China maps path to new conflicts in its passports
Vietnam and the Philippines have criticised China's decision to include disputed South China Sea islands on maps printed inside new Chinese passports.
The Philippines "strongly protests" against China's decision to include the disputed maritime areas, its foreign affairs ministry spokesman, Raul Hernandez, said. Vietnam's government lodged a formal complaint with the Chinese embassy in Hanoi.
Three separate pages in the passports include China's so-called "nine-dash" map of the sea, first published in 1947, that extends hundreds of miles south from China's Hainan Island to the equatorial waters off the coast of Borneo. Vietnam and the Philippines reject the map as a basis for sharing oil, gas and fish in the waters.
"The action of China is contrary to the spirit of the declaration of conduct of parties in the South China Sea," Mr Hernandez said on Thursday.
The map includes the Spratly island chain, which is the subject of overlapping claims by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Read more: China maps path to new conflicts in its passports