Vietnam asks National Geographic to fix mapping error

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Vietnam on Saturday said the US National Geographic Society was wrong in publishing a world map that shows the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Islands as belonging to China.

It's wrong to put the note "Paracel Is. China" to refer to Vietnam's Hoang Sa archipelago in the map, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nguyen Phuong Nga said.

"We request the National Geographic correct this mistake," she said.

"Vietnam has indisputable sovereignty over Hoang Sa (Paracel) and Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelagoes," Nga stressed.

Dr. Duong Danh Huy, an East Sea researcher, said: "I think this is a mistake, because the National Geographic Society is usually impartial."

However, the mistake needs to be criticized as the National Geographic Society is supposed to stay neutral and not take sides in a sovereignty dispute, he added.

Huy said although general maps such as those published by the National Geographic Society do not have any legal value, they can have an impact on public perception.

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