March 24, 2010
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043
Phone: +1 650-253-0000
Fax: +1 650-253-0001
Attn: Mr. John Hanke
Vice President, Product Management
Dear Mr. Hanke:
It has come to our attention that your maps of the border between Vietnam and China have been erroneous. The following are news reports emanating from Vietnam on March 22, 2010:
Vietnam has asked Google Inc to fix an error on its Google Maps website that appears to place parts of Vietnamese territory across the border in China, local press reported Monday.
The official Vietnam News reported that Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga had outlined the mistakes Saturday in a press conference with government-affiliated media.
In one of the errors, the border line on the website does not closely follow the river that forms the Vietnam-China border in the province of Lao Cai, placing part of the Vietnamese city of Lao Cai inside China.
The border line is similarly misplaced in the provinces of Quang Ninh and Dien Bien, placing the town of Mong Cai inside Chinese territory. Vietnam's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment last week said the errors involved thousands of square kilometers of Vietnamese territory.
Vietnam and China have had longstanding disputes over their border, and fought a brief but bloody war in 1979. The two countries signed a Land Border Treaty in 1999, and an agreement on border management in November 2009.
Nga said the details of the border demarcation had been supplied to UN agencies, and were available to map publishing companies…”
“Users who access Google Maps can see the service that a part of Viet Nam's territory estimated at thousands of square kilometres is incorrectly mapped as part of China, said Do Viet Thi, deputy Director of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment' s Border Line Centre.
“It's clear to see that the border line at the northern border from Dien Bien Province to Mong Cai City of Quang Ninh Province is in the wrong place," he said. The degree of error is particularly noticeable at Lao Cai and Mong Cai cities, with the border line between Viet Nam and China being mapped incorrectly and encroaching on Viet Nam's territory.”
Google's mapping of the border line between the two countries also put many Vietnamese border gates, such as Tan Thanh and Thanh Thuy, into Chinese territory, said Thi.
Thi said the border line between Viet Nam and China in this area follows river lines. In Lao Cai city, the border line runs along the Hong, Nam Thi and Ba Ket rivers while the border line near Mong Cai City runs along the Ka Long and Bac Luan rivers.
"There has been no change in the border line in this area since it was mapped by the two countries in the late 19th century," said Thi.
Thi stressed that Google Maps was a free mapping service and did not have any legal value, but it could cause misunderstandings among users.”
As concerned Vietnamese, we would like to know what sources you utilized in producing the maps of the border of Vietnam and China. Additionally, please kindly let us know when you are going to fix the errors as requested by the Vietnamese government. The longer the errors stay on your maps, the more injurious to the integrity of the territory of Vietnam. As victims of China’s aggression for thousands of years, we are very sensitive to the accuracy of the border demarcation. A copy of this letter will be disseminated to the Vietnamese people to keep them abreast of our communication with your organization.
Thank you for your prompt consideration.
On behalf of concerned Vietnamese,
Ba Ngo (United States)
Email address: email@example.com
Long Le (New Zealand)
Hung Nguyen (Australia)
List of Co-Signers:
Khoa Ba Ngo (Houston, TX, USA) Quang Long Le (Auckland, New Zealand)
Huu Han Huynh (USA) Van Tu Nguyen (Auckland, New Zealand)
Judy Huynh (USA) Dinh Lan Le (Switzerland)
Huu Kho Nguyen (Houston, TX, USA) Ngoc Bich Tran (Houston, TX, USA)
Hong Le (Sydney, Australia) Ngoc Hung Dang ( Brisbane, Australia)
Minh Triet Ngo (Los Angeles,CA, USA) Anh Tuan Mai (Canada)
Hung Nguyen (Sydney, Australia) Gia Tuyen Do (Houston, USA)
Mui Dinh (Sydney, Australia) Anh Lan Dinh (Sydney, Australia)
Thi Tan Nguyen (Sachse, TX, USA) Thi Sung Nguyen (Dallas, USA)
Thuy Mai Nguyen (Queensland, Australia) Thi Bach Linh Nguyen (Chicago, IL, USA)
Bich Lien Nguyen (Garland, TX, USA) Dinh Khai Tran (Las Vegas, Nevada, USA)
Yen Mikelis (Henderson, Nevada, USA) Van Nguyen (Las Vagas, Nev, USA)
Thi Phung Nguyen (Las Vagas, Nev, USA) Hai Nguyen (Washington D.C., USA)
Mai Tran (Melbourne, Australia) Phuong Tran (Melbourne, Australia)
Hưng Nguyen (Houston, TX, USA) Thi Thuoc Nguyen (Sydney, Australia)
Peter Nguyen (Louisiana, USA) Thi Hoa Nguyen (Louisiana, USA)
Thi Chau Nguyen (Sydney, Australia) Khac Hong Do (Dussendoff, Germany)
Tracy Trang Nguyen (Sydney, Australia) Khac Tai Do (Dussendoff, Germany)
Dan Nguyen (Sydney, Australia) Thanh Nguyen (Sydney, Australia)
Julie Minh Nguyen (Sydney, Australia) Dennis Nhat Nguyen (Sydney, Australia)
Khoa Tong Ngo (Saigon, Vietnam) Khoa Bach Ngo (Houston, TX, USA)
Kim Hue Ngo (Houston, TX, USA) Phuong Mai Ngo (Houston, TX, USA)
Thi Tuyet Ngo (Houston, TX, USA) Thi Hanh Ngo (Houston, TX, USA)
Thi Guong Ngo (Houston, TX, USA) Thi Hanh Nguyen (Louisiana, USA)
Peter Binh Nguyen (Sydney, Australia) Thach Le (California, USA)
Vinh Tran (California, USA) Hong Nguyen (California, USA)
Huynh Trinh (California, USA) Huy Trinh (California, USA)
Tu Duong Tran (California, USA) Dung Trinh (California, USA)
Ngoc An Nguyen (California, USA) The Hung Nguyen (Prof, University of Danang ,Vietnam)
Thang Manh Nguyen ( Melbourne, Australia) Vo Tiep Nguyen (San Jose, California, USA)
Quoc Phan (WA, USA) Hoang Diep Do ( Thanh Tri, Hanoi Vietnam)
Quoc Ngu (Thanh Tri, Hanoi, Vietnam) Dang Dinh Dinh ( Dakrlak, Daknong, Vietnam)
The Van Phan ( Saigon, Vietnam) Truong Ngoc Tien Nguyen (Tuy an, Phu Yen, Vietnam)
Dinh Hoan (Saigon, Vietnam) Viet Ha Van (California, USA)
Duc Toan Nguyen Ngoc Huyen Vu (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Duc Thien Kieu (Hanoi, Vietnam) Thi Huyen Nguyen (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Vien Huyen Vu (Hanoi, Vietnam) Quan Van Quan (Hanoi, Vietnam)
Chau Minh Tran (Houston, TX, USA) Thieu Quang Nguyen (Sydney, Australia)