In a shocking move of defiance, China has decided to completely wipe Israel off the map. Since the initial attack on October 7, China had remained diplomatically ambiguous in the Middle East region however, now it appears their attitude towards Israel has taken a turn for the worst.
Two major Chinese companies – Baidu and Alibaba – removed any mention or reference to Israel on their digital maps.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Baidu’s map still demarcates the internationally recognized borders of Israel — including key cities and Palestinian territories — but does not list it by name. Similarly, Alibaba’s map identifies less recognizable countries like Luxembourg while excluding a label for Israel altogether.
???????????????? China has removed Israel from its online maps, Baidu and Alibaba!
So here is our new map for Ex-China. pic.twitter.com/nLXMCsGueV
— Terror Alarm (@Terror_Alarm) October 31, 2023
This news caused outrage amongst social media users who noticed this absence of labeling in regards to one of the most important states in the Middle East. It is yet unclear whether or not this decision was made recently or had been done so before, but what we do know is that China’s foreign ministry did not respond positively when asked about it during a press conference.
When questioned by Reuters about whether they played a role in this controversial decision, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin simply stated that “I believe you are aware that China and Israel have a normal diplomatic relationship”. He then went on to say that “the relevant country is clearly marked on the standard maps issued by the Chinese competent authorities, which you may refer to”.
This isn’t the first time China has expressed anger over map depictions either; back in 2020 during Tokyo’s Olympic games opening ceremony an “incomplete” map of China was displayed which angered CCP officials greatly due to its exclusion of Taiwan and South China Sea as recognized parts of their territory – something which The Hague ruled against four years prior.
Furthermore, Beijing has had military patrols around military bases located on artificial islands within South China Sea for quite some time now, as reported by BBC News.