The people over at Strange Maps discuss the finer details of the map. For example, they write:
In the ocean immediately beyond the city are a few islands of particular interest to China:
* Japan: the old rival, whose rapid modernisation preceded China’s, but now eclipsed and reduced to a few harmless islands.
* Taiwan: similarly superseded by China’s massive economic progress, but still relevant as the rival claimant to be China’s ‘legitimate’ government. Even more repulsive to mainland China is a competing strand of current Taiwanese politics, striving for ‘independence’ and thus eschewing the ‘One China’ policy still officially espoused by both the communist mainland and nationalist Taiwan.
* Hong Kong: the former British crown colony that was handed back to China in 1997 and which has been allowed a degree of autonomy unthinkable elsewhere in China (e.g. Tibet) under an agreement often referred to as ‘One Country, Two Systems’, whereby Hong Kong was allowed to retain its capitalist system and its civil liberties, including inchoate democratic institutions.
* Spratly Islands: a sprawling archipelago of over 600 islets, atols and reefs in the South China Sea, between Vietnam and the Philippines, with barely 5 square kilometers of dry land between them. Because of their strategic location, the Spratlys, or parts of them, are claimed and partly occupied by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia - and as such are a flashpoint waiting to happen.