A prestigious American scientific journal has just removed a social media post about a study by scientists, mostly from China, containing a map of the nine-dash line in the South China Sea after encountering protest from Vietnam.
The official Facebook page of the scientific journal Science Advances, published by the largest scientific association in the United States (AAAS), on August 28 posted a new study with an illustrative map with images of China and its nine-dash line, commonly known as the “cow’s tongue” line.
However, according to Vietnam’s state-run media, this post received “hundreds of comments from Vietnamese users protesting against the image” which the Hanoi government considers a “violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty over the sea and islands” and was also rejected by an international arbitral tribunal five years ago.
The US journal’s post shares the research of 14 scientists, including 11 from China and the remaining three from the US, Australia and South Africa, on the rapid growth of spring vegetation during the limited application period because of the COVID-19 pandemic in China to relate to climate change. Attached is an image of two Chinese maps with a 9-dash line showing Beijing’s sovereignty claims over a large area in the South China Sea that overlaps with the territorial waters of other countries in the region, including Vietnam.
The world’s most prestigious scientific newspaper said on August 30 that an earlier post on its official Facebook page called Science about the study “was removed following concerns about the map referenced in the article.”
Previously, according to Vietnam’s media, many Vietnamese scientists had sent letters asking this journal to withdraw the above article.
Although Science removed the posting on its Facebook page, the study published on the scientific journal’s official website still contains reference maps of China with the nine-dash line.
This is not the first time a scientific newspaper, published weekly and with a regular readership of up to 1 million, has published a map of China with the cow’s tongue line. A July 2011 issue of an article by a Chinese author analyzing the country’s population also included a map with a nine-dash cow’s tongue.
Dr. Truong Ngoc Kiem, who together with Vietnamese scientists sent a letter of protest to the journal Science, told Zing News that he often saw the appearance of maps containing the cow’s tongue line in the reports of scientists. Chinese science, although this map has nothing to do with the content of the research when attending many international scientific events.
A study by author Nguyen Thuy Anh, published in the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, reported that up to 260 scientific articles were discovered using the 9-dash line published in 20 reputable scientific journals of various famous publishers including Science. According to CSIS, China is not only seeking to change the ground in the South China Sea, but is also seeking to gradually change the world’s thinking about its claims in this disputed maritime area.
In the Philippines’ case against China’s territorial claims in the disputed waters with this Southeast Asian country, the international arbitration court in The Hague, Netherlands, in July 2016 rejected the nine-dash line. provided by China. However, Beijing has always denied this ruling.
“Science Advances appreciates this feedback and is reviewing the relevant concerns and next steps,” the American magazine said in a Facebook post on August 30 when it announced the removal of the map and the nine-dash line of China.