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Chinese Map Reignites Border Dispute with Russia Amid Ukraine Cooperation

A map published by China has reignited tensions over a disputed island between Russia and China, drawing sharp reactions from both nations and raising concerns among neighboring countries.

Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island In Controversy

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The map, included in the “2023 edition of China’s standard map,” appears to assert China’s ownership over Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island, known as Heixiazi in Chinese, which has been a longstanding point of contention between Moscow and Beijing.

Russian Foreign Ministry’s Rejection

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The Russian Foreign Ministry swiftly rejected any suggestion of China’s ownership claim on the disputed island.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova emphasized that the territorial dispute had been resolved through bilateral agreements more than 15 years ago.

2005 Supplementary Agreement Settled It

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According to Zakharova, the 2005 Supplementary Agreement on the Russian-Chinese state border settled the matter, including the division of Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island.

Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island

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The island in question, Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island, is located at the confluence of the Ussuri and Amur rivers, serving as a boundary between Russia and China.

Divided Between The Two Nations

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Under the bilateral agreements, it has been divided between the two nations, with each having control over a portion of the island.

China’s Official Map

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China’s newly published official map appears to claim control over the entire 135-square-mile area of Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island.

This assertion directly contradicts the established territorial division outlined in the bilateral agreements.

Russia-China Border Resolution

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Zakharova highlighted that the resolution of the border issue and the division of the island were significant milestones achieved through years of joint efforts by both Russia and China.

Vital In Maintaining Security And Stability

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She emphasized that this resolution had been vital in maintaining security and stability in the region and served as a model for resolving border disputes globally.

Absence Of Territorial Claims

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Both Russia and China have consistently affirmed the absence of mutual territorial claims between them.

Zakharova noted that this stance was enshrined in the Treaty on Good Neighborliness, Friendship, and Cooperation signed on July 16, 2001.

Cooperative Border Mechanism

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Russia and China maintain an extensive framework for border cooperation, with the Joint Border Commission effectively addressing relevant issues.

This collaborative mechanism ensures ongoing discussions and problem-solving in matters related to their shared border.

International Reactions

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China’s map has not only triggered tensions with Russia but has also garnered opposition from neighboring countries, including India, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines. These nations have expressed concerns about China’s territorial assertions.

Chinese Officials’ Response

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Chinese officials have defended the publication of the map as a routine exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law.

Li Yongchun, a senior resources ministry official, underscored the significance of a correct national map as a symbol of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Statement

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin urged relevant parties to remain objective, calm, and avoid overinterpreting the issue.

Ongoing Diplomatic Challenge

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The recent map controversy underscores the complex nature of border disputes and sovereignty issues in the region.

It serves as a reminder of the diplomatic challenges that nations must navigate to maintain stability and peaceful relations in a world marked by territorial disputes.

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