Wikipedia's Nine-dash Line says:

An early map showing a U-shaped eleven-dash line was published in the then-Republic of China on 1 December 1947. Two of the dashes in the Gulf of Tonkin were later removed at the behest of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, reducing the total to nine. Chinese scholars asserted at the time that the version of the map with nine dashes represented the maximum extent of historical claims to the area. In 2010, the PRC published a new national map which incorporated a tenth dash. Subsequent editions added a dash to the other end of the line, extending it into the East China Sea.

Despite having made the vague claim public in 1947, China has not (as of 2018) filed a formal and specifically defined claim to the area within the dashes. China added a tenth dash to the east of Taiwan island in 2013 as a part of its official sovereignty claim to the disputed territories in the South China Sea

The 1947 "time stamp" on this concept is used by China to bolster their claims and defend their current activities.

Question: Are there any other "Nine-dash lines" out there? Are there other historic claims (or maps) out there by any country that have some likelihood of being pulled out at some future time and used to claim what is generally considered international waters or islands not currently claimed or recognized to be owned by the "line claimers"? Or is China's Nine-dash line likely to be the only one to be used in this way?

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    I long ago (~40 years ago) worked for an employer that had both China and Argentina as clients. Neither one of those governments was fond of those dashed lines. One separated mainland China from Taiwan and another separated Argentina from the Falkland Islands. Once we learned how to remove one, removing the other was easy because both of those dashed lines in the CIA World Data Bank II were of the same class. Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 13:43
  • Many countries changed borders a lot in the past. There should be historic maps with real lines not dashed ones showing anything you want really. The US could be part of the UK or belong to natives... Commented Jul 1, 2020 at 20:37

1 Answer 1


There are many territorial disputes that are ongoing.

At this link is a long list of them.

One example: Hans Island claimed by both Canada and Denmark. At the link is a map with a many dash line on the surface of water at a place called Kennedy Channel.

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    Thanks, Are these current disputes related to lines on maps "...that have some likelihood of being pulled out at some future time and then used to "bolster their claims" and/or to "defend their current activities"?
    – uhoh
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 5:37
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    Could use a summary type quote in case the link goes stale.
    – Jontia
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 6:12
  • Thanks for the edit, yep I see there is a mention of old maps there.
    – uhoh
    Commented Jun 29, 2020 at 21:57
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    True, although one can certainly make the claim that the 9 dash line is uniquely brazen in its rapacity, paucity of historical foundation and disregard for geographical proximity of other claimants. The only one that is remotely close in concept is the Falklands, except that the UK does have 2 centuries of people actually living there, almost before there was even such a thing as Argentina, really. Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 6:37
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    Another area of interest is the mess that has been fought over since the Silk Road days. The borders between China, India, and Pakistan remain under dispute, and scraps between India and China have re-erupted very recently. Commented Jun 30, 2020 at 14:29

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