PH refuses to stamp Chinese e-passports

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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines will no longer stamp its visas on China’s new electronic passports, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Wednesday.

“This action is being undertaken to avoid the Philippines being misconstrued as legitimizing the nine-dash line (claim) every time a Philippine visa is stamped on such Chinese e-passport,” it said in a statement.

“Instead, the Philippines will stamp it on a separate visa application form,” it added.

The Philippines had earlier lodged its protest against China’s recent move to issue new e-passports stamped with a map that declared disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) territories as part of its borders. China, through its nine-dash claim, has consistently argued that it had sovereignty over nearly the entire sea.

A Chinese man holds up a Chinese passport where the top left corner shows a territorial map of China that includes disputed South China Sea islands outside a passport office in Beijing, China, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. AP

In its statement, the DFA said that the country’s refusal to stamp its visas on the new Chinese e-passports reinforces its stand that China’s claim over the disputed areas was “excessive,” and was “inconsistent with international law, specifically the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

Vietnam had earlier expressed its refusal to stamp the new Chinese e-passports, with its authorities noting that border guards had been instructed to issue “stapled visas” to Chinese people with such passports.

Aside from Vietnam and the Philippines, Southeast Asian nations Brunei and Malaysia have disputed China’s territorial claims.

India has also complained over the map’s depiction of its northern border with China and retaliated by issuing Chinese citizens visas embossed with New Delhi’s own maps.

The United States, meanwhile, had also said it will raise concerns with Beijing over China’s latest move, saying that the map printed in the new Chinese passports was causing “tension and anxiety” among claimant states in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was quoted by the Associated Press (AP) as saying that it was up to countries to decide what their passports look like and the US would still accept the Chinese one as a legal document.

But she added: “That’s a different matter than whether it’s politically smart or helpful to be taking steps that antagonize countries.”

She said it was unhelpful for creating an environment for resolving the territorial disputes.  With reports from AP

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E537S3U6BQRNYPYJNK7L2FPH4U Talahib

    Stamped one Chinese E-passport and you stamped the whole of China’s dirty maneuver. DFA, pres. Aquino, please listen to the cry of the Filipino people !!!

  • valsore

    Good, this is our silent protest.  But I think we should do more. Enough on big talk and merely symbolic actions. How come we only read about the government’s PLANS to buy real battle boats and fighting planes, but we never heard of any deliveries?

    • Guest

      Implementation of talk has always been the weak spot of PH. That must change.

  • pugadlawin

    REFUSE ENTRY to these Chinese Bullies who do not understand sovereignty.

    China believes it can pull another Taiwan tactic, which used to be recognized at the UN
    as the legitimate county and not PRC.

    If we let China bully us, IT WILL only make it more aggressive.

    Just like Hitler, never satisfied.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QZZKXPEA67I7HELEIYM35QVYFA Jon

    Gaya gaya, puto maya.
    Kulang talaga sa originality ang DFA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=747789731 Isabel Delgado Gonzalez

    SO THERE, CHINA!!!!!!!!!!

  • TON_SING_WAH

    lol pakulo ng mga tsikwa….parang me kulang sa isip..

  • Guest

    If this all was just a movie, this would be a C-rated action-comedy. Even China experts are wondering, what the Chinese are up to? Papansin? Nothing to do in China (despite their infrastructural bottlenecks they still have, environmental degradation, rising wealth inequality, violent protests in 100000s?)

    China could much have it easier. Maybe, they like it the hard way. I don’t know. It is always fascinating to see masochism in countries who could have it much easier.

  • sinagbayan

    Hindi lang dapat lagyan ng bisa ang mga pasaporteng ito ng Tsina, dapat ang itatatak na bisa ng Pilipinas ay may mapa ng West Philippine Sea. We have to stand firm, otherwise, they will be emboldened to do even more crazier things at a later time. IF IT WERE UP TO ME TO DECIDE, HINDI DAPAT MAKAPASOK SA PILIPINAS ANG MGA INTSIK NA GUMAGAMIT NG GANITONG PASAPORTE.

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