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|Thursday, May 25, 2000, updated at 16:42(GMT+8)|
Current Chinese World Atlas ReasonableYu Yongchang, deputy director of the State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping Wednesday denied such allegations that current Chinese World Atlas placing China at map center is a reflection of the ancient Chinese idea that China is at the center of the world.
Lately reports claimed that current Chinese World Atlas, using Eastern Longitude 150 degrees as the midline, has come down from atlas tailored by Matteo Ricco, an Italian missionary to China in Ming times, claimed as one to have outlined the map to cater to Chinese officials' arrogance of the time.
"There is nothing wrong with current Chinese World Atlas and the outlining is rational without any outside influence", the official is quoted as saying.
Map experts like Chen Chao, Duan Mujie, Fang Bingyan also denied those assertions. They made it clear that the earth is a globe and only after projection can we transfer the sphere surface to iconography. Meanwhile, as a rule in compiling a map, two important things will have to be under scrutiny, one is the clear demarcation with bordering countries, and the other is that placing China at map center can maximally avoid distortions since no flat map can be free of distortion.
In addition, the experts also pointed out that to place China at the center of Chinese World Atlas is a common tradition dating back to several hundred years ago, making it easy for use.
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