Image credit: Gov.cn.
The Chinese government has demonstrated its unique knack for improving international relations in the issuance of new passports which contain a map of disputed maritime territories.
According to Reuters, 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.”
Obviously this a ridiculously antagonistic move by some nationalistic idiots in the Ministry of Public Security, but you have to admit this would be an hilarious prank if the region wasn’t pretty much on the brink of war.
Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Thursday that his government “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.” Vietnam has also lodged a formal complaint with the Chinese government over the map.
According to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the “passports’ maps with their outlines of China are not targeting a specific country”. Which is true, in that China is not pissing off a single country, but all the countries in the region.