top left corner of the page. Instead, arrows and some other graphics are placed there, through which the map can be moved or enlarged. (sina)
News reports indicate Google made the changes under pressure of extremists in Taiwan's pan-Green camp (a pro-independence alliance between the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and the hard-line Taiwan Solidarity Union party).
The website deleted the words at the top left corner of the web page that noted that Taiwan is a distinct part of China. Instead, arrows and some other graphics were placed there, through which the map can be moved or enlarged.
The original search result (ycwb.com)
Peng Keyu, consul general of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, voiced objection to the Google decision and urged it to follow the US government's allegiance to the one-China principle, according to the SingTao Daily.
China and the United States long ago reached consensus in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and thus officially established diplomatic relations in the late 1970s after decades of isolation from one another. That's when the US government promised to remain committed to a one-China principle and opposition to Taiwan independence.
Li Xinpei, former president of North Californian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China, expressed his disappointment with Google's decision to succumb to the Taiwan independence forces.
However, Google spokesman Debbie Frost claimed that this alteration was just a "regular update" of all of the site's map pages rather than a deliberate effort to specially update the Taiwan page.
In spite of that, Li denounced Google's excuse, saying that whatever its intention was, it must bear the one-China principle in mind.
Zhang Shaofu, a Chinese-American scholar, worried that the updated web page may mislead the American people, Google's largest consumer group, giving the impression of an "independent Taiwan." Worse still, the overseas Chinese may develop wrong concepts as the result of the "updated" map of Taiwan.
Many Chinese online readers expressed rejection and displeasure at the removal by Google, with many writing at the popular sina.com and sohu.com chatrooms suggesting boycotting Google's China service.