Google Maps puts Vietnamese town inside China

Google Maps puts Vietnamese town inside China

Vietnam has asked Google Inc to fix an error on its Google Maps website that appears to place parts of Vietnamese territory across the border in China, local press reported Monday, dpa reported.

   The official Vietnam News reported that Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga had outlined the mistakes Saturday in a press conference with government-affiliated media.

   In one of the errors, the border line on the website does not closely follow the river that forms the Vietnam-China border in the province of Lao Cai, placing part of the Vietnamese city of Lao Cai inside China.

   The border line is similarly misplaced in the provinces of Quang Ninh and Dien Bien, placing the town of Mong Cai inside Chinese territory. Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment last week said the errors involved thousands of square kilometres of Vietnamese territory.

   Vietnam and China have had longstanding disputes over their border, and fought a brief but bloody war in 1979. The two countries signed a Land Border Treaty in 1999, and an agreement on border management in November.

   Nga said the details of the border demarcation had been supplied to UN agencies, and were available to map publishing companies.

   The dispute is the second such incident this month.

   Last week, the National Geographic Society altered its maps of the South China Sea after a Vietnamese group protested over its designation of the Paracel Islands as Chinese territory, and the use of the Chinese name for the islands.

Sovereignty over the Paracels is disputed between Vietnam and China. China seized the islands from the former South Vietnam in 1974.

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