China to tighten regulation of online maps

BEIJING: China is tightening its regulation of online maps to clarify its territorial claims amid sharpening disputes with its neighbours.

The official Xinhua News Agency said Friday the government has noticed that some maps were inaccurate and it would increase checks and order corrections to protect "national sovereignty and interests."

It cited incorrect drawing of national boundary lines, saying some "territorial islands were mistakenly left out" — an apparent reference to waters and islands China claims in the South and East China Seas.

Xinhua said such practices have harmed China's territorial sovereignty, national security and interests and may impair the international community's understanding of the position and claims of the Chinese government.

The order follows an international arbitration panel's ruling in July invalidating China's South China Sea maritime claims.