China puts Himalayan claims on passport map, India maps its own

NEW DELHI Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:35am EST

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India is stamping its own map on visas it issues to holders of new Chinese passports that contain a map depicting disputed territory within China's borders, the latest twist in tension in Asia over China's territorial claims.

China's new microchip-equipped passports contain a map that marks its claims over disputed waters and also show as its territory two Himalayan regions that India also claims.

The map means countries disputing the Chinese claims will have to stamp microchip-equipped passports of countless visitors, in effect acquiescing to the Chinese point of view.

In response, India is issuing visas stamped with its own version of the borders, sources with knowledge of the dispute told Reuters.

"The correct map of India is stamped on to visas being issued on such passports," said one of the sources, who declined to be identified.

China's long-standing territorial disputes with Japan and Southeast Asian neighbors have grown heated in recent months.

On Thursday, the Philippines responded angrily to the new passports, saying Chinese carrying the document would be violating Philippine national sovereignty.

India and China fought a brief, high-altitude border war in 1962.

The nuclear-armed neighbors have held multiple rounds of talks to resolve their disputed Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh regions where they fought the war but have made little progress.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing that China has selected the maps as background on the inside pages of the passports issued by the Ministry of Public Security in May.

"The design is not targeting a specific country," Hua said. "We hope that the relevant countries take a rational and sensible attitude ... to avoid causing interference with normal Sino-foreign personnel exchanges."

(Additional reporting by Sui-Lee Wee in Beijing; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Comments (4)
blackout wrote:
“The design is not targeting a specific country,” Hua said. “We hope that the relevant countries take a rational and sensible attitude … to avoid causing interference with normal Sino-foreign personnel exchanges.”

china didn’t take “sensible attitude” toward their neighbor but hope for other to take a sensible attitude toward them? :/

Nov 23, 2012 8:50am EST  --  Report as abuse
CatGarfield wrote:
@ Blackout:
I have to say that China does take a rational attitude.
firstly, both China and India have the right to put Himalayan on their own passport map, as long as it is still disputed.
Moreover, an uncompromising attitude to the territory and sovereignty problem can consolidate the new leadership of China.
finally,unlike it was in 1962, nowadays PLA has already become one of the strongest military power. China has confidence and the power to defeat India’s army and then control the whole disputed Himalayan boundary. so has india already been prepared for the potential war this time?

Nov 23, 2012 2:31pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Pterosaur wrote:
India claims the whole South Asia and part of South East Asia. Soon, it will claim Australia and England as well.

Compared with the historical basis from which China claims the Himalayan region, India is unbeatable.

Nov 23, 2012 4:43pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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