Taiwan considers denying entry to new Chinese passport holders

China Featured - December 14th, 2012

Taiwanese officials are considering whether to deny entry to holders of the new Chinese passports that contain maps claiming popular tourist spots as Chinese territory.

Relevant government units are set to review the issue within a week, says Wang Yu-chi, chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, after opposition lawmakers demanded the government bar Chinese visitors with the new computer-chipped passports showing a map of China that covers Sun Moon Lake and Cingshui Cliff, AFP reports.

Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou called on China not to “unilaterally damage the status quo of the hard-fought stability” between them.

China considers Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, despite the island’s independent rule since the end of a civil war in 1949.

The new Chinese passports have also provoked anger from its Southeast Asian neighbors amid already troubled waters over overlapping sovereignty claims on islands in the South China Sea.

The Philippines refused to stamp the Chinese passports which could be “misconstrued” as legitimizing China’s claim over vast parts of the waters and described it as “an excessive declaration of maritime space in violation of international law”.