Tuesday , June 6 2023

Organizer of int’l swim contest fined for mislabeling Vietnam islands on maps

An event firm in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) hosting an international swimming contest has been fined for posting maps saying Vietnam’s islands belong to China.

Peak Events has to pay a fine of VND25 million (US$1,066), according to a decision made on Friday by police in the central Khanh Hoa Province.

The decision was made in line with a government decree on punishments for violations in telecommunications, information technology, journalism and publishing activities.

Previously, the official website of the Arena Oceanman Cam Ranh Vietnam 2023 event, organized by Peak Evenst, posted a map of the location of the swimming tournament in Cam Ranh Bay in Khanh Hoa.

The map is owned by Leaflet, an open-source JavaScript library for mobile-friendly interactive maps, and OpenStreetMap, a free, editable map of the world that is being built by volunteers largely from scratch and released with an open-content license.

In the map, the area of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago has a territory labelled as Hai Yang Island, while the sea area under Vietnam’s sovereignty around the Spratlys is labelled as China’s Sansha District, and Vietnam’s waters around the nation’s Hoang Sa (Paracel) archipelago is labelled as China’s Xisha District. All the names are written in English with Chinese translations.

Vietnam has consistently affirmed that it has a full legal basis and historical evidence to assert its sovereignty over the Paracel and Spratly islands.

China seized the Paracel Islands from South Vietnam by force in 1974, and has been illegally occupying a number of reefs in the Spratly Islands since 1988.

Aside from the mislabelling violations, Peak Events was also found to have violated the Law on Physical Training and Sports when organizing the event, according to the Department of Culture and Sports in Khanh Hoa. Therefore, the department has ordered the company to cancel the event.

As originally planned, Arena Oceanman Cam Ranh Vietnam 2023 will be held from April 14-16.

The organizer said it had received entries from 850 competitors and more than half are foreigners coming from 21 countries and territories.

The event is part of Oceanman, the world’s largest international swimming tournament since 2015, having organized 27 competitions in 23 countries.

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