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Taiwan Asks Google To Blur Images Of Secret Military Base On Disputed Island

Recent reports have confirmed that Taiwan has asked Google to blur satellite images showing what appears to be a new military base located on a disputed island. In fact Chen Chung-chi, spokesperson of the Taiwan Defense Ministry has spoken about it.

During an interview, the Taiwanese official said “Under the precondition of protecting military secrets and security, we have requested Google blur images of important military facilities.”

“Since the 19750s,” an Elite Readers article tells us, “Taiwan has controlled the Itu Aba Island (which they refer to as Taiping) although it is also being cialmed by China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The request to blur the photos was made after the South China Morning Post spotted four new star-shaped structures as seen via Google Earth – which were not yet present back in January.”

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Photo credit: Google Earth

Theorists are now supposing that the structures were built after the Center of Strategic and International Studies’ Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative visited the island with Taiwanese government leaders. The island is located 763 miles south of Taiwan in the Spratly Islands.

Dustin Wang, who formerly worked as a Taiwanese government adviser, admitted:

“I cannot tell if [the facility] is for defending, attacking or monitoring.”

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Photo credit: Google Earth

On the other hand, Bill Hayton, an associate fellow at Chatham House, pointed out that Taiwan’s request to blur the pictures is somewhat odd.

Hayton pointed out:

“The Taiwan request seems a bit absurd. It’s not going to stop military satellites — or even civilian ones under contract from governments — from taking pictures.”

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Photo credit: Google Earth

As a result of the request, the photo garnered a lot of backlash from netizens across the world.

Who Owns The Itu Aba Island?

According to Wikipedia, Itu Aba Island is also known as Taiping Island and “by various other names.”

The island “is the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The island is elliptical in shape being 1.4 kilometres (0.87 mi) in length and 0.4 kilometres (0.25 mi) in width, with an area of 46 hectares (110 acres). It is part of the Tizard Bank. The runway of the Taiping Island Airport is easily the most prominent feature on the island, running its entire length.”

“The island,” the site added, “is administered by the Republic of China (ROC/Taiwan), as part of Cijin, Kaohsiung. It is also claimed by the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines and Vietnam.”

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