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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Audio Top 5 Songs for Week Ending May 23

This week's lineup can be summed up like this: 'It's The Same Old Song' - but they're great songs - featuring Walk The Moon, The Weeknd, Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth 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.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs