After China introduced its new e-passports containing the illegal 9-dash line, many scholars and officials from Vietnam and the Philippines strongly objected. One even said ASEAN should deny entry to Chinese citizens who hold such passports.
Juris Doctor Le Minh Phieu of Vietnam’s East Sea Research Fund said that the 9-dash line violates international law, especially the United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea – UNCLOS. The inclusion of the map in Chinese new e-passports indicates that China wants to propagandize about its expansionism and illegal requests in the East Sea.
Dr. Phieu said if Vietnamese agencies stamp on those passports and allow Chinese nationals holding such passports to enter, China then could claim this as Vietnam’s implicit recognition of its illegitimate territorial demands.
So, Vietnam should cooperate with other ASEAN countries to find an effective means of protest. ASEAN countries, especially those falling victim to China’s expansionist policy, need to deny entry to Chinese citizens who hold such passports, he added.
For Duong Danh Dy, former Vietnamese Consul General in China, this latest deed is “a hegemonic act”. Euphemistically speaking, it is an act lacking goodwill when China always claims it needs to solve East Sea disputes via peaceful measures.
“I am not surprised at this and they will do more. This act is unprecedented”.
According to Le Vinh Truong, of East Sea Research Fund, China is carrying out a series of activities to fortify their claims in the East Sea. They have printed the 9-dotted line on their maps, on tourist, scientific publications, and now passports.
“China is carrying out psychological warfare”, Truong told Tuoi Tre Newspaper. They tried to brainwash their citizens with wrong ideas, wrong facts, repeating them again and again in an effort to turn them into the “truth”, he added.
On an official note, Vietnamese foreign spokesman Luong Thanh Nghi affirmed in Hanoi on November 22 that the act violated Vietnam’s sovereignty over Hoang Sa and Truong Sa archipelagoes as well as its sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction over related waters in the East Sea.
Representatives from the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry have met with representatives of the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi to hand a diplomatic note requesting China to annul the contents printed in the passport.
Contrary to the spirit of DOC: Philippines
“The Philippines does not accept the validity of the nine-dash lines that amount to an excessive declaration of maritime space in violation of international law,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario was quoted by the Manila Standard Today as saying.
Del Rosario said Beijing’s action was in violation of the spirit of the Declaration on the Code of Conduct.
“The action of China is contrary to the spirit of the DOC …, particularly on the provision calling on parties to refrain from actions that complicate and escalate the dispute”.
Meanwhile, China's foreign ministry replied that the new passports met international standards.
"The passports' maps with their outlines of China are not targeting a specific country. China is willing to actively communicate with the relevant countries and promote the healthy development of Sino-foreign personnel exchanges," it said.
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