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Chinese passports anger neighbors

Friday, November 23, 2012 - 01:21

Nov. 23 - The Philippines and Vietnam condemn Chinese passports containing a map of China's disputed maritime claims, branding the new design a violation of their sovereignty. Sarah Charlton reports.

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Beijing's passport centre has become involved in a diplomatic spat, after issuing documents condemned by its neighbours. You might miss it at first, but take a closer look inside this new passport and you find a map of China, including maritime territory claimed by several Asian nations. SOUNDBITE: STUDENT AT QINGHUA UNIVERSITY, MS. CHEN SAYING (Mandarin): "It should be printed on here, because this was originally China's, right? There may be other disputes with foreign countries, but the islands originally were ours, so we think they should be printed here. It's just like the Diaoyu Islands - we should be take back what's ours." The document means countries disputing China's claim will have to stamp the electronic passports, and in effect agree with their point of view. The Philippines has joined Vietnam in condemning the image. In Manila, the foreign affairs spokesman said it was being studied. SOUNDBITE: FOREIGN AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON RAUL HERNANDEZ SAYING (English): "We have filed a protest and we have told them that this is a violation of the declaration on the conduct of parties in the South China Sea, which ask all parties to refrain from escalating the dispute, and also that this violates our territorial sovereignty." Beijing has defended the passports, saying they meet international standards.

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Chinese passports anger neighbors

Friday, November 23, 2012 - 01:21

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