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Taiwan to Google: We're not a China province

Claiming sovereignty, the foreign ministry asks the search giant to stop calling Taiwan a "province of China" on Google Maps.

Taiwan's government has asked Web search company Google to stop calling the self-ruled island a "province of China" on its Google Maps service, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.

China views Taiwan as a breakaway province and has threatened to attack the island of 23 million people if it pushes for formal statehood. China and Taiwan split in a civil war ended in 1949.

Taiwan maintains it is a sovereign, independent state that is officially called the Republic of China.

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

The foreign ministry has not received a response from Google.

The small pro-independence Taiwan Solidarity Union has urged the public to write a protest e-mail to Google, demanding the search engine describe Taiwan as "an independent state in Asia."

Taiwan is recognized by only 26 states in the world and has no seat at the United Nations.