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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora