Apparently Chinese nationals carrying newly-issued Chinese e-passports are now in violation of Philippine national sovereignty. Does this mean that Chinese citizens attempting to travel into Philippine territory using these documents are now banned until the violation is rectified?
Perhaps affected Chinese nationals should now start thinking twice about proceeding with their travel plans.
The “violation” in question is around an image in the passport of a map of China that reportedly includes territory currently being claimed by the Philippine government — presumably the Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal.
“The Philippines strongly protests the inclusion of the nine-dash lines in the e-passport as such image covers an area that is clearly part of the Philippines’ territory and maritime domain,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said.
“The Philippines does not accept the validity of the nine-dash lines that amount to an excessive declaration of maritime space in violation of international law.”
According to a report published on The Australian, “The so-called nine-dash lines take in about 90 per cent of the 3.5-million-square-kilometre South China Sea on Chinese maps.” Furthermore…
The boundary was first officially published on a map by China’s government in 1947 and has been included in subsequent maps, forming a key basis for Beijing’s claims to the area.
For their part, some Filipino “activists” have pulled similar, albeit more benign, stunts. Recall that “Manila tour guide, cultural activist, and performing artist” Carlos Celdran recently endorsed a map possibly intended to provoke similar outrage amongst Chinese patriots…
The Chinese response to the stink raised by the Philippines has so far been non-committal and non-confrontational. The statement released through its foreign ministry is markedly positive…
“The passports’ maps with their outlines of China are not targeting a specific country […] China is willing to actively communicate with the relevant countries and promote the healthy development of Sino-foreign personnel exchanges.”
Remains to be seen, however, what the next steps are.
For now, as always…
Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.
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