Map ‘has no bearing’ on validity of new China passport: US

By Sun Xiaobo Source:Global Times Published: 2012-11-28 0:05:08

The US said Monday that it wouldn't endorse the sovereignty claimed by a map of Chinese territory in China's new passport after neighboring countries protested against it.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a regular press briefing on Monday that the map wouldn't affect the use of the passport.

"As a technical legal matter, that map doesn't have any bearing on whether the passport is valid for US visa issuance or for entry into the United States," she said.

People's Daily Online reported earlier that China started issuing a new version of the passport this May containing a map claiming maritime sovereignty in the South China seas over which China has disputes with neighboring countries.

The map has triggered protests by Vietnam and the Philippines.

However, Nuland denied that it is an endorsement of China's sovereignty claim if a Chinese citizen with the new passport gets a stamp from US customs and said that a picture in a passport doesn't change the fact that disputes should be resolved through negotiation.

"China has always made clear its position on the sovereignty over the South China Sea. The disputes between China and neighboring countries triggered by the map may enable the US to get involved," Fu Xiaoqiang, a researcher with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

The new passport has a 10-year validity period and so far over 1 million have been issued.

In response to concerns about the passport, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing Friday that the pictures contained in the passport are not targeting any country.

"We hope that relevant countries can treat this issue in a rational way and avoid causing unnecessary disturbances to personnel exchange," she said.


Posted in: Diplomacy

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