A University of Sydney professor has been forced to apologize after using a world map in class which showed disputed territory claimed by China as being part of India… despite the fact that the lecture happened more than a year ago in a class about information technology.
However, apparently, one Chinese student was so outraged by the map that he created a WeChat post about it recently, which was widely-shared among his compatriots in Sydney. According to SBS World News, some of the WeChat users called for students to walk out of the class in protest, while others said that a complaint should be made with the university.
The map was used during a Professional Practice in Information Technology lecture some 18 months ago by IT lecturer Dr Khimji Vaghjiani. It is also the first result you get when you google “map of the world.” It shows the disputed Himalyan territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin as belonging to India… as you can faintly see in the lecture slide.
In a statement to SBS, Vaghjiani explained that he was not aware that the map was “inaccurate and out of date.”
“Over 18 months ago, I used an out-of-date map, downloaded from the Internet, when discussing characteristics of IT entrepreneurs around the world,” he said. “This was a genuine mistake and I regret any offense this may have caused.”
Vaghjiani’s course introduces students to the “concepts, standards and techniques associated with professional practice in information technology in business environments,” the map was not part of the course material. Currently, the course does not contain this map.
This bizarre backlash Down Under comes as tensions continue to flare high up in the border regions of the Himalayas where Chinese and Indian troops have been locked in a tense stand-off for the past two months. Last week, Chinese Australians in Sydney did their part by protesting on India’s Independence Day, taking to the streets in a convoy of luxury cars led by a Bentley painted up like the Chinese flag.
China is very particular about its maps. In 2015, Beijing passed a new regulation stating that no individual or business can produce, display or sell maps depicting the PRC that do not meet with national standards and regulations, at risk of a 200,000 RMB fine.
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