It seems that this is not the Google Earth is caught up in geopolitics. According to reports, the Taiwanese Defense Ministry has requested Google to blur all the satellite images that are showing military installation on Itu Aba, a small island located in the South China Sea.
Itu Aba is also known as Taiping Island, and it’s the location where the U.S. along with other countries has protested against China’s construction of military infrastructure, including artificial islands and airstrips.
Chen Chung-chi, the Taiwan Defence Ministry, has said yesterday that “under the pre-condition of protecting military secrets and security, we have requested Google to blur images of important military facilities.”
The military experts in Taiwan have told Reuters that the three pronged structures that are laid out in a semi-circle appear to be military in nature, but it was unclear if it is intended for surveillance, offence or defense. It is good to know that the island is dominated by a large airstrip.
We remind you that back in July 2016 the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has ruled against China’s affirmation that it owns a number of islands in the region. At the same time, China’s position is opposed by other countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan, and according to the court China has violated the Philippines’ sovereign rights. The decision was welcomed in the Philippines, as many have celebrated it on social media using the hashtag #CHexit.
According to a report from 2006 by Washington Post, some similar images from Google Earth have been using by anti-government activists in Bahrain. Google will most likely come with an official announcement regarding this issue.
Are you using Google Earth frequently? What are you using this tool for? What do you think about this free program that gives you the possibility to “fly” over a virtual globe?