China's new passport map riles neighbors
Globaltimes.cn | 2012-11-26 14:54:00
By Globaltimes.cn
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Passport map draws fire from neighbors

Vietnam's immigration authorities are issuing separate visa sheets to new Chinese passport holders instead of stamping directly on visa pages, after Beijing issued new passports that  include a map of territories also claimed by other countries.

China maps out territorial claim on new passport


   New Passport

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Photo: Xinhua
It contains an electronic chip that includes the holder's fingerprints, signature and photographs.

It uses advanced anti-counterfeiting technologies, including special ink and holographic images. It's pretty much like the technologies used in biometric passports adopted in other countries
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Photo: people.com.cn
The map lays clear claim of China to the maritime soverignty in the South China seas.

   Reactions

Vietnam Vietnam's passport control offices are refusing to stamp visa pages in the new passport. Vietnam says it is unacceptable.

Vietnam's Foreign Minister has formally complained to China, and demanded a correction of the map.

Vietnamese passport control offices are issuing separate visa sheets to new Chinese passport holders instead of stamping inside the pages, according to British newspaper Financial Times.


India External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid says the Chinese passport map showing India's so-called Arunachal Pradesh area and the Himalayan region of Aksai Chin as part of China is "unacceptable", according to the Associated Press.

On Saturday, the Indian embassy in Beijing began stamping new Chinese passports with a map showing a border territory disputed by the two countries as claimed by India.
Philippines On November 22, the Philippines responded angrily to the new passports, saying Chinese carrying the document would be violating Philippine national sovereignty, according to the Reuters.
China
Hua Chunying, Spokeswoman, Chinese Foreign Ministry, said, "China's standard electronic passports are issued according to international civil aviation standards. China is not targeting a specific country. China is willing to communicate with the relevant countries, and continue promoting contact and healthy development with foreign personnel."
Source: Agencies

   Effects

Holders of new Chinese passports trying to enter Vietnam are finding themselves in a tricky situation.

It's causing many Chinese to consider changing their travel plans.

   Voices

"It should be printed on here, because this was originally China's. The islands originally were ours. It's just like the Diaoyu Islands--we should take back what's ours,"------Ms. Chen, a student of Tsinghua University

"If the controversies continue to snowball, I certainly won't choose to go to these countries,"------Chen Chuliang, a resident from Beijing

"The on-going passport row can be solved via diplomatic channels.  After all, it is not possible to suspend Sino-foreign personnel exchanges due to this episode,"------Zhao Gancheng, an expert on Southeast Asia at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies


  Related News

Electronic passports introduced to foreign delegates

Travelers get new e-passports for easier exit and entry
China, Vietnam pledge to promote ties
Harassing East Asia summit with islands disputes was unwise
Spat 'shouldn't halt' summit

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