Google’s web mapping service is undermining Vietnam’s sovereignty with misleading information about the country’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands, an overseas Vietnamese scholar told Thanh Nien.
Dr. Duong Danh Huy, an East Sea researcher based in the UK, said Vietnamese people need to protest to Google, which is identifying the islands as part of China in its Google Maps service, as well as warn it of risks if it keeps posting such wrong information.
Previously, after being informed by several overseas Vietnamese scholars, Thanh Nien accessed the Google service and found that when googling “Paracel,” it showed up a couple of suggestions including “Paracel Islands, China” along with Chinese names.
Worse still, it mentions “Paracel Islands, China” on the map.
This is not the first time Google has posted misleading and China-favoring information.
In March last year, Thanh Nien lodged a protest with Google for the same error it its mapping service, which prompted a correction later.
In October the same year, Le Van Ut, a Vietnamese scholar at the Oulu University in Finland, and many other overseas scholars also asked Google to remove China’s infamous “U-shaped line” with which the country claims over 80 percent of the East Sea, from its Chinese-language mapping page.
However, so far the company has done nothing about it.
Earlier in March 2010, Google Maps also made mistakes in depicting the borderline between Vietnam and China in the northern province of Lao Cai.
Moreover, in its map, many areas that belong to Vietnam totaling thousands of square kilometers were presented as belonging to China. The mapping mistakes could be seen from Apachai Town in Dien Bien Province to Quang Ninh Province’s Mong Cai Town.
Following a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Google had fixed its errors.