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China has taken up with Vietnam the issue of vulgar scribbling by Vietnamese border staff on the passport of a Chinese woman over the nine dash-line, which represents Beijing’s claims on almost all of the disputed South China Sea.
A Chinese woman surnamed Zhong from south China’s Guangzhou, who visited Vietnam on July 23, said the Vietnamese border staff asked her to hand in passport while crossing through a border post and wrote offensive words on it, state-run People’s Daily Online reported.
Chinese Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City said the embassy is currently dealing with the issue, the report said. Zhong’s passport was handed to Vietnamese border staff when she was entering the border at Tan Son Nhat International Airport.
“The border staff kept my passport for around three minutes and afterI got it back, I saw ‘F….you’ was scribbled on two pages where nine-dash line is printed,” Zhong said expressing disappointment at Vietnamese civil servants’ conduct.
The incident follows an international tribunal’s striking down of China’s claims over the South China Sea on July 12 in response to a petition by the Philippines.
Besides the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area. China’s attempts in the past to conduct oil exploration in the disputed areas of the South Chia Sea sparked anti-China riots in Vietnam in 2014 in which two Chinese were killed and over a hundred injured.
Over 460 factories mainly belonged to Chinese investors in Vietnam were attacked and set on fire by mobs. As the situation became serious, China evacuated its over 7000 Chinese workers from the country.
Since then the two countries held a series of talks at various levels to bring down the tensions. China also objected in the past to India’s Oil and Natural Gas Commission, (ONGC) undertaking exploration at the invitation of Vietnam.
All new Chinese passports issued from 2012 feature Chinese map printed with nine-dash line on page 8, 24 and 46. The offensive scribblings were written on page 8 and 24 of Zhong’s passport.
The Vietnam embassy in China has declined to comment, the report said. The Chinese passports also carry China’s official map claiming Arunachal Pradesh. India began countering it with a stamp of Indian official map on passports of Chinese applying for Indian visas.