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

    US, Somalia Launch New Chapter in Relations

    US sends first ambassador to Somalia in 25 years; diplomatic presence and forces pulled out in 1993, after 18 US soldiers were killed when militiamen shot down military helicopter

    Brexit Vote Ripples Across South Asia

    Experts say exit is likely to have far-reaching economic, political and social implications for a region with deep historic ties to Britain

    Russian Military Tests Readiness With Snap Inspections

    Some observers see surprise drill as tit-for-tat response to NATO’s recent multinational military exercises in Baltic region

    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.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora