News / Asia

Vietnam Avoids Stamping Controversial Chinese Passports

A Chinese man holds up a Chinese passport with details on a page that shows dashes which include the South China Sea as part of the Chinese territory outside a passport office in Beijing, Nov. 23, 2012.
A Chinese man holds up a Chinese passport with details on a page that shows dashes which include the South China Sea as part of the Chinese territory outside a passport office in Beijing, Nov. 23, 2012.
Marianne Brown
A new passport design issued by China is causing a stir in Asia. The passport features a map that includes territory claimed by other countries. It includes the South China Sea, which is also claimed by Vietnam. Officials are finding their own way around the problem.

China claims almost all of the South China Sea, but Vietnam and four other governments have claims in the region, including the Spratly Islands, which are believed to sit atop mineral deposits.

The passports have caused a stir in the region, prompting protests from several countries, including Vietnam.

Colonel Luong Van Son, deputy director of Lao Cai provincial border police says new passport holders are allowed to enter the country, but officials issue visas on separate pieces of paper.

Luong says this was a “light” approach to the problem agreed upon by government ministries and, so far, China had not reacted. He added the passport design is a “serious violation” of Vietnamese sovereignty and is not recognized by the international community.

Last week, a spokesman for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Luong Thanh Nghi, protested the new passport design.

He says the ministry had sent a diplomatic note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi objecting to the move and asked China to cancel the passport. The Philippines and Taiwan also objected.

In Manila Monday, Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez says authorities there are still accepting the passports for visa applications, for now.

"What we can say is we are considering different options as far as follow-up action. I don't know what are those options," he said.

The passport also includes territory claimed by India. In response, officials at the Indian Embassy in Beijing stamped Chinese visas with a map embossed with New Delhi’s own map.

Observers say the move is part of an ongoing trend of China asserting territorial claims in the area. China’s Foreign Ministry says the map of the sea printed in the new passports is not targeted at any specific countries.

You May Like

Australia-Cambodia Resettlement Agreement Raises Concerns

Agreement calls for Cambodia to accept refugees in return for $35 million in aid and reflects Australia’s harder line approach towards asylum seekers and refugees More

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

US hopes India can become alternative to China for countries looking to buy weapons, but experts question growth potential of Indian arms industry More

Earth Day Concert, Rally Draws Thousands in Washington

President Obama also took up the issue Saturday in his weekly address, saying there 'no greater threat to our planet than climate change' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Giovanni Hynson from: Austin, Texas
November 27, 2012 12:47 AM
In Texas, we would just stamp a middle finger over the mainland of China.
Problem solved.

by: albert from: canada
November 26, 2012 3:56 PM
Congratulations Vietnam. I hope that other countries also refuse to accept the validity of the new Chinese passport, a small step against the bully China who wants to dominate the world.

by: Brandon from: USA
November 26, 2012 1:04 PM
China's more provocative policies are causing more internal division than actual international harm. The majority of the Chinese population is more interested in issues such as health care and corruption than expansionism. Pursuing a belligerent foreign policy will only hasten the inevitable end of Communist leadership and the separation of North and South China
In Response

by: Eddy from: Canada
November 27, 2012 8:38 PM
Yes Chinese population are interested in issue such as health care and corruption but without expansion, where is China going to get the resources and $$$ to provide for the people? One great thing about Chinese culture is that when everybody is rich people might not be the nicest to each other but China unites when foreigners are involved.

by: sunny tran from: US
November 26, 2012 12:52 PM
There is a very simple solution to this. Countries of disputed territories should create new stamp with map of land/islands/sea that they think belong to them, and use it to stamp Chinese passport. See how they like it.

by: Le Chinh Vu from: Australia
November 26, 2012 8:15 AM
"China’s Foreign Ministry says the map of the sea printed in the new passports is not targeted at any specific countries." What China's Foreign Ministry is saying is that China is targeting the whole world!
In Response

by: Ted from: Houston, Tx
November 29, 2012 8:02 AM
I have just returned from a trip in West Bank, what does "international community" say about this?
In Response

by: Jerry Mitchell from: USA
November 27, 2012 9:31 AM
This was my first thought. China rallies citizens in support of take over, chastises others at ASEAN conference. Says not to internationize dispute, Then prints THIS. China is STILL a bad actor on the international stage. NO country in the World will respect them if they don't start respecting others.
In Response

by: Zhang Jie
November 26, 2012 1:21 PM
Ahaha, that's kind of funny. Because you're Vietnamese and all. Of course, your comments are totally unbiased.

by: Le Chinh Vu from: Australia
November 26, 2012 7:43 AM
Where on earth can one find such a greedy and blatant claim? Beijing administration thinks the international community has no brain? Think again!

This is a stupid act! It damages even further its already bad reputation worldwide.

More dangerously, the Communist Party of China has been fostering the extreme nationalism within Chinese people. It has been deceiving Chinese people, leading them into believing an unfounded belief that China owns 80 percent of the East Sea!!!

Who can trust China now?

In Response

by: Hoang from: Canada
November 27, 2012 7:01 AM
Neon,
Either you're Chinese or a stupid liberal American. When China dominates all of Asia, they will blockade the U.S. out of Asia.
Vietnamese worldwide know to depend on ourselves first to defend our sovereignty. We Vietnamese have learned to never depend on any foreign country. Yes, I am Vietnamese.
China has conflict with all countries that it borders, Japan, Russia, Phillipines, Tibet( an occupied country), Indonesia, Malaysia. The U.S. knows how crucial Vietnam is to stop China's expansion. Furthermore,the world does not recognize the cow shaped tongue of China that is hungry for U.S.
In Response

by: Neon from: Austin, TX
November 26, 2012 1:43 PM
And what exactly do you plan to do besides depending on the US to assist you? The US is only using you small countries to stir up conflict to justify our pivot. And besides, stop trolling. In terms of "international community" only the US cares about what happens in that area. India kinda cares, but doesn't really do much to show it.
In Response

by: SwimFan from: US
November 26, 2012 10:38 AM
Aren't you Vietnamese?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?i
X
Steve Sandford
April 17, 2015 12:50 AM
Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy

In an interview with VOA's Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war.
Video

Video Protester Lands Gyrocopter on Capitol Lawn

A 61-year-old mailman from Florida landed a small aircraft on the Capitol lawn in Washington to bring attention to campaign finance reform and what he says is government corruption. Wednesday's incident was one in a string of security breaches on U.S. government property. Zlatica Hoke reports the gyrocopter landing violated a no-fly zone.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.
Video

Video Sidemen to Famous Blues Artists Record Their Own CD

Legendary blues singer BB King was briefly hospitalized last week and the 87-year-old “King of the Blues” may not be touring much anymore. But some of the musicians who have played with him and other blues legends have now released their own CD in an attempt to pass the torch to younger fans... and put their own talents out front as well. VOA’s Greg Flakus has followed this project over the past year and filed this report from Houston.
Video

Video Iran-Saudi Rivalry Is Stoking Conflict in Yemen

Iran has proposed a peace plan to end the conflict in Yemen, but the idea has received little support from regional rivals like Saudi Arabia. They accuse Tehran of backing the Houthi rebels, who have forced Yemen’s president to flee to Riyadh, and have taken over swaths of Yemen. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, analysts say the conflict is being fueled by the Sunni-Shia rivalry between the two regional powers.

VOA Blogs