The Passport Map Flap

by Chris Zappone

I’m not sure if this issue has received much play outside of the region but China has set off a storm of protest by issuing passports with maps that effectively resolve all of the territorial disputes in the region in favor of itself. (See the dotted line in the photo).

If only it was that easy, China….

And it’s not just the disputes through the South China Sea, but border areas with India.

The Indians, the Vietnamese, Taiwanese, the Filipinos have all protested with the Vietnamese going so far as to issue separate visa sheets to holders of the new Chinese passports.

The US, while accepting the new Chinese passports, questioned whether it was “politically smart or helpful” to add such maps to passports that “antagonize countries.”

It’s another small step that ratchets up the tension.