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Taiwan huffs and puffs at Google Earth

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Taiwan has become the latest, er, country to go whining to Google Earth - not because the entertaining online service reveals high-res pics of air bases packed with black helicopters, but because those tiresome Americans insist on calling it "a province of China".

Oh dear, oh dear. A suitably indignant Taiwanese government has therefore asked Google to correct the outrage to read the Republic of China - despite the fact that, as Reuters notes, the island of 23 million souls is "recognised by only 26 states in the world and has no seat at the United Nations".

Foreign ministry spokesman, Michel Lu, explained: "It is incorrect to call Taiwan a province of China because we are not. We have contacted Google to express our position and asked them to correct the description."

Google has maintained a stony silence on the matter, presumably while it tries to work out a solution which will please both the Taiwanese and the hosts of the (lucrative, burgeoning, inviting) Chinese internet search business opportunity market.

No doubt good sense will prevail, with Google siding firmly with Beijing and threatening to invade Taiwan if it attempts to declare itself a sovereign state while taking the intermediate measure of downgrading all existing satellite images of the island to "developing world lo-res" - a fate reserved for only the mostly lowly of nations/provinces* (delete according to political taste). ®

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