China will launch a campaign this year to eliminate the publication of maps with information that could undermine sovereignty and state security, authorities said Friday.
The National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASMG) said the campaign will focus on maps with incorrect national boundaries and missing territory in teaching materials, travel guides and imported publications.
Publications with incorrect maps will be recalled and destroyed if their flaws are serious, while websites that offer map services that are found to undermine sovereignty and state security will be punished or shut down entirely, the NASMG said.
The campaign will also strengthen supervision over the market for terrestrial globes to prevent unauthorized production.
The campaign, co-launched by 13 departments, including the NASMG, the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and the Foreign Ministry, will be formally launched in June and last until October.
An official from the NASMG said it will strengthen its protection and supervision over China's geoinformation, as the data is strategically important.
A network to safeguard geodata will be established through the joint efforts of several departments in order to prevent illegal mapping activity, the administration said.
Authorities have investigated and dealt with about 40 cases involving illegal mapping in China involving foreigners. While some of the incidents occurred due to a lack of awareness of Chinese law, others involved attempts to steal state secrets and undermine security, the official said.