Google released new maps of Taiwan Wednesday, and all the while, exposed a portion of the island’s hidden missile sites, Taiwanese media revealed Friday. Taiwan, a self-ruled democratic territory perceived in Beijing as a maverick province, faces an ever-present threat from the huge Chinese military force situated directly over the strait.
China keeps up that it will use force to achieve reunification if necessary. Along these lines, Taiwan must be strategic and careful in its handling of its limited yet advanced military.
Google Maps, as a major aspect of a push to create 3D maps of the world that started in 2012, released impressive three-dimensional renderings of Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan and Taichung Wednesday. What’s more, that is the point at which the overall population started discovering things that were supposed to secret.
New city maps from Google offered an unmistakable look at a portion of the island’s defense infrastructure, Taiwan News revealed Friday. Visible in the new maps are the National Security Bureau, the Military Intelligence Bureau, and a formerly secret Patriot missile base, Taiwan’s Central News Agency detailed. The missiles and the launchers are effectively noticeable in the maps.
The Ministry of National Defense is presently in talks with Google over the issue. Minister of National Defense Yen De-fa has urged the public to try to avoid panicking, demanding that the “location of defense infrastructure in the midst of harmony does not indicate its location amid times of war.”
While concerning, the exposure may not be a serious issue for the island. “All things considered, the confidential parts are altogether inside the structures which would be profoundly hard to expose through the 3D maps,” a defense official told the South China Morning Post.
Taiwan’s military is finding a way to combat observation by business satellite technology, an issue for militaries around the world. Taiwan, specifically, has dealt with issues like this previously. The Taiwanese defense ministry needed to request Google in 2016 to haze out an army base on an island in the South China Sea known as Itu Aba, Reuters reported at the time.