Sat, Nov 24, 2012 - Page 1 News List

Taipei protests China’s new passports

TERRITORIAL CLAIMS:Pan-greens blasted the government’s slow reaction, saying Manila and Hanoi had already protested against Beijing’s inclusion of disputed areas

By Mo Yan-chih, Shih Hsiu-chuan and Chris Wang  /  Staff reporters, with Agencies and Staff writer

Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus whip Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) criticized the government’s slow reaction, saying China began issuing the new passports five months ago.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario told reporters in Manila on Thursday that he had sent a note to the Chinese embassy that his country “strongly protests” the map outline.

He said China’s claims include an area that is “clearly part of the Philippines’ territory and maritime domain.”

The Vietnamese government said it had also sent a diplomatic note to the Chinese embassy in Hanoi, demanding that Beijing remove the “erroneous content” printed in the passports.

In Beijing, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the new passport was issued based on international standards.

“The outline map of China on the passport is not directed against any particular country,” a spokeswoman said on Thursday.

China maintains it has ancient claims to all of the South China Sea, despite much of it being within the exclusive economic zones of its Southeast Asian neighbors.

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