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Taiwan: Blur Satellite Images of Disputed Island Please, Google

Image: Taiwan: Blur Satellite Images of Disputed Island Please, Google

Taiwan wants Google to blur Taiping Island in its satellite images. (Taiwan's Ministry of Defense via AP)

By    |   Friday, 23 Sep 2016 06:20 AM

Taiwan is asking Google Earth to blur images of military facilities on a disputed island known as Taiping Island, or Itu Aba. While it’s controlled by Taiwan, it’s also claimed by China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The images in question are satellite images of what appears to be new military installations on the island in the South China Sea, BBC News reported.

Google Earth’s satellite images show four three-pronged structures in a semi-circle located next to an updated airstrip and a large new port, the BBC noted.

“Under the precondition of protecting military secrets and security, we have requested Google blur images of important military facilitates,” Taiwan Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi told reporters Wednesday, according to Reuters.

Taiwan, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei have been at odds about territory in the South China Sea for centuries.

“I cannot tell if [the facility] is for defending, attacking or monitoring,” Dustin Wang, a former Taiwanese government adviser, told Reuters.

James Edward Hoare, associate fellow at London’s Chatham House think tank, said the request to Google would indeed “ratchet up the tension,” NBC News reported, but would not necessarily prevent surveillance by other nations who have interests in the South China Sea.

“It’s hard to see what they’re trying to achieve in asking Google to blur it though,” Hoare said. “If you build a military installation on an island that size, someone is going to see it.”

"The Taiwan request seems a bit absurd," said Bill Hayton, another associate fellow at Chatham House, according to NBC. "It’s not going to stop military satellites — or even civilian ones under contract from governments — from taking pictures."

Taiwan has controlled this island it wants Google to blur since the 1950s.

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Taiwan is asking Google Earth to blur images of military facilities on a disputed island known as Taiping Island, or Itu Aba. While it's controlled by Taiwan, it's also claimed by China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
taiwan, blur, island, google
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2016-20-23
Friday, 23 Sep 2016 06:20 AM
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