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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
China angry at Google map change
Google sign
Google's map has caused tension between Taipei and Beijing
China has reacted angrily to a decision by the internet search engine Google to stop calling Taiwan a Chinese province.

Google deleted the words "a province of the People's Republic of China" from its Taiwan map after complaints from pro-independence groups on the island.

A Chinese official in the US told state media he was disappointed at the move.

Taiwan has a tense relationship with Beijing. Many Taiwanese see the island as a separate country, although Beijing sees it as part of Chinese territory.

Ongoing row

Earlier this month, legislators from the pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union urged the Taiwanese public to e-mail Google in protest at its description of the island.

They wanted the company to refer to Taiwan as an independent state.

Now the search engine appears to have backed down.

Google has deleted the contentious wording from the top left corner of its map page.

Peng Keyu, consul general of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, told the SingTao Daily that he was disappointed by the decision.

Google spokeswoman Debbie Frost told Chinese state news agency Xinhua on Wednesday that the alteration was just a "regular update" of all of the site's map pages, rather than a deliberate effort to specifically update the Taiwan page.

But according to Chinese media, many web-users using chat rooms around the country are suggesting a boycott of Google's China service .


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