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Experts downplay Vietnam’s motion not to stamp Chinese passports with 9-dash line

(People's Daily Online)    17:06, July 20, 2016
Experts downplay Vietnam’s motion not to stamp Chinese passports with 9-dash line
(File photo)

Chinese experts dismissed reports in Vietnamese media that, in the wake of The Hague tribunal’s ruling against China, Vietnam will no longer stamp Chinese passports that feature the South China Sea demarcation commonly referred to as the nine-dash line.

According to Vietnam’s Tuoi Tre newspaper, the Mong Cai International Border Gate in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh has been doing just that, refusing to stamp Chinese passports issued after 2012, all of which feature a new design that includes a Chinese map, complete with the nine-dash line on several pages.

“[Holders of such passports] have to agree to use a separate visa issued by Vietnam, and they won't receive an entry stamp on their passports,” said Tran Ngoc Tuan, director of a travel agency in Mong Cai. “We simply explain to them that Vietnam will not stamp their passports because the nine-dash line has no legal value.”

According to Du Jifeng, an associate research fellow with the National Institute of International Strategy (NISS) at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Vietnam is trying to exacerbate the South China Sea issue so as to help its own interests in the region. Du made his comments during an interview with China Radio International (CRI).

“[The passport controversy] is pure provocation from Vietnam. They are trying to challenge China’s resolution to safeguard its sovereignty in the South China Sea,” said Xu Liping, another NISS research fellow.

Du added that Vietnam’s manufactured controversy will not have any effect on its claims in the South China Sea, and China will not make any concessions. Nevertheless, such actions do add obstacles to peaceful bilateral relations, CRI reported.

The post-2012 passports already stamped by Vietnamese border control officers will be voided upon re-entry, the report in Tuoi Tre noted.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said during a press conference in November 2012 that China's standard electronic passports are issued in accordance with international civil aviation standards, and they are not intended to target any specific country. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Jiang Jie,Bianji)

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