Vietnam won’t stamp controversial China passports

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11:43 AM November 26th, 2012

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November 26th, 2012 11:43 AM

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, China, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. AP/Ng Han Guan

HANOI, Vietnam— Vietnamese authorities are refusing to stamp Chinese passports featuring a map that includes disputed islands in the South China Sea as Chinese territory. They are instead issuing visas on a separate piece of paper.

The head of the border guard command in the northern province of Quang Ninh bordering China said Monday that border guards have been instructed to issue stapled visas to Chinese people with such passports.

There is concern among Vietnamese authorities that by stamping visas in such passports the government would be indirectly recognizing Beijing’s claims to the disputed territory.

The Philippines has also protested the map on the Chinese passports, which incorporates most of the South China Sea as its territory.

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