Philippine Stamps New Chinese Passport, Vietnam Says No

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This new Chinese passport is being accepted in the Philippines—for now. But the same cannot be said for Vietnam.

Last Friday, Beijing issued a new passport that has infuriated neighbors. The micro-chipped travel document has a map that includes areas in the disputed South China Sea as Chinese territory.

Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan have all issued formal complaints to the Chinese regime over the new map.

Vietnam has also said they will not stamp the new passports. Instead, visas will be stamped on a separate paper for Chinese tourists.

The Philippine's Foreign Ministry says it is still assessing the situation.

[Raul Hermandez, Philippines Department of Foreign Affiairs]:
"Right now until such time that there would be a change in policy, we will be accepting Chinese passports for visa application through the normal course of visa processing."

India is also challenging the new passports by stamping its own map on visas it issues to holders of the new Chinese passports. That's because the Chinese passport also claims two Himalayan regions that India disputes.

China has recently increased patrols of the South China Sea, believed to be rich in natural reserves of oil and gas. It has led to increasingly tense stand-offs between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the area.

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