Weather forecast app angers Vietnam with Chinese name for Paracel Islands

By Xuan Ngoc, Viet Tuan   November 7, 2018 | 06:36 pm PT
Weather forecast app angers Vietnam with Chinese name for Paracel Islands
A screenshot of weather forecast app Windy shows that the Paracels (Hoang Sa) is named Sansha.
Vietnam is indignant that cell phone weather application Windy calls its Paracel Islands 'Sansha' and has threatened to take actions against it.

Information authorities in the central Khanh Hoa Province Tuesday reported to the Ministry of Information and Communications that users of the weather forecast visualization app recently noticed that the Paracel (Hoang Sa) Islands is called Sansha on its map.

According to Doan Cong Huynh, head of the ministry's Department of Foreign Information Service, calling Hoang Sa Islands Sansha is "completely wrong and violates Vietnam's sovereignty."

Huynh said the ministry will trace the website's origin and take action against it, he promised.

"We must demand that immediately remove the erroneous information about Vietnam's Hoang Sa Islands," he said.

Windy is a popular app with over five million downloads by Android users. Following the discovery, many Vietnamese users have reacted by giving it a single star on Google Play.

Nguyen Duc Loc, a user, commented under the application: "[We] demand that Windy give correct names for Vietnam's Hoang Sa and Truong Sa [Spratly] Islands. Hoang Sa has never had the name Sansha and has never belonged to China."

China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has since been illegally occupying the islands.

In 2012 it established the so-called Sansha City with Woody Island as its seat.

The "city" also covers a number of reefs in Vietnam's Spratly Islands that China seized by force in 1988 and the Scarborough Shoal, which is claimed by the Philippines.

Last August, Vietnam expressed objection to China's celebrating the founding of Sansha, saying the activities seriously violated Vietnam's sovereignty over the islands.

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