Chinese Official Calls for Increased Prosecutions of "Illegal" Map Making and Usage

May 2, 2005

Xinhua reports that on April 26, eight Communist Party and government agencies held a teleconference to discuss implementation of the State Council's "Notice Regarding Strengthening Propaganda Education Regarding National Territory Consciousness and Supervision of the Map Market." Attendees included the General Administration of Press and Publication ("GAPP"), the Party's Central Propaganda Department, and the Ministry of Education. According to Xinhua: "Chen Bangzhu, head of the State Survey Office, pointed out during the teleconference . . . it is necessary to do the work of propaganda education of national territory consciousness and supervision of the map market in order to strengthen patriotic education. . . ."Chen also said that, in order to "promote the healthy development of China's map industry" it was necessary to investigate and prosecute those who "illegally produce or use maps and who put 'problematic maps' into the market."

The report also stated that in recent years authorities had investigated and prosecuted over 5,000 "illegal map cases," and had confiscated over 1,500,000 "illegal map products." Furthermore, in 2004, authorities sanctioned 91 work units as part of "investigatory activities into map propaganda products and imported map products." The GAPP's "Notice Regarding Preventing State Secrets from Being Divulged in Publications" states that anyone publishing a map must implement a system for submission for examination and approval.