Anti-Chinese conspiracy theorist again source for “news” about China
Moral outrage over the Middle Kingdom was sparked by a recent Wall Street Journal article that referred to a China-critical Falun Gong blogger who claimed that Israel no longer exists as a name on Chinese maps. This blogger is known for spreading fake news, such as claiming that Chinese President Xi was under house arrest or that 400 million Chinese died of Covid. This time she made even more “news” headlines when she claimed to have discovered the absence of the name Israel on a map on the Chinese search engine Baidu.
Headline of the Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal article was then followed by numerous similar reports in other media outlets, as well as condemnation of China’s latest allegedly hostile anti-Israeli act.
The National Post was one of the many news outlets parroting the fake news story (screenshot headline NP)
The news comes just days after an earlier report in The New York Times over a surge of antisemitic expressions on Chinese social media following the war with Hamas. Such criticism stems from media which stands with Israel while it commits genocide in Gaza and smears legitimate criticism of Israel’s actions as “anti-semitic”.
With the alleged disappearance of Israel from the maps of China, this new anti-Chinese conspiracy theory has closely linked the country to those who want to exterminate the Jews in Israel.
China’s position: hidden or ignored by the media
It is true that Baidu Maps does not show Israel and the Gaza Strip as they are today – it recognizes the 1967 borders, and if it were to show today’s Greater Israel, this would amount to “violating international law“, “taking sides” or “interfering in the internal affairs of other states“, which would contradict China’s official policy upholding these principles.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin repeated China’s position at a press briefing: “You should know that China and Israel have normal diplomatic relations. Regarding the relevant issues you mentioned, the relevant countries are clearly marked on the standard map issued by the Chinese competent authorities, which you can check.”
He also emphasized that “All countries have the right to self-defense, but they should abide by international law, especially international humanitarian law, and protect the safety of civilians. Every life is precious, and the lives of the Palestinian people, like those of other countries, should be protected.”
In June 2023, China invited the Israeli Prime Minister to Beijing, which he accepted. Netanyahu’s visit was postponed due to recent events, but not canceled.
Do the fact check!
Indeed, those who bother to track down missing Israel can check the Chinese “National Platform for Common Geospatial Information Services”, where they can check the official Chinese Map Institute as a source, instead of a dubious Falun Gong or other activists who can’t stand China.
The official map has the answer to the claim that China has “wiped Israel off the map.” (Screenshot National Platform for Common Geospatial Information Services)
And if you can’t read the Chinese characters on the map, you can use a modern camera translation to translate text within photos and screenshots, which will, oh surprise, show you the full list of country names on the official Chinese map, including Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and – believe it or not – Israel and Palestine!
If you’re not too sluggish, you can also broaden your search and perhaps locate an American netizen named Chaniece on X (formerly Twitter), who speaks Chinese fluently, lives in Shanghai, and discusses the subject. In this video, she explains how easy it is to find “Israel” on Baidu and Gaode, the two popular Chinese map apps from which it has disappeared, according to the fake news media.
This proves that this media fabrication could be debunked with little effort and that you should remain suspicious when Western media “report” on China.