Preschool books with China's nine-dash line recalled

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A Vietnamese publisher Wednesday recalled copies of a children's Chinese language book that shows the highly controversial nine-dash line with which China illegally claims sovereignty over 90 percent of the East Sea.

The Ho Chi Minh City General Publishing House pulled them out after the culture and information department of HCMC's District 10 found 46 copies of "Chinese for Children 1" with the picture at a bookstore, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported Thursday.

The line also shows two Vietnamese archipelagos, the Paracels (Hoang Sa) and the Spratlys (Truong Sa), as belonging to China.

"Chinese for Children 1" teaches preschool kids basic Chinese and 2,000 copies were printed.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, director of the HCMC General Publishing House, told Tuoi Tre that the book was first published in 2009 but republished in 2011 without the picture.

But she was at a loss to explain how at least 30 copies still have the picture.

Authorities have seized the 30 offending books found in the market.

Last week the Hanoi-based Huong Thuy Culture Company apologized and recalled copies of another Chinese children's book, "Developing Children's Intelligence Comprehensively," after the media kicked up a fuss about it containing a picture with a Chinese flag flying atop a school.

The flag has been removed and the introduction saying the book is published in accordance with the Ministry of Education and Training's guidelines has been changed, and the new version would be published in a month if permitted, according to Huong Thuy.

The Ministry of Education and Training stepped in last week, asking kindergartens not to use the book.

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Nguyen Thi Kim Thanh, former chief of the HCMC Education and Training Department's Kindergarten Division, told Tuoi Tre newspaper that the mistake was "unacceptable," and that the book "must be corrected for Vietnamese children to understand there is just one national flag."

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