Feature

China: A stamp of grave disapproval

China’s new passports hardly promote comity among the nations.

Khanh Vu Duc
Asia Sentinel (Hong Kong)

China’s new passports hardly promote comity among the nations, said Khanh Vu Duc. They contain a map depicting a Greater China that includes not only Taiwan but also hotly contested islands in the South China Sea and even the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, over which China and India fought a war in 1962. These documents put the Philippines and Vietnam, in particular, in an uncomfortable bind. Turning away Chinese tourists and business travelers holding the new passports would come “at great financial cost.” Clearly “a very literal shot across the bow” of China would be a last resort. The only way right now to “render China’s claims moot” would be if the other countries’ travel documents contained maps laying their own claims to the contested regions; India, in fact, has already created one. As absurd as this approach is, China has left us with few options by making its divisive territorial claims “in so childish a manner.” It is time for China to “put an end to these games” and engage in serious talks about the disposition of these disputed territories. “Wars have been fought for less.”

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