China irks neighbors with passport map

China irks neighbors with passport map

Generally, when passports become an issue in border disputes it’s because of who they’re being given to. But China has managed to irritate its neighbors just by designing a new passport:

China‘s newly revised passports [show] Arunachal Pradesh state and the Himalayan region of Aksai Chin as Chinese territory.

Inside the new Chinese passports, an outline of China printed in the upper left corner also includes Taiwan and the South China sea, hemmed in by dashes. The change highlights China’s longstanding claim to the sea in its entirety, though parts of the waters also are claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Brunei and Malaysia.

Vietnam is refusing to stamp the new booklets and the Philippines is considering doing the same. Taiwan’s president has also spoken out against the new passports. India has taken a more creative approach by stamping Chinese visas with a map showing the "corrected" version of the border. 

I also suspect other countries locked in territorial disputes may pick up on this tactic. It wouldn’t be surprising if the printers in La Paz are already churning out new booklets depicting the Bolivian seashore